Wednesday, 10 October 2018 09:29

MUST-SEE VIDEOS: Google's new Pixel 3, Home Hub, Pixel Slate tablet and more Featured


Google launched its new Pixel 3 smartphones and a new Google Home Hub with screen that is coming to Australia, but the new 12.3-inch Pixel Slate tablet with Chrome OS has no local on-sale date yet.

Although many in the world are worried about Google's stance on privacy, with the company to shut down its Google+ social network over the next 10 months after suffering a data breach months ago - and keeping quiet about it - there is nevertheless always excitement and anticipation over Google's newest hardware devices and software features.

The last two generations of flagship Pixel smartphones may well have only sold on a global basis in the single digit millions, a far cry from the hundreds of millions that Apple sells, and the tens of millions that Samsung sells of its flagship Galaxy S and Note devices, but clearly, the company hopes 2018 and into 2019 will be dramatically different.

After all, Google does have incredible software, even if it does come right up to the creepy line at times without crossing it, as Google Chairman Eric Schmidt once proudly boasted, and with its latest devices, you are definitely seeing some examples of stunning software capabilities.

One is the new call screening feature, which lets Google answer your phone calls for you to find out who is calling, and displaying what it is saying and what the caller is saying on the screen.

It's designed so you'll never need to speak to a call centre person again, and if it works as advertised... wow! What an incredible feature!

Look, whether you like Google or not, and there are many things to worry about when it comes to Google, the company has the world's most widely used mobile operating system, the best search engine, the best email, incredible AI technologies and plenty more.

Watching Google's keynote is a must-see event, because even if you're not a fan, you still need to know what they're doing and capable of.

If you are a fan, then Google has never been better, and the brain of future humanoid robots is visible in all Google is doing.

It's a shame there's no visibility yet on when Google will launch its Pixel Slate tablet in Australia, but presumably it will come, and there's nothing stopping anyone from simply using one of those services that delivers products to US addresses and then ships them over to Australia.

Here's Google's all-encompassing blog post on its new range for 2018, with further blog post entries on the Pixel 3 and 3 XL here, the Pixel Slate here and the Google Home Hub here.

The Australian Google Store is here

Official 2018 Made by Google Event Recap Video:

First up is the 10 things Google wants you to know about its new Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones, including pricing, after which is a whole series of Made by Google 2018 videos, including the full keynote and more, although as you've seen, the re-cap video is above. .

After that is the 10 things Google wants you to know about its Home Hub with screen.

So, let's start with the 10 things Google wants you to know about the Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphpnes.

They are available for pre-order from October 10, and available from November 1 at Optus, Telstra, Vodafone, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and the Google Store.

Pixel 3 RRP starts at A$1199, Pixel 3 XL RRP starts at A$1349 and the Pixel Stand RRP is A$119.

1. Brilliant screen and beautiful design.

  • Pixel’s iconic two-tone design is refined with a soft-touch glass back that feels great in your hand.
  • Super-fast fingerprint sensor unlocks your phone before you see the screen.
  • Two sizes and three colors: 5.5” and 6.3”, both in Clearly White, Just Black and Not Pink.
  • Same features in both sizes so you can choose the one that suits you.
  • The best entertainment experience, Pixel 3 is a YouTube Signature device with HDR playback.

2. Search more of what you see with Google Lens.

  • Google Lens lets you search what you see, get stuff done faster, and interact with the world around you.
  • Exclusive to Pixel 3, in-camera Lens suggestions work in real-time on URLs, emails, phone numbers, addresses, and QR codes.
  • For the full Lens experience, just long press in the camera, then do things like identify plants and animals, copy text, and look up clothes and furniture that catch your eye.

3. The perfect photo on the first try.

  • Pixel 3’s AI powered smartphone camera gets even better with all new features to get the best shot on the first try. Get up to 184% more of what you love in your selfies with Group Selfies, no selfie stick required.
  • Get smiles, not blinks with Top Shot.
  • Snap with a smile with Photobooth.
  • Hold on to every great photo and video with unlimited online storage on Google Photos.
  • Night Sight takes bright, detailed and colourful shots in the dark, whether it’s around the campfire, a moonlit forest, or a selfie after you close out the bar. [coming soon]

4. An Assistant that does more means you can do more.

  • Your Google Assistant is always finding new ways to look out for you
  • When on the go, get a snapshot of your day from your Google Assistant with details about your calendar, traffic, weather. You’ll even get reminders about important events.
  • From helping you find flights and hotels to finding things to do and eat in new cities, your Google Assistant takes the travail out of travel. 

