Google is your “jack of all trades, and even master of all” company. Not just content with dominance in search, video, and email, it has slowly taken on the gaming, smartphone, and smart home industry as well, and doing a pretty fine job of it. At its annual developer conference kicking off in just a few hours, YES TODAY, at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, Google I/O is all perked up to delineate its priorities for the next year. These span across every niche the Giant has grasped inside its fists.
After a keynote from Google CEO Sundar Pichai, followed by his fellow executives, brace yourself for blasts of news coming hot and heavy out of the South Bay, running the gamut from rare hardware debuts to new Android and Assistant features. Speculators are having a field day and imaginations are running wild. Here’s a quick rundown of what we’re expecting from the big show and why my eyes are glued to the screen, anxiously waiting for the live stream to begin!
1. New Pixel phones
Google’s Pixel 3a XL has been spotted at a Springfield, Ohio Best Buy, leaving nothing to imagination as to what the search giant has up its sleeve. An Android Police Tipster first noticed the handset in its packaging in plain view in both “stark black” and “purplish” hues. This sighting has confirmed what-was-to-be Google’s biggest surprise at the I/O event. So, thanks to our source, we have already had a chance to behold Pixel 3a in all its single rear camera glory. Both the 6-inch 3a XL and 5.6-inch Pixel 3a have Snapdragon 710 and 670 processors and 2,220 x 1,080 and 2,160 x 1,080 displays respectively. The Pixel Visual Core powering the cameras on current Pixel 3 devices remains intact, and the new phones come with 4GB of RAM. We’ll even confide in you the price tags on those: $479 for the 3a XL and $399 US for the regular one. No matter how convincing the evidence is, since the news still hasn’t come out of the bag (officially), take all this info with a grain of salt.
2. A detailed look at Android Q
Year after year, Google has maintained its legacy of giving users a sneak-peak into what is cooking in the next version of its Android operating system. In a few months, Android Q is projected to be released to the public as a successor to Android Pie. The first beta version of Android Q was released to developers in March, giving them ample time to start testing their apps on the new codebase. Some little bird has whispered in our ear that akin to Apple’s 3D Touch, Q will get support for a ‘deep press’ feature, see more stability improvements, built-in screen recording, and revamped permissions for access to location data.
While this is all we know, we leave it to Google to lift the rest of the lids on what additions have been made to Android Q. We also heard that a system-wide dark mode is one of them. In addition to tablet and Smartphone versions for Android, who knows if Google will let slip above updates to Android for Cars and android TV.
3. Unfolding foldables
Thanks to a bevy of malfunctioning Galaxy Fold units, the week hasn’t particularly been kind to the ascendant form factor. However, the company has reiterated that it will keep working on the tech. After all, Google has put a lot into making Android more foldable friendly in order to jumpstart a stagnant smartphone industry. While there still are a few kinks to sort out in the Fold, we can expect a probable release date, as well as upcoming models from TCL, Xiaomi, Motorola and Huawei. The rise of form factor is the future of Android interactions.
4. Nest Hub Max
The other hardware announcement that is set to make waves at the Google I/O 2019 is the Nest Hub Max. Ahead of the event, Google accidentally published details of what it is and then inadvertently, it managed to leak a “Nest Hub Max” product on its own storefront. Here’s what we have managed to learn so far:
As you can venture a guess from the name, it’s a bigger take on the smart screen – as the rumor has it, almost 10 inches – with a camera for duo calls, designed to serve as a centralized smart home panel and primed to be compatible with other Google Home and Nest offerings.
Assuming that the “Sherlock” prototype in Google’s Fuchsia OS source code is indeed the Nest Hub Max, here are a few specs that we have deduced:
- Stereo speakers
- 12MP Sony IMX277 “Nest” camera
- 2GB of RAM
- Amlogic T931 SoC
- 1280×800 at 150ppi resolution
- 1-inch LCD display
5. More details on Google Stadia
Google will surely have its hand full the next year with the impending development of its cloud gaming platform Google Stadia. Touted as a one-of-its-kind game streaming service that could trump both PS4 Pro and Xbox One X combined, it could revolutionize the entire gaming industry if done right. It’s designed to offer triple-A gaming potentially and instantly on every available connected device. Boasting 60 frames per second and 4K resolution, the service will use remote servers to beam titles to any device in the world.
6. Project Euphonia
One interesting thing that you are going to hear about in Google’s I/O, “Project Euphonia,” which is another one of Google accessibility efforts that take the stage at I/O every year. This one can apparently give speech-impairment individuals “their voice back”. Year after year at Google I/O, the company has kept up its legacy of displaying latest technologies across the many various aspects of life that Google is involved in.
While we don’t have the dibs on this, but we can draw on the fact that one of the sessions in Google I/O’s events list is known as “Designing for Accessibility,” which is projected to be hosted by Google scientist and Harvard professor Michael Brenner and accessibility advocate Elise Roy.