WELCOME TO the weekly round-up of Google News.
Of course, we could talk about little stories that have missed the main coverage. You can look at that here.
But what we're all dying to know is what we're going to see this Tuesday, with the annual "Made By Google" event. We will be there, of course, but let's take a few moments to speculate on exactly what we're going to see. After all, it's not like they've leaked it or anything.
Pixel 3 family
The star of the show will inevitably be the arrival of the much-left-lying-around Pixel 3 phone. Google has joined in the speculation by trailing a smaller version of the device, which would be ideal for smuggling into jail. But this is a deflection (as far as we can tell) and what we're really looking at is two handsets, just as last year, in the form of the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.
It appears that Google isn't joining the teardrop notch party (but expect a notch of some kind), nor the multiple camera party, preferring to rely on a single lens and AI. However, the souped up screens are likely to be 18:9, finally acknowledging the new ratio that almost every phone released in 2018 has.
Both models are almost certainly from HTC, after the huge investment in the company that is probably only still here because of Google.
We're also expecting a wider colour palette with a pink version (especially for the ladies, because pink is girl and equality never happened) and some reports cite an aqua version, though others say that's not true.
Other things to expect include wireless charging (hooray!) with a specific stand available and more of the features you expect from a flagship camera, with the software doing more of the work than the lens. Google Lens is expected to be constantly mining your photos for useful information as you snap too.
It looks like we'll see two successors to last years flagship Pixelbook. One is expected to be the direct replacement, whilst the other will be a whistles and bells 2-in-1 called the Pixel Slate. Both are expected to run Linux, with some rumours pointing to Windows 10 dual-booting either now or in the very near future.
There's not a lot new on the hardware side - doesn't look like we're seeing a fingerprint sensor, for example, but a machine that can handle four different OSs (if you count Windows) is a pretty good sales pitch.
We're not expecting either to be cheap - with last year's model topping out at £1000, expect much the same or maybe even a bit more. Some are predicting that the Slate will cost even more.
Given that Best Buy has already sold a couple of devices, we already know some of what to expect - on the hardware side it's evolution, not revolution, with a slightly more rounded design, dual band wifi (hooray!). There's nothing on the box to suggest 4K will be standard, so it's not surprising that most are expecting it not to happen, but it might.
In fact the only big change we're expecting is the option to buy it with a Google Home Mini in a "smart TV" package.
Whilst there's no indication that the Google Home or Google Home Mini will be changing, especially as there's a new mini colour (blue) just out, there will definitely be movement on this front.
Centre stage is likely to be given to the Google Home Hub, a version with a screen, the first from Google's Hardware stable. Unlike the JBL and Lenovo versions, it looks like this won't have a front facing camera for video calling but with its diminutive 7-inch screen, it could be a more welcome addition in more tech-resistant homes.
We're not expecting the Google Home Max to change - it's only just arrived in the UK and it'd be a kick in the teeth if it was completely passed over in certain territories.
Will there be a watch? Google says no. The changes to Wear OS (nee Android Wear) feel like a work in progress and until Google gets the platform settled, it might be the wrong time to be dipping its toe in.
Google Clips? The rest of the world is rest to experience the unnerving world of Google's automatic "capture the moment" camera. We won't expect a new one, but we might see it roll out to the rest of us. Be still our beating hearts.
And we can probably rule out Google Daydream getting a refresh. There have already been two in two years, and given that, for our money, last years was worse, we're hoping that we don't see anything new.
We've been saying for a long time that Google has it within its power to completely destroy the rest of the smart assistant market. Up to now, Assistant has been native to Chrome OS devices. If Google decides to reveal that the Chrome browser, with 65 per cent market share, is getting Assistant support too, expect some quite spectacular positioning by Amazon, Apple and Microsoft to avoid being left behind.
Let's put it this way. It's October and that Alexa/Cortana mash-up is still in the testing phase. Chrome could roll out Assistant in a single flourish. It might, it might not. But it's nice to imagine.
We'll be at Google's London satellite event this Tuesday with full coverage of everything as it's announced. Watch this space. No. Not that one. This one. μ
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