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5 things you missed from Google's 2016 product reveal

5 things you missed from Google's 2016 product reveal
Photo courtesy of Google

Today is a big day for Google. The internet giant hosted its Pixel event, announcing a whole slew of new and updated products, including the much-anticipated Pixel smartphone.

How will today's event affect your daily life? Here are five things Google announced that could change the way you interact with the world around you.

1. Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones

The Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones were designed to be simple, smart, and have a great user experience. As Rick Osterloh said at the event, the phone has a beautiful polished aluminum case, a perfect wedge cut out where your hand naturally holds the phone, and there's "no unsightly camera bump."

Here are eight things that Google was bragging about, and rightfully so:

  1. Pixel is the first phone with the Google assistant built in.
  2. Pixel has received the highest-ever rating for a smartphone camera, making it the best smartphone camera ever made.
  3. Pixel uses the Google cloud, for free, so you never run out of photo storage space for your photos and 4K videos.
  4. Pixel lets you talk to people more easily, no matter what operating system or type of phone they are using with Google Duo, a new video calling app, which gives you a live stream of the person calling before you pick up the phone.
  5. Pixel will give you seven hours of battery life with only 15 minutes of charging.
  6. Pixel updates will be automatically installed so you have nothing to worry about.
  7. Pixel offers 24/7 customer care with an app built right into the phone.
  8. The phones are VR ready with Daydream, but more on that below.

Pixel will come in two different sizes, 5-inch and 5.5-inch screens and will come in three colors: Quite Black, Really Blue and Very Silver. It will use a Hi-Def AMOLED Display, USB Type-C, 3.5mm headphone jack, has a fingerprint sensor and will offer 32 or 128 GB of space.

They are available for pre-order today. 

Google Pixel

2. Daydream

Daydream, Google's virtual reality app, comes built into the Pixel phones and has other improvements as well. Google debuted a new VR headset called Daydream View, which Google claims is easy to use, comfortable, and even lets people keep their glasses on for optimal viewing.

Just put your phone into the headset and you're all set. The Daydream View also comes with a remote that is stored inside the headset when you're not using it so you don't lose it.

What can you do with Daydream? Watch Netflix movies, take Google Street View tours, play fun games, look at the stars and learn about constellations, or watch fully interactive videos on YouTube. With Google Daydream, "you're not watching a film, you're in the film."

Daydream and its controller will go on sale in November for $79.

Google Daydream

 

3. Google Wi-Fi

"A great online experience begins with great connectivity." That's exactly why Google announced Google Wi-Fi, "designed to support the new ways we use Wi-Fi."

It's an expandable system to deliver faster service to fit your home's shape and size and comes complete with Network Assist that manages your network behind the scenes so you don't have to. There's also a companion app to help you manage Wi-Fi access for your kids.

Google Wi-Fi will be available for preorder in November, will ship in December and will retail for $129 for a single pack or $299 for a three-pack.

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 9.54.18 AM

 

4. Google Chromecast Ultra

The latest addition to the Chromecast family is the Chromecast Ultra, which, during the event, was called "the most premium TV streaming device to date."

It's going to deliver a crisper picture, better performance, broadcast in 4K with HDR and Dolby vision support, have improved reliability with 1.8X faster loading times, and will also be easy to connect with ethernet support. And, just like its predecessor, it's small, compact and easy to hide behind the TV so there's less clutter.

On top of that, Google Play Movies will also be releasing 4K videos starting in November.

The Google Chromecast Ultra will be available in November for $69.

Chromecast Ultra

5. Google Home

Google's Home assistant works across many facets of your life including in the home. Here are the four ways you can use this gadget to improve your daily life, all with your voice, hands-free.

  1. Enjoy your music. Just say "OK Google" followed by your command and you can listen to any song or album on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music and more, that you want without picking up your phone or a remote.
  2. Get answers from Google. You can look up facts, look up stores, get the weather report, make dinner reservations, get translations, even get directions. All you need to do is ask.
  3. Manage everyday tasks. Manage your shopping lists, get reminders about your personal schedule, and even have it settle everyday debates by flipping a coin and more.
  4. Control devices at home. As homes become more connected with the "Internet of Things" you can control your smart appliances like your lightbulbs, thermostat and other switches that control an individual room or your entire house. Plus, if you have a Chromecast, you can voice-control it too.

Google Home is available in seven different colors to match your home decor. And, if you have multiple Google Home devices, you can sync them to play the same thing on each device throughout your home.

Google Home is available for pre-order today, will ship on November 4 and will retail for $129, with a free, six-month trial of YouTube Red.

 

Google Home

 

Watch the LiveStream of the event here:

 

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