Google Photos update makes an already smart app even smarter

Home View in the Google Home Hub. Control smart devices via tap or voice

Google unveiled a smattering of new products at its recent launch event, one of which was a new Chrome OS tablet named the Pixel Slate.

The Google Pixel 3 will be available in India for Rs. 71,000 and Google Pixel 3XL for Rs. 83,000.

Preorder for the Pixel 3 is available now and should begin shipping November 1.

As only the second Chrome OS tablet to ever be released to market, the Google Pixel Slate has a somewhat unique build compared to other devices in the family or category.

Shares of Alphabet barely moved on the announcements.

The messaging at Google's hardware event takes a different approach.

Google branched into hardware three years ago so that, like Apple, it could have full control of the performance of its applications and the revenue they generate. When it's not showing you a weather forecast or playing YouTube music videos, it'll serve as a digital photo frame showing a carefully curated selection of your snaps saved in Google Photos.

Expanding geographic distribution should provide a small boost to the Pixel line-up. In the USA, for example, the Pixel 3 starts at $799, $150 up from the Pixel 2's $649 launch price. When Google first demoed Duplex on stage, in May, the technology caused significant controversy because it mimicked human speech so convincingly without telling callers that they were speaking to a bot and being recorded.

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A new artificial intelligence tool sure to generate buzz among consumers also could be helpful. Not to forget, the maximum onboard storage you get with these phones is "just" 128GB.

If we know anything about smart speakers, displays, and the like, it's that a lot of these features are likely to change or be updated in software patches down the line.

Cute. Yes, we understand that cute is hardly a word to associate with smartphones but that's the first thing that strikes you about Google's new smartphone, the Pixel 3.

"Some of the stuff they are doing with software and artificial intelligence is certainly leading edge", he said. The 3rd Gen Chromecast comes in two colors-Chalk and Charcoal-along with a new matte finish and minimal Google branding. The phones are launching in the weeks following the debuts of Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 and Apple's iPhone XS and XS Max, and ahead of the iPhone XR.

Google's positioned a pair of 2W front-firing speakers on the front of the Slate - when it's held in landscape they're positioned at either end. The switch to glass has led Google to include support for wireless charging.

Pricing starts at $799 (£739) for the Pixel 3, and $899 (£869) for the Pixel 3 XL. (The iPad Pro doesn't even have a touchpad.) Pinch-zoom and two-finger scrolling were quick and responsive.

The Google Home Hub is the other device to have figured in the NY event. In another apparent nod to privacy concerns, Google didn't put a camera on its Home Hub like Amazon and Facebook did with their respective devices to enable video calls. Home Hub is launching in the United States, the U.K. and Australia. For now, the service doesn't appear to offer the option to listen to the robot-on-robot action in question-in case, for example, you wanted to turn on a muted speakerphone while Google Call Screening did its thing.

Google has sold an estimated 7 million Pixels over the past two years, nearly imperceptible next to the 3.6 billion phones shipped during that time, according to IDC. We need more time with it in our test rooms to deliver a more definitive verdict.

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