Android Police

Exclusives

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Google Home will work with SmartThings out of the box

Google's new smart home hub, Google Home, will work with the Samsung-owned SmartThings platform out of the box, according to a source familiar with the companies' plans. We trust the quality of this information implicitly, so consider this rumor a '10' on the confidence scale, barring some sort of delay that leads to Google postponing the announcement.

Google Home would probably be near-dead on arrival without compatibility for some common smart home technology, and aside from Nest (for which we assume Home compatibility is a given), SmartThings is one of the most obvious choices. SmartThings hub devices work with a wide variety of smart home products, and making Google Home compatible with this platform will ensure that SmartThings users have another, non-Echo option for a smart home assistant and speaker device.

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Exclusive: Google is planning a 'Pixel 3' laptop running the 'Andromeda' OS for release in Q3 2017

Two independent and reliable sources have confirmed to us that Google is planning a new Pixel laptop to be released in Q3 2017. The project, known internally as 'Bison' and by the informal nickname 'Pixel 3,' will likely be the first brand-new device to showcase Google's combined Android / Chrome OS 'Andromeda' operating system in a laptop form factor. Bison, then, would be the culmination of years of work by Google's Pixel team and Google's Android and Chrome OS teams.

We are extremely confident Google plans for the device to run Andromeda. We are also confident that Andromeda is a completely distinct effort from Google's current campaign to bring Android apps to Chromebooks, and that Bison would not be marketed as a Chromebook.

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Exclusive: Google Home will cost $129, Chromecast Ultra will cost $69

Speaking to Android Police, two sources claim that Google will announce its Google Home and the 4K 'Chromecast Ultra' devices will be priced at $129 and $69, respectively, at its October 4th event.

Google Home was announced at Google I/O in May. Our sources also confirmed that the personalized base covers Google showed at I/O will be a feature of the final device. The $129 price point for Google Home matches that of the previously-unrumored Google Wifi, a router that will allegedly be able to create a single, large wireless network using multiple access points. $129 also undercuts Amazon's Echo by a full $40, and though it matches the price of the portable Amazon Tap, it's clear Google has Amazon's flagship smart home product in its sights with Home.

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Exclusive: Google will introduce Google Wifi, a $129 home Wi-Fi router, on October 4th

OnHub-schmonhub: two sources are now telling us that Google will introduce an own-brand Wi-Fi router called Google Wifi, and that the device will cost $129. A source that has proved reliable in the past has told us that the device will be launched alongside Google's Pixel phones, Google Home, and the 4K 'Chromecast Ultra' on October 4th.

That source additionally claims that Google will advertise the router as having "smart" features - probably similar to OnHub in some respects - and that Google will claim it provides enhanced range over typical Wi-Fi routers (a claim we see basically every router make, to be fair).

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Google's Pixel phones will be IP53 rated, meaning no dunking your Pixel or hosing it down

Hopes of highly water-resistant Pixel phones have, according to a reliable source we've trusted in the past, been dashed. Google's new handsets will be advertised as having IP53 dust and water resistance, which essentially amounts to almost no enhanced water resistance at all. For reference, the HTC 10 also has this rating, and is not marketed as being water-resistant.

The "3" in IP53 means a device will not experience damaging water ingress when upright at an angle not to exceed 60 degrees from vertical while being sprayed by relatively low-pressure (somewhere between 7-20PSI or 50 to 150kPa) water. This probably means very little to you phrased this way, but IPX3 is essentially saying the device will not experience water ingress (i.e., water won't get inside) when held at a relatively upward angle in your hand during use in very heavy rain or when lightly splashed.

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Exclusive: Google may finally be giving Android a reboot button on the upcoming Pixel phones

You asked for it. You've asked for years. And while manufacturers like Samsung and LG have long obliged us, Google has refused. With the coming of the Pixel phones, we're starting over - literally. Google may finally, thankfully, mercifully be adding a reboot button to the power menu on its new smartphones, which will run Android 7.1 out of the box. Praise be unto whoever achieved this (Artem will be here shortly to claim it was him which, frankly, it very possibly was - I was there when he pleaded for it at I/O).

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Google will announce Pixel phones, 4K Chromecast, Google Home, Daydream VR viewer on October 4th

According to a reliable source, Google plans to hold a major event focusing on hardware October 4th. It will use the event to announce its new Pixel-branded smartphones Pixel and Pixel XL, a 4K Chromecast, fully detail Google Home, and reveal the company's in-house design for a Daydream VR viewer device (Google previously confirmed this was happening). Here is what we know.

  • The 4K Chromecast will do 4K and be called either the Chromecast Plus or Chromecast Ultra (makes sense - ultra HD). We aren't sure which.
  • The Daydream device may be called Daydream View.

Google was allegedly planning to announce a 4K version of the Chromecast last year, but seems to have scuttled the launch for some reason.

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Exclusive: Google's new phones will be called the Pixel and Pixel XL

Speaking to two independent sources, we now strongly believe that Google's formerly-maybe-Nexus-phones, Marlin and Sailfish, will be marketed as the Pixel and the Pixel XL. We do not have pricing information. At this time, it is unknown to us when Google decided to shift its in-house smartphone brand from Nexus to Pixel or why (though speculation will likely run wild).

The Pixel will be the 5" Sailfish device, while Pixel XL will be the 5.5" Marlin. As to our confidence in this information: given that our two sources are independent, and the fact that one in particular has been exceptionally reliable in the past, we feel comfortable saying you can take this to the bank.

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Google Assistant can answer your voice messages in Allo

We've covered a lot of what Google Allo can do as a messaging application, but we haven't yet scratched the surface of one of its most interesting features: Assistant. It lives as a standalone chat, but also as a bot ready to answer any question inside your other conversations (not the Incognito ones though, as we've said before) by just mentioning @google.

Since Assistant is an evolution of Google Now / OK Google commands, and since Allo can send voice messages, there's a nifty feature you can easily deduce from the combination of the two: Assistant will interpret your voice messages in Allo. It's as cool as you might guess.

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Google Allo doesn't seem to have a backup or cloud sync function (in the preview version)

I don't know what to think of this one. Of all the Allo features we've discussed so far, many are cool, some are interesting, and few are controversial. But the lack of a cloud save or backup/restore function? I am not on board with that, and I doubt anyone can justify it. But here goes.

In the preview test version of Allo that we've been getting our information from, the app seems to be very forgetful with all of your history. Whether you uninstall the app and reinstall it on the same phone, perform a device restore and have to install it again, move your SIM card to a new phone and need to authenticate Allo there, almost nothing sticks or carries around.

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