Developer Highlights From the Google Pixel Event

October 5, 2016 - 2 minutes read

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Yesterday’s Pixel event was a big deal for Android app developers and Google app users, giving a glimpse of the upcoming hardware coming out over the next year as well as a strong indication of the direction Google is headed as a company.

Here are a few of the biggest news items that surfaced during the livestream from Pixel:

Google Pixel Phone

By far the most exciting part of the presentation was Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones. Overall, the phones take the concepts behind the Nexus line — namely deep integration with the Google assistant — and take it to the next level with a specialized version of the Google Android OS.

The device is also designed to look more “iPhone-like,” drawing mixed reviews from Android enthusiasts. The smaller size of the Pixel is likely to appeal to consumers, as mainstream users often reject the “phablet” status of both the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P.

The Pixel will also be designed to integrate directly with another piece of compelling hardware unveiled during the stream: the Daydream View Headset.

Daydream View Headset

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Daydream could well be the VR platform Los Angeles app developers have been waiting for: a soft, affordable (retailing at $79 per unit), and designed for with semi-practical applications like streetview and video streaming in mind.

Google Wifi

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The state of home WiFi is a mess. Google’s ultra-minimal router, Google WiFi, is a self-managing system that optimizes your connection strength by using a three-pack of coordinated devices to follow your devices wherever they go within the network.

Google home

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Google home, shipping in November, is great news for IoT app developers and users interested in an Amazon Echo lookalike that ties into the Google product suite (and at a nice pricepoint to boot).

The big picture: taking on Apple

The big takeaway the Pixel event offered for mobile app developers was this: Google is quickly becoming a hardware suite that will rival Apple in the battle for mainstream user loyalty. This is good news for app developers and mobile users alike, offering more choice and opportunities in a two-OS ecosystem.

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