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Google Updates: What we know about Google’s 2018 Pixel hardware

THIS WEEK in Google Updates, we’ll take a quick look beyond this week’s Google I/O announcements and look at any other business that has been left outstanding. After all, we had a lot of speculation before the show and not a lot of answers.

In fairness, we all know that I/O is mostly about software, and moreover these days about AI, but there were so many rumours floating about around hardware that we started to get our hopes up.

So here’s what we do know, or at least, we think we do, on the hardware side. If you want to recap I/O announcements, they’re all here along with the rest of the Google news this week.

Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL made by HTC coming this fall.

Pixel Earbuds 2 also due this fall. Hopefully, they work now. This week you got the ability to decide which apps gave you in-ear notifications and which stayed silent.

Chromecast is overdue a refresh. It may be the Chromecast 3, it may be the Chromecast 2 with Bluetooth (both have been captured at FCC stage) or it could be a Pixel Player to replace the Nexus Player. Or, of course, it could be a combination of any of them. Or all three.

Wear OS has shown us that Google isn’t giving up on watches just yet. No one released any new Android-powered watches at MWC this year. But it looks like a Pixel-branded smartwatch is incoming. In fact, three of them are registered with the FCC. They all have code names after sea creatures. Imagine the irony if any of them aren’t waterproof.

Assistant devices with screens were inevitable after Amazon released the Echo Show and Echo Spot. Several companies are launching them this summer (though if you have a Chromecast, you can use that as your screen as Android can do everything for you including turn the telly on). But we’d also bet on there being a Pixel Assistant.

The one area of hardware that we’ve not heard much about is a successor to the Pixelbook. It appears to have a longer tail than other devices in the Google canon and we’d suspect that it’ll be looking to keep going for another year while it updates with new capabilities. Linux runtime is imminent. Windows dual-boot is rumoured.

And on that bombshell, we’ll take our leave for now. Normal service with news and free apps is back next week. µ

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