Smartphones have always been status symbols. But for those of us without the ways, means, or motivation to keep up with the Joneses and their semi-annual phone upgrades, there's the Pixel 3a. It's not quite as capable as the Pixel 3 proper, but at $400 ($480 for the XL) the 3a is half the price.
Google's next Assistant iteration, which should hit Pixel handsets later this year, is fast. Like, really fast. Like, Sonic the Hedgehog's redesign fast. Like, HBO digitally scrubbing the Starbucks cup fast. It understands the spoken word in real time and responds up to 10 times faster than the current version.
For reasons not yet fully understood, Google decided to take its Home Hub smart display and remove its best feature (not having a camera) by adding, well, a camera. On the upside, the Hub now offers gesture control and a bigger screen. On the downside, this means the new Nest Home Hub, as it's now called, will likely surreptitiously observe your daily routines -- just like every other smart, internet connected device in your house.
Google showed off more than AI and hardware at the Shoreline on Tuesday. We also received a better look at the company's next major OS iteration, currently called Q. With it, users will enjoy a new battery-sparing "dark mode;" real-time, on-demand closed captioning; and more than 50 new security and privacy features.
In an era of near-daily data breaches, robocalls, email scams, and both government and corporate surveillance of our online lives, a person's privacy is more valuable than ever. As such, Google is rolling out a suite of new privacy protection features, including a new Incognito mode for Maps.
Your pictures are about to be worth a whole lot more than a thousand words. Google announced on Tuesday that it is delivering a huge upgrade to its Lens visual search feature which allows users to search for information on whatever objects their phone's camera can identify. Not only that, users will soon be able to leverage AR animations in their research and shopping to get a better feel for how systems works and whether those shoes you're eyeing online will go with the rest of your ensemble.