After being leaked a couple of days ago along with a slew of other leaks, the Google trade-in program for the Google Pixel is now live at the Google Store. The program allows you to trade in previous Google Nexus phones, LG, Samsung, and iPhones to get a credit towards the purchase of a new Google Pixel or Pixel XL.
With the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL only a few weeks away, it is a little surprising to see Google open this program up now. The assumption was that it would start when the next generation phones were announced.
As for the value that you get, it largely depends on how new your phone is and its condition. For example, if I wanted to trade in my Nexus 6P with 64GB of storage, I would get back $155 since it is in working condition and doesn’t have a broken screen. If I trade in my wife’s iPhone SE 128GB, that would get me $87.
Google is making it easier for you to fill your home with, erm, Google Home. Right now at the Google Store you can pick up two of the smart speakers with Google Assistant built in for $229. That’s a savings of $29 if you bought them separately. Having multiple Home devices is something that has been supported since its release and allows you to get access to Assistant in which ever room it happens to be in with you. There are also commands built into Home that allow you to play music across multiple Home devices too.
Google Home certainly doesn’t have the number of commands that its primary competitor, the Amazon Echo, has today. But that gap is closing and closing fast. Google nearly every week is announcing new services, bots and commands that can be used with the device.
If you have been wanting to pick up the Google Pixel XL, you need to go to the Google Store. Like, right now. I’ll wait….
For the first time in weeks the XL is in stock and available for order. Google has a mighty time keeping up with demand on both the Pixel and the Pixel XL and usually the phone shows out of stock in all colors and variants. Right now at least, you can pick up the XL in Silver or Black with 32GB of storage. The 128GB variants still remain out of stock as does the Really Blue color.
Google has begun taking orders for Google Wi-Fi, the company’s new mess-enabled wireless solution for homes. Starting at $129 for a single unit and $299 for a 3-pack, the new wireless solution is aimed at making getting network coverage throughout a home quick and easy. If you have a home of up to 1500 square-feet, a single unit will do the job for you while a 3-pack will cover a home up to 4500 square feet. While orders are being taken, it will still be another 2-3 weeks before they ship out.
As readers will know, this is not Google’s first venture into home wireless. The Google OnHub holds that honor and it works seamlessly with the new Google Wi-Fi solution.
Google has officially started selling the Chromecast Ultra. The speedier and 4K-supporting casting device just went live in the Google Store for $69. Back in the October Google event, where the Pixel lineup and Google Home were announced, this new update to the Chromecast was also presented. The biggest improvement is the support for 4K video. With so many 4K televisions out there now, support for UltraHD is somewhat necessary at this point and it is good to see it come to the Chromecast which, to this point, has been limited to 1080P.
For those of you who were really wanting one of the Really Blue Pixel phones, there is good news for you this morning. Google has confirmed to Android Police that the limited color variant of both the Pixel and the Pixel XL will be restocked at some point in the future. The question is when and how many will actually be available. That part of the equation is not known but if you are really wanting to get your hands on a Really Blue Pixel, it is suggested that you use the Google Store’s waitlist function to get in line.
Functionally, as readers likely know, there is no difference in performance between the various color variants. The Really Blue color however was immediately sought after as it was unique in this world of mostly black, silver (aluminum) and gold phones on the market.
If you want to join the waitlist for the phone, go to the Google Store and sign up to be notified on when it is back in stock. Obviously there is no guarantee they will be there if you delay once you are notified. These will go very, very fast (translation: within minutes if not sooner). If you want one, be prepared to pay the day they hit the store.
Google has begun accepting pre-orders for the new Google Home device. The smart speaker-meets-smart home device is aimed at being the center of the home with Google Assistant being a voice command away.
Aimed at competing with the Amazon Echo, Google Home brings the power of Google Artificial Intelligence to give you detailed information about your day, upcoming events, search information, travel information and the like. And it is for everyone in the family. Like Google OnHub and Google Wi-Fi, Home is aimed at sitting out in the open and doesn’t look like a piece of techno-kit sitting on a shelf.