5. Create and play with Playground.

  • Playground helps you create and play with the world around you, using augmented reality.
  • Your photos and videos come to life with your favourite superheroes, stickers, and fun captions.
  • Playmoji characters react to each other and to you, including your facial expressions.
  • They interact with you in selfie mode too.
  • Playground understands your world, making smart suggestions for characters and captions to help you express yourself in the moment and bring your story to life.
  • New Playmoji packs coming soon include characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and everyday fun like Sports, Weather, Pets, and Signs.

6. Focus on the things that matter to you.

  • Pixel 3 introduces Digital Wellbeing, a suite of tools to help you understand how you use your phone.
  • Just flip your phone face down to turn on Do Not Disturb with the new Shhh gesture.
  • The Digital Wellbeing Dashboard shows you how much time you spend on different apps.
  • Set timers for how much time you want to spend on an app with App Timers.
  • Turn on Wind Down mode to turn your phone screen to grayscale and turn on Do Not Disturb.

7. A battery that helps itself last longer.

  • Pixel 3 comes with a battery that charges fast and lasts all day.
  • Pixel 3 charges super fast out of the box—just 15 minutes gives you up to 7 hours of go.3
    Super-charged with AI, Adaptive battery keeps you going longer by prioritising power only for apps and services you care about.
  • Pixel 3 can also be charged wirelessly with the Qi universal standard (and fast with Pixel Stand - sold separately).

8. Power up and power down with the Google Assistant.

  • The new Pixel Stand (sold separately) gives your Pixel 3 a fast, wireless charge while keeping it engaged and helpful.
  • Your Google Assistant is accessible by voice or shortcuts that appear on screen when it’s charging.
  • The Sunrise Alarm eases you awake by slowly brightening the screen with warm sunrise colours just before the alarm goes off.
  • Pixel Stand turns your Pixel 3 into a digital frame displaying your favourite albums from Google Photos while it charges.

9. Keep your data safe and secure.

  • Use your Pixel 3 with complete confidence that your data will remain safe and secure
  • Titan M is a custom-made, built-in security chip that protects your most sensitive on-device data by securing your lock screen and strengthened disk encryption
  • Titan M protects the integrity of the operating system and enables apps to better protect your important transactions.

10. Friends of the Pixel family.

  • Get compatible Pixel 3 accessories from Google or choose from a range of partner products.
  • Pixel USB-C earbuds give you crystal clear sound, quick access to your Google Assistant and let you hear your notifications.
  • Add some colour with Pixel 3 fabric cases or customise your own My Case with your own image.
  • Wide array of cases, chargers, earphones and other accessories from brands including Bellroy, CaseMate, dbrand, Incipio, Ninety7, Speck, Tech21 & Zagg.

Here's Google's YouTube channel with plenty more videos!

Made by Google 2018 - full two hour keynote:

Meet Google Pixel 3:

Meet Google Pixel Stand:

Meet Google Pixel Slate:

Get to know Google Pixel 3 and Pixel Stand:

Get to know Google Home Hub:

Get to know Google Pixel Slate: 

A few new things made by Google:

Ivy Ross + Hardware Design video:

10 Things to Know About Google Home Hub Smart display

Home Hub is available for pre-order in Australia from October 10 and on sale from October 23 at JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Optus, Vodafone and The Google Store for A$219

1. Introducing Google Home Hub.

Google Home Hub brings you everything you love about Google Home–now with a screen to give you help at a glance. With the Google Assistant built-in, you can use your voice to get personalised answers, control your connected home, enjoy entertainment and more. “Hey Google, turn on the lights” or “Play Tash Sultana on YouTube Music” With home view, everyone can see and control compatible smart devices in one glance. Relive your memories with Google Photos–you can use your voice to bring up any photo, and when not in use see your best and latest memories automatically.

2. Thoughtfully designed for any room.

Hub’s design is compact, so it fits naturally on any surface, in any room–like your kitchen counter or nightstand. The 7” screen appears to be floating, with soft, rounded corners. And, with its Ambient EQ Light Sensor, Hub adjusts to match the lighting in its environment. The display is big enough to enjoy your favourite videos, give you help at a glance, all with a full-range speaker that delivers surprisingly clear sound. Available in Chalk and Charcoal across partner retailers, and also in Aqua and Sand on the Google Store.

