It is a day that everyone knew was coming. Today the Google Store stopped selling the original Google Pixel and Pixel XL. Not only was it removed from the main store, but it was also removed from the phone options list for Project Fi, Google’s MVNO.
The 2016 Pixel phones were breakthrough devices in many ways, bringing a completely reimagined launcher, a stunningly good camera (rated the best at the time of its release) and, of course, all the pure Android goodness that Google intended.
Google has quietly posted the new, official Google Pixelbook sleeve on the Google Store site. The fabric sleeve, which holds your Pixelbook and Pixelbook Pen, is an eye watering, hellishly expensive $100. If you feel so compelled, you can order one at the Store.
The microfiber exterior sleeve has a microfiber lining and a magnetic closure too keep your Pixelbook and Pen safely tucked inside. It comes in one color, Stone.
The Google Home Mini has become one of Google’s most popular devices for a lot of reasons, price and size chiefly among them. The donut sized device lends itself to be tucked away in any room to give you access to Google Assistant whenever you need it. But for some rooms, having the Home Mini mounted on the wall makes more sense and frees up counter space in your bedroom or kitchen.
Incipio has been making a wall mount for the Google Home Mini almost since its release. It’s been available directly from them on their site but it got a big boost this week with it now being available on the Google Store. On either site, it is $14.99 and comes with everything you need to mount your Home Mini to a wall in your home.
For the second time in less than six months, it looks like Google is going to be revamping the online Google Store. A report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources within Google, suggests that the revamp will have Google Assistant front-and-center in the redesign where Google will sell their devices and those of sister Alphabet companies like Nest.
The move is in response to Amazon and their own digital assistant, Amazon Alexa. Amazon had a two year start on Google when it came to personal AI-driven assistants, with Amazon still holding an estimated 68% market share with their Amazon Echo devices compared to the 25% for Google with Google Home. The disparity has the Mountain View company worried and they are going all out to meet Amazon head on in the space.
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.
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.
After a long run as the flagship tablet for Google, the Nexus 9 era has come to an end as far as the Mountain View company is concerned. An update today to the Google Store has removed all references to the Nexus 9 and you can no longer order it directly from them. That doesn’t mean however that you still can’t get your hands on one through Amazon. The 9 debuted with Android Lollipop in 2014 and even though it will be upgraded to Android N, Google has shifted their tablet focus for now to the new flagship, the Pixel C.