On October 9, Google will be holding its annual Hardware event in New York City. These events are where we hear about all the big new announcements for devices and services that the tech giant is prepping.
Thankfully, you won’t need to be in attendance to catch the event live. As has become the norm for events such as this, the entire thing will be streamable online through Google’s official YouTube page for the event. It's set to start at 2:00AM AEST Wednesday, October 10.
What To Expect
While we can’t say for certain what Google will be showing off, past presentations cover everything from new smartphones and tablets to smart home appliances. We do, however, have a general picture of what this week's press conference will contain, based on rumours and recent announcements.
Official Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL announcement
It’s almost painfully obvious that Google has been finalising the reveal of its next flagship smartphones, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, for this upcoming event. There have been numerous leaks already, and there seems to be little about the purported new phones left to be revealed, but we expect to get the real-deal announcement during this week's event.
If leaked specs are to be believed, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL will both be running Snapdragon 845 chipsets and a modified version of Android.
In terms of physical design, both devices are expected to retain the single-camera design of past Pixel phones. The Pixel XL is said to have a 5.3-inch display and smaller bezels, while the 3 XL will have a 6.2-inch edge-to-edge screen, though it will also reportedly has a “notch” and large “chin” on the top and bottom bezels, to the chagrin of some.
Finally, some rumours even suggest an upgraded set of Pixel Bud wireless earphones will be releasing alongside the Pixel 3 and 3 XL.
We suspect that this will be one of the event’s big announcements, so expect to get all the info, including price and release date, as well as confirmation that it will be covered by the newly launched Google Repair Center.
Pixel Slate 2-in-1 and Pixelbook 2
The Pixelbook is Google’s answers to Apple’s iPad and Macbook, and Microsoft’s Surface devices. The original Pixelbook launched at last year’s October event, which makes the odds of refreshed hardware likely. Potential upgrades expected to the Pixelbook 2 include a 4K display, a new processor, and updated design with a thinner bezel.
The other rumoured tablet announcement is Google’s 2-in-1 tablet, the Pixel Slate. While the Pixelbook can pull double duty as a laptop and tablet as well, its keyboard isn’t detachable, and it’s primarily focused on being a laptop replacement. The rumoured Pixel Slate, on the other hand, could feature a detachable keyboard for more traditional tablet functionality.
The coolest rumour about the Pixel Slate, however, is another 2-in-1 feature: Some leakers suggest that the Slate could run both Chrome OS and Windows 10 on the same machine.
It also looks as though a new Chromecast is imminent. This one may come as a bit of surprise, but at least one person has already reportedly purchased one at a Best Buy, so unless Reddit user LitheBeep is really good at Photoshop, it seems to be a real thing.
Google recently refreshed the Chromecast, and it has the 4K-enabled Chromecast Ultra and the audio-only Chromecast Audio, so it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what new features or specs Chromecast 3 could include.
That said, we know that the Chromecast 3 at the very least makes some changes to the look of the Chromecast, with a thicker body and updated logo. Whatever changes are coming under the hood will probably be discussed at the event.
Project Stream Support?
It’s possible we’ll be hearing more about Google’s soon-to-be-in-beta streaming service, Project Stream, especially if the service will be present on any of the newly announced devices. While the focus for Project Stream is currently on cloud-based gaming through the Chrome browser, Google has left the possibility open that the service could be used for more than just games.
Pixel Stand & Google Home hub smart display
A host of potential new Pixel devices may be dominating the rumour cycle, but it wouldn’t be a Google event without some focus on its smart home and Internet of things (OIT) initiative, Google Home, and associated devices.
There have been mutterings of a new Pixel Phone accessory, the Pixel Stand, which will integrate your phone into your smart home network. The device is said to be a wireless charging dock that will allow you to use Google Assistant on your phone while docked, even when the screen is locked.
Similarly, the Google Home Hub Smart Display is supposed to be, well, exactly what it sounds like: A centralised hub that will give full control over connected Google Home devices via Google Assistant. The screen reportedly displays important information such as the weather, breaking news and device statuses, and acts as a touch interface for controlling other devices.