Last week, Amazon unveiled its 2020 catalogue of products which included several innovative tech and its Luna game streaming service. With talks of the iPhone 12 reveal coming soon, it seems Apple will be facing even more competition from Google. The internet search company recently ended its "Launch Night In" hardware event which finally introduced the highly anticipated fifth-generation Pixel series as well as the budget-friendly Pixel 4a. Moreover, software tweaks, streaming devices, and a music-centric smart speaker.
The new Pixel smartphones
Google evidently had a rough year after its Pixel 4 series failed to meet sales expectations due to multiple issues that did not sit well with consumers. Even those who have regularly upgraded to whatever was new apparently held off after the full specifications were revealed. Apparently, the company listened to feedback and prepared the Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and Pixel 5.
Perhaps what many found a welcome change is the return of the fingerprint sensor. Given the problems faced by face unlock technology due to the use of mask amid the pandemic, the popular biometric security option should make it more convenient for Pixel users. Google also opted to make its 2020 Pixel lineup more affordable. It did so through the use of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765 and 730 chipsets instead of the flagship Snapdragon 865 or 865+ SoCs.
While Amazon surprised the tech industry with a major redesign of its Echo devices, Google does the same with the Nest Audio. This new item is officially the replacement for the 2016 Google Home speaker, which many likened to an automated air freshener dispenser. Its latest audio product is reportedly intended to occupy the mid-range segment between the Nest Max and Nest Mini.
According to The Verge, it flaunts a rectangular shape with rounded corners and is wrapped in the familiar mesh fabric most smart speakers use. It will ship in four colours: Charcoal, Chalk, Sky, Sand, and the new Sage. Google claims the fabric, housing, foot, and other smaller components are manufactured from 70-percent recycled plastic. Furthermore, it is supposedly 75-percent louder than the model it replaced.
Finally, the 2020 Chromecast is shipping with a bundled remote making it handier for users. While users can still use their smartphones to cast content or control playback, a dedicated device with support for Google Assistant and quick launch buttons for Netflix and YouTube delivers a natural interaction. Additionally, it now runs on a proprietary operating system called Google TV. So far, the only caveat is it does not currently support Stadia.