Google is getting ready to show off new hardware for us to drool over.
The company has invited the media to an event scheduled for 4 October in San Francisco. At the same time, it posted a video to Twitter that showed a traditional Google search bar morphing into a smartphone shape. Even though it only showed an outline, the shape looks like the Pixel and Pixel XL, which are rumoured to be Google's upcoming flagships meant to showcase Android.
But they're not the only things expected. Here's everything we know so far.
When is Google's event?
Google has officially confirmed that it is holding an event on 4 October.
What is 'Made by Google' about?
Google is advertising its 4 October event under the tagline "Made by Google", which fuels existing rumours about the company ditching the Nexus brand for its upcoming flagship phones. It also suggests everything we see at the show will be Google-branded and maybe even Google-made.
Will Google's event have a live stream?
Google has launched a new website specifically for the 4 October event. You'll presumably be able to view the event's live stream from there. We will update this piece when the event kicks off with more information about how to watch.
What will Google unveil at the event?
Pixel and Pixel XL
Google will reportedly ditch the Nexus brand when it unveils its 2016 flagship smartphones under the Pixel brand. These phones are thought to be called Pixel and Pixel XL, and they will be manufactured by HTC. The Pixel will be the smaller of the two devices, featuring a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1920x1080, while the Pixel XL will sport a 5.5-inch Quad HD AMOLED display.
Pixel XL will likely contain a larger battery. Other than that, both devices will share a Snapdragon 821 processor, Adreno 530 graphics, 4GB RAM, and at least 32GB of on-board storage. A 13-megapixel main camera and 8-megapixel front camera has also been rumoured. The Pixel might also come in black or white colour options. You can read more about what the phones might feature in Pocket-lint's roundup.
Google's reference Android smartphones usually come with bargain price tags. The high-end Nexus 6P cost $499 when it was new, for instance. But according to Android Police, Google's upcoming Pixel phones will start at $649, which is a price range usually reserved for devices like the iPhone 7 or Galaxy S7. The Pixel XL, which is thought to be the higher-spec'd, will likely cost even more.
Also, both phones will most certainly run the latest version of Android Nougat, which adds support for Google's Daydream VR platform.
Google is placing big bets on virtual reality in 2016. It plans to expand its existing Cardboard initiative and directly challenge the mobile VR market. The company announced its new Daydream VR platform at Google I/O in May, but it hasn't said much since, despite the rollout of Android 7.0 Nougat, which brought support for Daydream, and that manufacturers are currently building Daydream-ready handsets.
Google's event will likely showcase Daydream VR running on its latest mobile devices. The company has reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ensuring there will be plenty of VR content for the platform when it officially launches. Also, Google has confirmed it is working on a headset and controller of its own. Android Police said the headset should launch alongside the Pixel phones. It will cost around $80.
It's been a year since Google updated Chromecast by releasing Chromecast 2 with a new design, improved internals, and a refreshed app. The Mountain View, CA-based company has likely been developing a third-generation model since then, and according to a recent report, that new device should debut this autumn, and it'll bring support for 4K streams.
Google launched the first Chromecast in 2013. It's an affordable HDMI dongle that lets you wirelessly "cast" content to a television. It basically makes most TVs smart. Then, in 2015, Google launched Chromecast 2. It's faster, more responsive, and just as affordable. And it arrived with an updated Chromecast app that serves as a one-stop shop for finding compatible apps and specific content across those apps.
Google was reportedly going to launch a 4K version of the Chromecast in autumn 2015, but it instead released Chromecast 2. Android Police has claimed that Google will finally announce a 4K-capable Chromecast alongside its two new Pixel smartphones. Google currently sells the current-generation of Chromecast for £30 ($35).
Currently, Chromecast 4K is thought to be called Chromecast Ultra, according to Android Police. It is unknown whether it will cost more.
Google in May announced an Amazon Echo-like device called Google Home.
It's a Wi-Fi speaker that also works as a smarthome control center and an assistant for the whole family. You can use it to playback entertainment throughout your entire house, effortlessly manage every-day tasks, and ask Google what you want to know. The device itself has interchangeable bases available in various colours and finishes (such as metal and fabric, allowing you to match it to your decor).
Underneath that swappable shell there is a speaker that can playback songs and allow Google Assistant to talk to you. It appears to be pretty small, as a Google executive was able to easily hold it in one hand while unveiling Google Home on stage at Google I/O. Also, at the top of the device, there is a display with four small LEDs. You'll use these apparently to interact with the device.
As for buttons, there are none at the top (just dual microphones that listen for your voice). There is a single mute button on the shell. While it was showing off Google Home, Google said we could expect the speaker to be released "later this year". Since it's already September and we don't know of any other Google event this year, we expect to hear more about Google Home on 4 October.
Android Police claimed Google has developed something called Google Wi-Fi. Consumers can reportedly expect this Wi-Fi device to be unveiled on 4 October during Google's event. Google Wi-Fi will apparently be able to link up with multiple units, allowing it to form a mesh network of sorts, kind of like Eero. The device will cost $129, and it's not yet clear if it will be related to the company's existing OnHub router range.
Android Police suggested it will be similar to OnHub (pictured above) in that it offers smart features and a better range than most routers. Keep in mind OnHub routers are made by other companies, and Google is marketing its October event under the "Made by Google" tagline, which again suggests everything we see at the show will be Google-branded and maybe even Google-made.
Droid-Life has also offered some information on Google Wi-Fi. It claimed the router is dual band and features two ports, AC1200 speeds, 802.15.4 radios, and Bluetooth. It can also be setup "in minutes" and is said to look like a small, white Amazon Echo Dot.
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