There were a ton of exciting hardware and software announcements at this year’s Google I/O, and we want to know which one excites you the most in this week’s reader poll!
On the hardware side of things, there certainly wasn’t a let down. Starting at $399, the affordable Pixel 3a and 3a XL are now official, and come with the signature photographic capabilities the Pixel line is famous for. You’ll sacrifice wireless charging and waterproofing, but the value is still unbelievable for these devices. It’s hard to follow an act like that on stage, but the Nest Hub Max is also an interesting proposition. The Google Home range is now rebranded with Google Nest, and the $229 Nest Hub Max will bring the best of Google and Nest together by acting as a smart display, security camera, and loudspeaker all in one.
The big news on the software side is that the third Android Q beta is now available for select smartphones, and has new features like Focus Mode, Wind Down mode, the Dark Theme for all standard Android apps, Smart Reply for third-party messengers, and linked accounts for parents and kids. With Project Mainline and Android Q, Google will start releasing software updates through the Play Store in so-called modules which apply only to certain aspects of a device, thus bypassing the primary source of update wait time: manufacturers.
There were also some exciting updates announced at I/O. Google Lens is going to get an update which will allow it to be extra helpful in a restaurant, for example: when pointed at a menu, it can then find images of the menu item you’re interested in from Google Maps to show you what it looks like before you decide what to eat. As part of a broader effort to track its users somewhat less, Google Maps is getting an incognito mode, and it’s about time! Finally, Duplex, the AI that was introduced last year as a thing that could place human-sounding calls on your behalf, will now be able to book car rentals and movie tickets by auto-filling forms on the web, limiting the creepy factor compared to last I/O.
Tell us which option you chose and why in the comments below! Your comment could be featured in a future poll results article!