10 Things to Look for at Google's Oct. 4 Product Briefing

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2016-09-27
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    10 Things to Look for at Google's Oct. 4 Product Briefing
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    10 Things to Look for at Google's Oct. 4 Product Briefing

    Rumors have been swirling as Google's Oct. 4 product briefing nears. Here's a look at the products the search giant is expected to introduce at the event.
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    Expect to Hear Android Adoption Talk
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    Expect to Hear Android Adoption Talk

    Apple has talked about the iPhone's success, and now it's Google's turn to tout Android smartphones. Just as it has in previous fall press events, look for Google to announce how many devices are currently running Android, whether it will do anything to address operating system fragmentation and how Android device usage compares to that of its competitors.
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    Developers Will Get Some Love
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    Developers Will Get Some Love

    Developers always seem to get some attention at Google's press events. Regardless of what Google announces, expect the company to talk about ways for developers to make great apps for mobile, desktop and smart home products, like Google Home. Software isn't as exciting as hardware, but it's critical to making Google's products a success. Google knows that and will talk up its investment in developers at the show.
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    There Will Be Lots of Talk About Nougat
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    There Will Be Lots of Talk About Nougat

    Google's new mobile hardware will almost undoubtedly run on the company's upcoming Android operating system Nougat. While Google has talked in some detail about Nougat, expect the company to go even further at its Oct. 4 event and talk about its many features. To address fragmentation concerns, Google might also announce which popular Android-based smartphones will be getting Nougat in the coming weeks—something users have been anticipating for quite some time.
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    Will Nexus Give Way to Pixel?
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    Will Nexus Give Way to Pixel?

    Several reports have surfaced in recent weeks saying Google is dropping the Nexus brand. In its place, Google will use Pixel, the same brand it has used on other devices it sells. Despite the name change, Pixel will be just like the Nexus, offering two device sizes to customers and delivering a standard by which other Android devices are judged. As of this writing, Google is believed to have plans to unveil a 5-inch device known as Pixel and a 5.5-inch option known as Pixel XL. Like their Nexus predecessors, both Pixels are being manufactured by third-party hardware makers, according to reports.
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    Google Hasn't Turned Its Back on Tablets
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    Google Hasn't Turned Its Back on Tablets

    The tablet market might be in freefall, but Google isn't ready to give it up. In fact, several rumors and leaked photos suggest Google could launch new tablets at its press event. While Google hasn't hinted at what future tablets might offer, serial leaker Evan Blass published a purportedly leaked photo showing a 7-inch tablet built by Huawei. It's believed the device will carry the same Pixel branding.
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    Check Out Google Home
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    Check Out Google Home

    Google Home is guaranteed to make a showing at Google's next event. The device, which was unveiled at Google I/O in May, is a smart home product that's designed to compete with Amazon's Echo. Like Echo, the hardware works with voice commands and can double as a speaker. Google has yet to announce pricing and availability, but those details should emerge on Oct. 4.
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    Look for New OnHub Wireless Router Options
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    Look for New OnHub Wireless Router Options

    Google's OnHub wireless routers have quietly joined the ranks of some of the most sought-after (and high-quality) routers on the market. However, since it's been about a year since the first OnHub router launched, it would make sense for Google to unveil new options at its Oct. 4 event. The new OnHubs will likely come with better throughput and range, and perhaps even some nice designs that allow it to remain on desks and not tucked away somewhere.
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    Third-Party Chromebooks Still Matter
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    Third-Party Chromebooks Still Matter

    Google's Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular in the education and enterprise markets. Given that, Google will more than likely announce new Chromebooks at its event. Expect the devices to come with improved processors, a lightweight design and a similarly simple software experience.
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    All-New Chromecast Hardware
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    All-New Chromecast Hardware

    Google's Chromecast hardware is still holding on in the entertainment market, and according to several reports, the company will unveil a new device known as the Chromecast Ultra. The simple (and cheap) hardware will support 4K video streaming and a wide range of services, including Google's own Play marketplace. Reports say the Chromecast Ultra will cost $69.
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    Will Google Talk About Andromeda?
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    Will Google Talk About Andromeda?

    This one might be a longshot, but there have been several rumors over the last few months that Google is looking at ways to combine its Android and Chrome OS operating systems into one code-named Andromeda. It's unknown when (or if) the operating system will launch, but it's expected to be a hybrid of Android and Chrome OS and work across smartphones, tablets and computers, similar to the way Windows 10 can work across platforms.
 

Google will hold a media briefing Oct. 4 in San Francisco that is its answer to Apple's big annual mobile device introductions. While Google hasn't said much about its plans, a steady stream of rumors is circulating suggesting it could be a big day of product introductions for the search giant. Google is expected to drop its long-standing Nexus mobile device branding in favor of the Pixel and introduce new smartphone models under that banner, according to the reports. The company will also likely share more details on Google Home, which is an alternative to Amazon's Echo smart speaker. In addition, look for Google to provide more details about Android Nougat and announce at least one new OnHub wireless router. There's even talk of Google combining its two operating systems—Android and Chrome OS—into a hybrid code-named Andromeda. Of course, Google won't confirm exactly what it will talk about, but this slide show covers all the rumors surrounding its Oct. 4 event and explains why it could be a banner year for Google product introductions.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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