Friday, 16 November, 2018

Google unveils new Pixel phone, adds tablet in Apple challenge

New Google Home App Google Home Hub is all about simplifying the smart home experience
Olivia Ford | 13 October, 2018, 04:45

Fresh from shutting down its social network Google+ after discovering a security vulnerability, the search giant unveiled its latest Pixel smartphones and the Google Home hub.

If you're looking for something colorful, and particularly if your home has a pastel color scheme, the Home Hub is for you. However, contrary to Jeff Bezos' smart home device, the Home Hub doesn't come with a camera.

This time around there are three different colours to choose from, there is the usual Just Black and Clearly White but a new colour called "Not Pink" which is pink but just a very toned down colour.

The smarts otherwise seem pretty evenly divided between the two Google-equipped devices, given that the JBL Link View also has a Chromecast inside for audio streaming (neither device has a video Chromecast, however). The idea is to remove what Google calls the "billboard effect" where your eyes are drawn to the brightness of the display in a dim room.

The JBL has a slightly larger screen than the Home Hub, specified as eight-inch compared to Google Home Hub's seven-incher. An AI mode can brighten shots without using flash, and there's a function which allows you to tap a moving target to ensure they remain in focus. However, it is best to stay-humble as you never know when the tied can turn. For $149, this may be a compelling purchase for those who were considering similar, but more expensive, products such as the Smart Displays from Lenovo and JBL.

The Echo Show comes with two browsers: Firefox and Amazon's Silk. The two devices both have new glass backs, unlike the previous devices' aluminium/glass-window design. Both versions use Oled (organic light-emitting diode) displays that are also found in high-end smartphones from Apple and Samsung.

Coming to the newly added features of Google Home app, it brings all smart devices at one place and will allow the users to control them simultaneously at one go. And photographers might appreciate that the device doubles as a smart picture frame and can cycle through your Google Photos albums as a screensaver. Spotify, Pandora and iHeartRadio are also supported if you have subscriptions, as is YouTube. The Pixel Stand will show you notifications, photos and the time. If you feeling like accessorising, you've got the option to splash out £189 for the Slate Keyboard and £99 for the Pixelbook pen.

Google has intensified competition in the smart display screen market, by unveiling its new "Home Hub" overnight.

He points to the cover for the camera when it is not in use, and to the fact that any data is processed locally on the device, rather than being sent off to Facebook's servers. After all, Google also decided against using the Qualcomm 624, which is a processor designed for use with home hubs, and instead opted for an Amlogic CPU.

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