3. Relive your memories with Google Photos.

Google Photos on Hub helps you enjoy, relive and share your memories. Live Albums from Google Photos lets you enjoy photos of people and pets you care about and skips blurry photos and duplicates. New photos will show up automatically on the device and anyone you’ve shared with will see the latest photos too - no uploading hassles. Live Albums makes Google Home Hub the perfect gift for grandparents, friends and other people who enjoy sharing in your memories. You can also enjoy specific photos whenever you like, a simple “Hey Google, show pictures from graduation” will automatically bring photos from that special day.

4. All of YouTube.

Enjoy YouTube's video catalog directly on your Home Hub. You can watch your favourite sports highlights, YouTube creators, cooking clips, and how-to videos with just your voice. Plus, play your favourite songs and music videos from YouTube Music in crystal-clear sound. You’ll see recommended YouTube videos on your home screen–personalised just for you. We're also giving eligible customers a 6 month trial of YouTube Premium, to help them enjoy YouTube and YouTube Music ad-free restrictions and terms apply).

5. Get help at a glance.

Google Home Hub brings the best of Google to your screen, thanks to the Google Assistant you’ll see your family activities with Google Calendar, view your commute from Google Maps, watch how-to videos from YouTube and more. Plus, ask any question you’d ask Google, and find visual, immersive answers on recipes, local business info, sports, weather and more. Need some assistance getting ready for a party? It’s as simple as saying “Hey Google, show me how to make balloon animals.”

6. Get hands-free help in the kitchen.

Today, the Assistant brings you millions of recipes from top names, including Woolworths, Genius Kitchen, Food Network and more. From step-by-step recipes to how-to videos, Google Home Hub is your digital sous chef that can show you simple ways to whip up great family dinners. Discover recommended recipes, follow instructions, set timers, and conversions completely hands-free. And for those moments when you’re not quite sure how to dice an onion, a simple “Hey Google, show me how to dice an onion” will pause the recipe and play a how-to video to help you get it right.

7. Peace of mind no matter where you are.

With just a tap, you’re always in control of your connected home. No matter where you are, you can use the Google Home app to monitor and manage devices easily—including compatible lights, cameras, TVs, speakers, and more. You can even customise Routines to do what you need at just the right moment. (Available on both Android and iOS.)

8. Control your connected home in one view.

Today, the Assistant is compatible with 100+ smart devices from 50+ brands in Australia. Hub helps simplify controlling all of your devices–no more switching between apps, and now everyone in the home has control. With home view, now you can see and control all of your compatible devices in one place, by touch or by voice. That’s your lights, TVs, cameras, Chromecast, smart plugs, speakers and more. “Hey Google, show me all devices.” Not sure if you turned off lights before bed? In a simple swipe and tap, control compatible devices in any room.

9. Routines.

We’re all trying to get more done, whether it’s getting to bed earlier or out the door faster. Routines on Home Hub help you streamline multiple tasks quickly with a single voice command. When you say “Hey Google, good morning”, Hub can turn on the lights to 50% (to wake up gently), blast your favourite tunes to make sure you get out of bed, play the news and start the kettle for your morning cuppa. And at the end of the day you can say “Hey Google, I’m home” to turn the lights on, and get scheduled reminders (such as wishing your Nan happy birthday). The Google Assistant allows you to create your own Routines or pick from commonly used ones already set up in the app.

10. Better together.

Google Home Hub is designed to work seamlessly with Made by Google devices. For instance, Chromecast gives you access to content from 1000+ of compatible apps in Australia, letting you easily enjoy entertainment on your big screen. Using the Google Home app, you can create a group with all your Google Home devices, that means Hub, Home, Mini and Max for a multi-room entertainment experience. It’s easy to set up, and in no time you’ll hear your favourite songs from YouTube Music, Spotify, and Deezer across your Google Home Hub and Google Home speakers.

Hub is available for pre-order in Australia from October 10 and on sale from October 23 at JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Optus, Vodafone and The Google Store.

Check out more features and commands here.

  • Google Home Hub requires wi-fi and a compatible device.
  • Music and video content may require a subscription.
  • Eligible customers activating Hub before December 31, 2018 can also get a six month trial of YouTube Premium on us, to enjoy not just YouTube Music, but all of YouTube ad-free (restrictions and terms apply).
  • Controlling certain devices and features in your home requires a compatible smart device.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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