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TECH THURSDAY: Google turns a new page in tech history with Pixel, AI products


Google announced its lineup of five new consumer products On Oct. 4, and the drop is going to change the personal electronics market in a big way.

The search engine giant used their conference earlier this month to lay out guidelines for the next phase of the technology war. The main concept Google plans to push is “machine learning” in their Artificial Intelligence assistant. This means Google’s assistant built into Android platforms can learn from what we say, and over time, can improve on its answers as more questions are asked.

That vision for intuitive AI is Pixel. Their flagship smartphone claims to be as user friendly and simple as it is smart. The new phone has a vibrant uni-body aluminum chassis, and the perceptive Android 7.0 Nougat software. It was created to compete directly with iPhone products.

I’ve been ambivalent about Android product performance for some time, especially when it comes to competing with the iPhone. The 2016 Google announcement has finally changed my mind.

Android and IOS now share a lot of similarities, even while retaining the differences that split consumer loyalties. One still allows for better customization, while another sticks to sleek and simple application.

If you put an Android 7.0 device in front of an iPhone user, you’d be surprised at how fast they can adapt to the new software platform. Nougat designers made great strides to make it instinctive, and I think they’ve done an excellent job here.

Give it a shot the next time you’re in for a phone at Verizon, the first exclusive provider of the Google Pixel.

The partnership with Verizon is Google’s first venture with a partner company for distribution. Google notoriously has only sold its hardware on its website. Now, its products will sit in plain public view next to Apple’s. This is a sign that Google has finally developed into a company investing in both hardware and software.

By combining the two under an-AI driven platform, Google has positioned itself as a potential tech leader and hardware competitor with Apple.

Google’s four other new products are also taking on tech giants like Amazon and Samsung. Google Home, a Bluetooth smart speaker, is a viable challenger to the Amazon Echo with a cheaper price tag.

The Google Daydream VR headset offers a noticeably comfortable virtual reality experience. It stands in stark contrast to Samsung’s ski-goggle Galaxy VR headset. Chromecast Ultra was announced as well, allowing new age 4K video streaming and at a lower price than Apple TV or Roku.

It’s last revelation was the announcement of three modular WiFi routers. These small cylinders can be placed throughout a house discreetly, while providing adequate WiFi coverage for any shaped house.

With each of these products, Google is looking to place itself in your home and improve your life with the help of AI. It’s a brilliant and ambitious undertaking. Apple’s Siri can’t answer all of our questions, but it seems that Google’s analog can.