AS TIME WENT on last week we started to realise that not only will we definitely see something big from Google on 4 October, but that it will be seriously significant. So this week we're going to do a bit of crystal ball gazing.
Google Allo has launched and along with it Google Assistant, the updated version of Google Now. Remember that Allo and video messaging app Duo are currently still in preview and we hope to get a bit more information about how they interact with each other, the existing Google Now service and Hangouts, which we're assured isn't for the scrap heap.
Edward Snowden has already warned the world that Allo is about as intrusive as it gets on so many levels, so it's got to be good.
Centre stage will be the new Pixel and Pixel XL handsets, successors to the venerable Nexus line. The reasons for the branding change aren't quite clear yet, but 'Pixel' was traditionally a Chromebook line until the Chromebook 'C' arrived with Android above in an adapted multi-window iteration.
So it seems quite likely that the move to Pixel for a phone brand might herald a new beginning as Chrome OS begins to be folded into Android. We've already seen the arrival of Android apps on Chrome, but that could be just the beginning.
We've been hearing talk for a while of 'Andromeda', a new operating system that combines Android apps into the Chrome OS framework, making a version of Android designed for desktop, yet fully backwards compatible with existing Chromebooks.
Could we see this launch next week? No. It's nowhere near finished, but we may get a statement of intent and maybe a cheeky demo.
Going back to Google Assistant, and we're almost certain to see the Google rival to Amazon's Echo - named Google Home - arrive on 4 October. It was previewed at Google I/O this year and will offer an "always listening" service to control a multitude of devices, Google services such as Google Music, and third-party apps through an API.
A new Chromecast, the Ultra, is also expected. The good news is that it will finally be 4K capable. The bad news is that it's expected to almost double in price.
Finally, we're expecting a router too - Google WiFi. This will be separate from the existing Fi Project, but will have a lot of the same benefits. Like Edward Snowden having a fit.
The INQ will be there on 4 October for all the news as it happens. Meanwhile, it's back to normal for Google Updates next week. µ
You can't fault them for speed
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Plus the three-for-free
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