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Google I/O 2019 Announcements: Pixel 3a & 3a XL, Nest Hub Max & more

Google made a couple of announcements at their I/O 2019 keynote including Android Q, improvements to Google Assistant, YouTube and more.

AR in Google Search

You’ll soon be able to see your search results in AR. Basically, if you searched up Great White Shark, there will be an option to see a model of the shark in augmented reality and see details up close via the Knowledge Panel.

Google is working with NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Visible Body, Volvo, Wayfair to add 3D models to the new AR mode in Google Search.

Google Lens improvements

Google is adding the ability to connect Google Lens to Google Maps. One example was the ability to see which items are popular at a restaurant just by pointing Google Lens at the menu.

Google Lens will also be able to automatically to translate languages you see in the world and then speak it to you via text-to-speech. The new feature works with over 12 languages.

Google Lens will also be coming to the Google Go search app that is just 100KB in size and works on phones that cost less than $50.

Google Duplex on the web

Last year, Google showed off Google Duplex which lets the Google Assistant make reservations and appointments for you with real-life businesses.

Now, Google is using its Duplex technology on the web to automatically do tasks. One example was asking the Google Assistant to book a car rental for your trip, and it used info from your reservation confirmation email to make the booking.

Next Generation Google Assistant

Google showed off the next generation of the Google Assistant. It makes it faster to operate, multi-task and compose messages on your device.

All the processing is being done on the device with the help of AI. Google says the next generation version of the Google Assistant will be coming to the new Google Pixel devices (most likely the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL) later this year.

Google Assistant Driving Mode

The Google Assistant will soon be getting a new driving mode. It makes it easier to quickly access the Assistant, your contacts and media.

The new driving mode for the Google Assistant will be available this summer on all Android devices with the Assistant.

In addition, starting today you can now just say “stop” to turn off a timer or alarm on your Google Home or Smart Display without needing to say “Hey Google.” This feature is rolling out to all Google Home devices and Smart Displays in English-speaking countries globally starting today.

Project Live Relay & Project Euphonia

Google’s Project Live Relay uses on-device speech recognition and text-to-speech conversion to allow the phone to listen and speak on the users’ behalf while they type. It works in combination with Smart Reply and Smart Compose.

Live Relay is especially helpful for users who can’t speak or hear during a call.

In addition, Google’s Project Euphonia uses AI to help computers to help understand diverse speech patterns such as impaired speech.

Google is working with non-profits such as the ALS Therapy Development Institute and ALS Residence Initiative to help record the voices of people with ALS.

Android Q

Android Q brings a number of feature including a system-wide dark mode, privacy features. Focus Mode in Android Q (and coming to Android Oreo and Android Pie) will help you get things done without any distractions.

The beta 3 release of Android Q is available for Pixel devices and a number of devices from Essential, OnePlus, LG and more.

Nest Hub Max

The Made by Google and Nest teams are working closely together and because of this, Google is rebranding their Home Hub at Nest Hub.

The company also announced the Nest Hub Max, which has a 10-inch display, stereo speakers and can be used as a Nest camera and still has all the features of a Smart Display.

In addition to Voice Match, the Nest Hub Max will come with Face Match which will use facial recognition to automatically detect you or your family.

Because of the built-in camera, you can use gesture controls for music playback.

Nest Hub Max is coming to the US, UK and Australia this summer for $229 USD, £219 and AUS$349.

The smaller Nest Hub (formerly Home Hub) is coming to more countries including Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain and Sweden.

The Nest Hub is available for pre-order in Canada for $169 CAD and comes in Chalk, Charcoal, Aqua and Sand.

Google Pixel 3a and 3a XL

The Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL share a similar design to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

The Pixel 3a has a 5.6-inch OLED display and the Pixel 3a XL has a 6-inch display. You still get the 12-megapixel rear-facing camera on both devices with features like HDR+, Portrait Mode, Super Res Zoom and Night Sight.

The new devices are offered in multiple colours, Just Black, Clearly White and Purple-ish.

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL are available now in the US and Canada for $549 CAD ($399 USD) for the 3a and $649 CAD ($479 USD) for the 3a XL model.

The Pixel 3a and 3a XL will be coming to the Google Store in countries where the Pixel is sold.

Source: Google


By Sachin Bahal

Sachin is the editor-in-chief of TheCanadianTechie, a site he started in 2012 to become the ultimate, independent source for tech enthusiasts or “techies”. He is a versatile writer with a passion for technology and loves to write about gaming, entertainment, tech and more.

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