Google has presented its commitment as a platform not only for software, but also for hardware. The time has come for the ‘beast’ to wake up, and the question now is whether the rest of the manufacturers are ready for it.
Until now, Google has not considered manufacturers using its platform as real competitors; not even when it launched its first smartphones, the Nexus, which were more prototypes demonstrating the possibilities of Android than actual products. Google’s intention was never to take market share to companies like Samsung, HTC or Xiaomi, but to set a benchmark of what was possible, making the market grow instead of retaining customers.
It is clear that Google’s philosophy has changed, starting with the Pixel 6, the company’s first high-end phones and the first to steal potential buyers from the Samsung Galaxy S22, the Xiaomi 12 and other similar devices. And now the company has taken advantage of Google I/O, the biggest event it celebrates every year, to show that it is serious.
Normally, Google I/O focuses on presenting new software and services, because those have traditionally been Google’s strengths, where it has really focused; although it has released a lot of hardware in the past, it only existed to power the software. By contrast, Google I/O saw little new software, and a big role in hardware.
Google has not only announced new devices, but has also dared to confirm rumors that had been circulating on the net for weeks; it’s all one declaration of intenta message to the industry that Google is tired of watching the rest play, and wants to join the party.
The mainstay of Google’s platform follows the Pixel range of phones, with the Pixel 6a as a new entry point, using the same Google-designed Tensor processor as the more expensive models. In addition, in the second half of the year the new Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro will arrive, which will renew their commitment to the ‘premium’ sector with a new metallic finish. But that will only be the beginning.
The new Pixel Watch wants to fulfill the same role that the Apple Watch had in its day, expanding the Google platform to our wrist; Thanks to the new Wear OS and the new processor we will be able to use complete apps, such as Google Maps, without having to carry the mobile with us.
It is clear that Google wants to follow in Apple’s footsteps, as the presentation of the new Pixel Buds Pro, which aspire to be the ‘Google AirPods Pro’. They are noise-canceling headphones, and they will release the spatial audio technology that will arrive with Android 13; exactly the same as the AirPods Pro and iOS. Noise cancellation promises to be superior, with a “seal of silence” thanks to the use of a six-core chip capable of adapting the sound to the environment in which we find ourselves, in addition to automatically varying the volume. They will also have multipoint connectivity , to pass between devices, in addition to wireless recharging. They will cost 199 dollars, although their launch in Spain has not yet been confirmed.
That we can switch headphones between devices assumes that there is more than one device, right? Indeed, Google also presented its second mobile product, a tablet, although in this case it was a little more careful with the details.
Not much is known about the Google Pixel Tablet, beyond the few images in which it appears and that show a single camera in the rear and a conventional front with a screen with relatively thick edges. Therefore, it does not seem to be a high-end model, and it is possible that Google will present it as a companion to Pixel mobiles.
Although it will probably be a cheap tablet, Google claims that using the Tensor processor that it has developed internally, like the Pixels; However, it has not clarified what generation it will be, taking into account that the Pixel 7 will already use the second Tensor generation.
It should also be borne in mind that the launch of the tablet is still a long way off, which is not expected until 2023; a long time, and that makes us wonder if the design shown will be the final one. It also raises questions about what Google’s real intention is in introducing a product that won’t be available for another year, especially one that doesn’t seem cutting-edge. The answer is obvious: it’s a public declaration that Google is fully into the hardware, and that we can expect more in the future.