Another year, another round of new Google hardware! It’s been a good year with the Pixel headlining its market topping camera and Google-inspired software providing a contrast to other OEM’s skins (which aren’t that bad these days, surprisingly) and the Google Home creeping into people’s houses.
Phone by Google
The new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are the follow up to last years devices, and bring some new features to keep an eye on. The first of which is the Pixel 2 XL’s notchless 2:1 screen. In this new age of edge to edge displays, making sure your content looks good on the taller phones is paramount to success in the app world. Outside of the screen, the new device comes with what looks to be another market leading camera, even showing off Google’s AI prowess with the addition of single lens portrait mode. The fact that Google is doing so much in software is impressive, to say the least.
Home sweet home
Next up, the new Google Home Mini provides a cheaper and smaller option to get Google’s Assistant into your living space. This smaller device will be nice to throw into random rooms for a full-on whole living space Google Assistant experience. If music is your preferred use of Google Home, you’ll be happy to hear Google is also releasing the Google Home Max: A Google Home with the speakers to make for a much better listening experience. The move to smart assistants and voice based interaction is changing how users interact with services across the world, with the next billion relying more on voice and video than on typing. This means the progress Google has made on voice is a huge advantage, and those that take this information and create services with multimodal experiences will have a strong foothold in the future. Here at WillowTree, we have been working on making multimodal experiences smooth and as refined as possible so users can access what they need, whether they have a phone, one of the various assistants, or are simply chatting with a Facebook bot.
Don’t judge a Pixelbook by its cover
Chromebooks have been plugging along for years, taking over schools and providing a low cost alternative to laptops that still manage to stay up to date and maintain the sanity of whoever provides the obligatory family tech support. This year, Google is offering the Pixelbook, a 4-in-1 Chromebook that can also run Android apps! Android apps on Chromebooks have been possible for a while, but this release puts more pressure on app developers to ensure their apps run correctly on the new hardware, especially when it comes to resizing and multi-window support.
After 365+ days in our new Pixel-centered Google world, this year’s Google hardware event had plenty of new toys for us to dive into to figure out how we can best leverage them to create better experiences for users. Making those experiences as delightful as possible is what WillowTree is passionate about, so we’ll be jumping in head first to try out all the new gear.