Google held its annual press event for its hardware devices today, announcing a number of great new phones, a new Chromecast and a new tablet.
While many of the new devices and services were expected from the company, that didn't take away from the excitement. In case you missed it, however, here is a list of announcements from Google at its press event.
Perhaps the biggest announcement from Google was the announcement of its new flagship phone, the Nexus 6P. The Nexus 6P replaces its predecessor, the Google Nexus 6, and offers a number of updates and new features.
The camera on the device, for example, is reportedly far improved from last year, offering a 12.3 MP sensor that was built by Sony and used on much larger cameras in the past. Along with the new camera is a new infrared autofocus system.
In addition to that, Google has added USB-C to the device as well as a new octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, 3 GB of RAM and options for 32 GB, 64 GB and 128 GB of storage. A fingerprint sensor has also been added to the back of the device. The smartphone will be available in late October for $499.
Google has announced two new smartphones this year, with the second being the Google Nexus 5X. Google skipped a five-inch smartphone last year, so the announcement will be very welcome for those who prefer a smaller phone.
The Nexus 5X includes the same camera and fingerprint sensor as the Nexus 6P. It also includes USB-C charging and a 5.2-inch display. One of the main differences between the Nexus 6P and the Nexus 5X is the processor, with the 5X offering a hexa-core Snapdragon 808 chip.
Google has combined the Chromebook with a tablet, announcing the new Pixel C tablet. The "C" here stands for "convertible," and the keyboard itself is completely removable, allowing users to use it as a pure tablet or as a laptop.
Google has also removed many of the problems associated with removable keyboards, with the device connecting via Bluetooth but charging automatically via inductive charging from the tablet. It lasts two months without needing to be charged, but if you keep the keyboard and tablet together, it will always stay charged.
The device will also support Android 6.0 Marshmallow and is 10.2 inches in size. It will go on sale "in time for the holidays," with the tablet costing $499 and the keyboard costing $199.
Google's Chromecast reportedly sold 20 million units since its release two years ago, and it's about time the company updated the device. The new Chromecast 2 offers a completely new design that somewhat resembles a puck on the end of a short HDMI cable. It also comes in three color options, including black, yellow and red. It connects via both 3.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz Wi-Fi bands, ensuring fast connectivity and reduced buffering.
Along with the new device, there is a new app as well as newly-announced support for Showtime and Sling TV.
The new Chromecast keeps the $35 price of the old device and is available starting today.
Along with the Chromecast video streaming device, Google also announced Chromecast Audio, designed to allow users to stream music to their speakers from their smartphone without having to connect wires to their phone.
The device essentially plugs into a wall jack and then to speakers through a 3.5 mm jack, after which users can stream music to their speakers whenever they want. The great thing about the device is that it allows users to turn their normal speakers into smartphone speakers without having to buy any new gadgets. Like the standard Chromecast, Chromecast Audio costs $35 and is available starting today.
One of the great things about Apple Music is its highly-praised family plan, allowing families to connect accounts for a cheaper price than if everyone in the family had their own account.
The Google Play Music Family Plan costs $14.99 per month, and up to six people can use a single plan. Each user can listen to music whenever they want, even when other users on the account are also listening to music.
Google also gave some more information about the rollout of its new mobile operating system, Android 6.0 Marshmallow. The operating system will begin rolling out to Nexus users starting "next week," including the Nexus 5, 6, 7, 9 and the Nexus Player. While Google didn't officially announce this, some news outlets are reporting that the rollout will begin on Oct. 5. Those who own other devices will have to wait until the manufacturer of their device announces a date for Marshmallow.
Did the Google event live up to your expectations? Between the new hardware and the updates to things like Google Play Music, there are plenty of things to last us another year. The only issue we have is that we have to wait another year for more.