Made by Google Event Coverage

Please be advised that this post will be updated throughout the day.

Today is a big day in the Google-centric corner of the computer world. Today is the day the Made by Google hardware event will be occurring. The announcement will be occurring online via streaming. Like most people I will not be traveling to San Francisco, California to attend the event in person. My bag of Nearly Naked popcorn from Costco is ready to go. Overall the event should be pretty interesting. Over the last few years my participation in the Google ecosystem has increased. My primary daily use devices are a Motorola Nexus 6 and an HTC Nexus 9 tablet. Neither of those devices replaced my primary desktop computer.  

  • We are about 15 minutes out from the 9:00 AM pacific time start of the event. The stream only shows, “The live stream will begin shortly.” The stream appears to have a dedicated Twitter handle @madebygoogle and a defined hashtag #madebygoogle.
  • I’m getting a cup of coffee, a bottle of water, and my popcorn ready.
  • Silicon Valley introduction to the live stream. It was a little off beat and maybe 30 seconds longer than it should have been, but overall it was an unexpected way to start the keynote.
  • Sundar Pichai opened the keynote talking about a seminal moment in computing. It looks like 182,257 people are watching the keynote live right now via YouTube. Sundar was talking about the shift form a mobile driven experience to an AI driven experience.
  • The opening is focusing on the Google assistant. The vision is to have a Google for every individual user. This message was hard to communicate and was quickly handed off to a video of the Google assistant. Sudar notes that Google has been working on the problem for 18 years with over 70 billion (or was it 17 billion) facts in the knowledge graph.
  • Sundar went into a long example about image capturing that included bears and trains. Went into an example of language translation from Chinese. We are almost 15 minutes in and nothing hardware related has really happened during the keynote. We are up to 239,604 people watching on YouTube.
  • Sundar says that today is about getting the Google assistant in to the hands of more users. The vision for the Google assistant is for it to be universal.
  • Rick Osterloh just took the stage to talk about building hardware. Rick took a decade late shot at Apple by saying people want more than 1,000 songs in their pocket.
  • Rick just announced the phone hardware #madebygoogle. The phone is called the Pixel “Phone by Google”. Rick is noting that Google personal helped design the entire phone. Rick joked about camera bumps. Nobody in the audience even reacted to the joke.
  • Google is announcing 5 things for the Pixel phone: Google Assistant, Photography, Storage, Communications, and Virtual Reality.
  • The new Google launcher looks decent enough. The demo was a little awkward. Some of the folks toward the back of the room did applaud.
  • DXOMARK phone rating of 89 for the Pixel phone. That was noted as the best score for a smartphone.That would be impressive if 3 other phones had not been rated with an 88 score.
  • Pixel owners get free storage for photos and video at the original resolution.
  • Sabrina took the stage to talk about Google Duo. The application has been on the Google store for awhile. Talked about 7 hours of charge in 15 minutes of charging. talked about automatic updates and how to update in the background without any large progress bar watching. The update happens in the background and just needs a restart.
  • Google apparently built a new quick switch adapter for Apple phones that will be in every box.
  • The Pixel phones will be available to preorder today.
  • The VR headset will be made out of fabrics to get the design just right. It should be lightweight (30% less weight) compared to other devices. The headset as an auto-alignment feature and a remote control.
  • The VR demo was interesting, but not inspired. The partnership with the Fantastic Beasts seemed rushed. Over 50 partners will be bringing applications and games to the platform by the end of the year. The broadcast is up to 286,244 people watching. Daydream View and the control go on sale in November 2016 for $79.
  • Mario Queiroz just took the stage to talk about hardware in the home.
  • Google WiFi was just announced to create a module mesh in the home. The hardware is visually streamlined to avoid standing out in the home. Mario talked about network assist. Google WiFi can manage the WiFi of specific phones to limit access at dinner. Google WiFi will go on sale for $129 for one and $299 for 3 units. It will ship in early December 2016.
  • Talked about Chromecast generation 2 and Chromecast audio. 30 million Chromecast devices have been sold to date. The Chromecast Ultra was announced. Google Play movies will role out 4K content in November 2016.
  • Mario just started talking about Google Home. Talked about how machine learning helps filter and separate speech form noise.
  • Rishi Chandra just took the stage to talk about Google Home in action. Demo stations were setup at the San Francisco site.
  • The number of people watching has started dropping. Only 263,198 people are watching the live feed on YouTube.
  • Google Home will go on sale for $129. It will ship on November 4, 2016.
  • Ok. I’m done for now.

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