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What to expect from Google’s big smartphone event on Oct. 4

AP Photo/Tony Avelar
What’s in store for this year’s Google event.
  • Mike Murphy
By Mike Murphy

Technology editor

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

On Oct. 4 in San Francisco, Google is holding an event where it will likely unveil a spate of new devices and give some updates on products already in the pipeline. Last year’s event yielded a bumper crop of gadgets, and it’s looking like this year won’t be any different.

Here’s a quick rundown of everything that’s likely to be announced:

New phones

Google is planning to release two new phones, called the Pixel and Pixel XL, and doing away with the “Nexus” branding that its phones have used for the last six years, according to myriad reports. The tablet that Google announced at last year’s event, and its high-end netbook, use the Pixel nomenclature, so it makes sense that Google would want to consolidate its mobile device branding under one umbrella.

The phones are expected to have powerful processors, 4 GB of memory, at least 32 GB of storage, and 12-megapixel cameras. The only difference between the two is that the XL is expected to have a larger, 5.5-inch screen, and the Pixel a 5-inch screen. Both will be running the newest version of Android’s operating system, Nougat.

Google Home news

At Google’s I/O developer conference this summer, the company unveiled a new smart-home hub to take on the likes of Amazon’s sleeper hit, the Echo. Like the Echo, users interact with Google Home using their voice, and can use it to play music, ask questions, find out about the weather, and control internet-of-things devices. There wasn’t much information on pricing or availability this summer, so expect to hear how much it’ll cost and when you’ll be able to get your hands on one.

Chromecast updates

Last year’s event saw the launch of two new Chromecast streaming devices, one to broadcast internet videos from mobile devices to TV screens, and the other to stream audio to stereo systems. According to TechCrunch, the Chromecast Ultra, a new model that can stream video in 4K quality, will be announced at this year’s event.

Other goodies

According to The Verge, there’s a chance that Google will unveil some other new hardware at this week’s event. There’s talk of a new router system (separate from Google’s other router system). It might be similar to the ones that companies like Eero have been releasing, where one router or a group of routers can be deployed to blanket a home completely in wifi.

There are also rumors of a possible new operating system or computing platform that combines aspects of Android, its mobile operating system, and Chrome, the OS used on its netbooks.

Quartz reported back in August that Google had been working on a new operating system—the development of which Google said was separate from the two it currently has. Perhaps this week we’ll finally find out what it’s for.

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