It’s finally here: Google’s eponymous Made by Google event kicks off at 11 a.m. Eastern (8 a.m. Pacific) this morning at an intimate venue in New York City. It marks the first time the Mountain View company’s hosting an unveiling of this scale outside of the Bay Area, and it looks to have a few surprises in store for the Big Apple — or few surprises, as the case may be.
So what do we expect to see? Well, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL — two new flagships to replace the aging Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL in Google’s smartphone lineup — are a virtual certainty, given the volume of leaks and early hands-on reviews. If the rumors are true, they’ll have upgraded processors and dual cameras and ship with an accessory — the Pixel Stand — that will essentially transform them into a miniature Smart Display with the Google Assistant (think Show Mode on the Amazon Fire HD 8 and HD 10).
As for what else might be on hand, Google’s first smart display — the Google Home Hub — will likely make an appearance. Press renders and a user manual prematurely published last month show a Google Assistant-equipped speaker with a tablet-like screen. Barring any surprises, we’re expecting something akin to the Lenovo Smart Display we reviewed this summer.
Also on tap (possibly): the Pixel Slate, Google’s first Chrome OS tablet. It reportedly has a fingerprint sensor that takes advantage of Chrome OS’ new biometric authentication framework and a ported version of the Google Camera app for Android that retains its bokeh-generating portrait mode. It’s said to be shipping with a number of keyboard accessories, including one from Brydge.
Those are the expected headliners, but they could be just the tip of the iceberg.
We’ve seen signs of an updated Chromecast with improved Wi-Fi connectivity and Bluetooth, a Pixelbook (Google’s Chrome OS laptop) with refreshed internals, and a Smart TV Kit that bundles together a Google Home Mini and a Chromecast. But who knows — today might bring updated Google Wi-Fi hardware, a new version of Google’s AI-infused Clips camera, an updated Daydream virtual reality headset, and Google’s answer to Amazon’s recently revamped Echo speaker lineup. (Google Home Sub, anyone?)
No matter which gadgets make their debut, expect an action-packed morning — and stay tuned to VentureBeat. We’re in attendance, and we’ll be covering the news live as it happens.
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