When the announcement came out a few weeks ago that Google would be holding an event on October 4th, it seems pretty straight forward. This Google event, it seemed, would bring us a couple of new phones and that would be about it. However, the much anticipated Pixel and Pixel XL are likely to only be the tip of the iceberg. The event is shaping up to be huge with announcements across a wide swath of the Google landscape.
While everything to this point is purely rumor, there are strong indicators of what we will see or won’t see. I’ve put together a list of things we are likely to see in the October 4th event and it is expansive. Get ready for a really exciting day!
Google Pixel / Google Pixel XL – Probability: 100%
Fundamentally, this event started as a launch event for Google’s new phones, the 5.2″ Pixel and 5.5″ Pixel XL. Both devices are expected to be launched with the new Pixel Launcher and with
Android Nougat 7.1, the first maintenance release for the latest version of Android. As for the details, both devices are expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 820 processor and both will have 4GB of RAM. Both are expected to have a 12MP main camera, fingerprint scanner and sticking with Nexus tradition, will not have a MicroSD card for storage expansion. They will however come with 32, 64 or 128GB of Storage.
The devices have been heavily influenced by Google and are built by HTC. It is also expect that for the first time, Google will have their phones in carrier and retailers. Pricing is still a bit of a mystery but something around the $450 mark for the Pixel and $650 for the XL (starting price) is likely.
Finally, don’t expect these phones to be available on the 4th. It will likely be the end of the month before we see them ship if history holds true. You will however likely be able to pre-order them on or around the 4th.
Google Home – Probability: 100%
If the Pixel phones are a much anticipated announcement, Google Home may be the second big one. Google Home was introduced to us at Google I/O back in May and is a home device that is tied
closely with Google Assistant to give you information by voice command. Google Home is very much aimed at competing with the Amazon Echo and for those who are deeply tied into the Google ecosystem, will find it a very compelling product. It is designed to give you information about your day, searches, stream music and other activities all by voice command. And it is for everyone in the family. Like Google OnHub, Home is aimed at sitting out in the open and doesn’t look like a piece of techno-kit sitting on a shelf.
What will make Home powerful is Google Assistant. Think of it as a far more personalized and smarter OK Google. If you have installed Google Allo on your phone, then you can already see Assistant and who it brings to users. Google Assistant is the most advanced voice and assistant tool yet developed by Google.
Google Home is expected to be around $130 when it is available, likely in October. If that price is true, it will be about $50 less than the Echo which could turn a few heads.
Google Chromecast 4K – Probability: 100%
One of the late stage rumors is that we will see an updated Chromecast that supports 4K. Now that renders have leaked and Google has all-but confirmed, it looks like we will see the streaming
gadget updated for the event. The name that seems to be floating for this device is Google Chromecast Ultra although I suspect it cold be Google Cast Ultra given the company’s move away firm the Chromecast name. It is not necessarily going to be a replacement for the current Google Cast but an add-on to the product line. The Ultra will have faster hardware to support driving 4K video and will have an updated version of the Cast firmware running on it.
Don’t expect a huge amount of software changes or feature changes between the current Cast and the Ultra. Fundamentally we are talking about the addition of 4K video and that’s about it. Yes the new firmware will have some refinements and all references to Chromecast appear to be gone and replaced with the Google “G” but not a lot of changes to how it works will be found.
Price wise, you can expect the Ultra to be in the $70 price range, double that of the current Google Cast. That’s mostly because the cost of the hardware is more expensive.
Google Andromeda – Probability: 75%
So this one is very interesting: The merging of Android and Chrome OS. Google suggested earlier this Spring that an eventual merge between the two platforms was going to happen – then they stepped back from it. This past week it was all-but confirmed that we would see at the very least an announcement around what the company is calling Andromeda. So, in other words, that Spring announcement was just letting the cat out of the bag a bit too early.
So how this will work or what it will look like is unknown. Obviously we can see signs of this coming with the rolling out of Android apps to Chrome devices but the question is if that is simply a grand science experiment for what will be Andromeda or is that what Google means by “merge”. Equally, it is unclear if this could be some type of dual-boot system.
I think it is certain that we will hear something around this new platform on the 4th. Will there be a demo? Possibly on current hardware like the Nexus 9 or the Pixel C. If that announcement does indeed happen, depending on how much Google shows of Andromeda, it could very well steal the show.
New Pixel Chromebook – Probability: 75%
The question of if we will see a replacement for the Pixel Chromebook likely depends on what is announced around Andromeda. If this new platform is announced and shown off, we could see a new Chromebook that runs on the new platform. Equally, at least for now, Google could depend on partners like Acer, Asus and HP to develop mid-to-high market Chromebooks that would replace the Pixel. Frankly, that doesn’t fit with where the company seems to be going with their “made by Google” mantra.
If we do see an updated Pixel Chromebook, you can be sure it will be on the upper end of the performance and feature scale – and a price to match it.
Google 7″ Tablet – Probability – 90%
Ah, the beloved Nexus 7. It was the little tablet that could and was one of the most popular Android tablets out there for a long time. I had one for a long time and simply loved it (and frankly, it was superior to my Nexus 9 in performance) as did many of you. With the Nexus 9 and the Pixel C covering the 8″ and above display, many tablet lovers have wanted a replacement Nexus 7. It looks like we are going to get it.
If the leak from Evan Blass is right, we can expect this new tablet to be built by Huawei and have 4GB of RAM powering it.
No matter how you slice it, this Google event is going to be a monster. We are going to see a lot of Google’s vision for the future and how all of their solutions are starting to tie together nicely.
Personally, I can’t wait for Tuesday.