The tech giant signals its growing intentions in the devices market, unveiling new Pixel phones, a smartwatch, a tablet, high-end earbuds and more at its annual announcement parade in California.
Years ago Steve Jobs turned Apple product announcements into stage performances, complete with comedy bits and live audiences, and soon after the rest of the tech industry decided they all fancied a bit of that. Now it seems you can’t release a USB cable onto the market without the fanfare of a West End show.
Google I/O – the tech giant’s annual announcement platform – has more to say for itself than most. They’ve always been announcement fountains, splurging out streams of updates big and small which the tech press clamour to be the first to live tweet, however they usually focus on software. This year the big ticket items were new devices that Google will launch at some point in the future, all of which seems to signal the company’s growing intentions in the market and the wish to build out its own ecosystem of devices.
Google Pixel Watch
Probably the most interesting is the Google Pixel Watch. There isn’t a plethora of details, but we do know it will run on Wear OS, which is presumably new software made specifically for this and any other future wearables, and comes pre-loaded with Fitbit health and fitness tools on board. Google purchased Fitbit back in 2019 and it wasn’t hard to predict that they would eventually come out with their own device in the trendy wearbales market at some point.
As is the bane of all modern consumer electronics once the touch screen became ubiquitous, it basically looks identical to every other product on the market, but that was to be expected. More details to be released ahead of a launch in Autumn.
Google Pixel 6a
Google says this new smartphone ‘gives you more of what you want — for less than you’d expect’ – which is one way of saying this is a cheaper version of its flagship smartphone. Priced at $499, this is firmly in the mid-range market, though Google insists a lot of the smarts that went into the Pixel 6, such as the fancy camera features and proprietary Tensor chip, are present here as well.