May 7-9, 2019 saw the Shoreline Amphitheatre, in Mountain View, California, host Google’s Keynote. Possibly the company’s largest public event of the year, Google had quite a few cool tricks up their sleeves for those attending. And might I say, a few mind-blowing ones too.
As these events go, the I/O Keynote was a massive success. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai was beaming with pride as he and his team took to the stage to announce the many upcoming software and hardware developments of the company.
From improving Google Search to Android Q, the tech giants had a lot to offer everyone currently in their ecosystem. Android Q is right around the corner, and the new features such as dark mode, AI smart reply and faster security patches will ensure the best experience for users.
An important addition was the new privacy option they showcased. In a world where data theft is becoming a commonly recurring problem, Google will now allow users to choose how their data is handled. From auto deleting your searches and web activity all the way to a new incognito mode for Maps, the prospects here are promising.
Google lens has a few interesting features rolling out soon, such as the ability to scan restaurant menus to find top dishes and customer reviews.
The assistant will be getting a smarter update, which Google is referring to as Duplex. Not only will it be able to book appointments using the AI, but it’ll be able to book car rentals and movie tickets, making life a little easier. There’s also a driving mode that can be activated via the assistant.
Probably the biggest part of the event was the unveiling of the new budget option to their Pixel line, the Pixel 3a and the 3a XL. We’ve seen a fair share of “budget flagships” and “flagship killers” in the past couple of years --- One Plus built an entire business around the idea --- but Google’s take on the budget phone is truly unique.
In the past, we’ve seen Xiaomi, One Plus, Huawei, etc. release phones packed with enough processing power and RAM to rival the current gen flagships. Google, however, focused on one key component instead of trying to be flashy.
They instead opted to cut back on performance specs, and put more emphasis on the camera. The 3a series has an almost similar camera to the Pixel 3, a camera claimed by many to be the best smartphones have to offer. And with the 3a coming in at $399 retail, that’s an insane deal.
There’s also the fact that the 3a has an OLED screen similar to the Pixel 3, and that makes it one of the best screens on a budget phone, as you’d normally get an IPS display at this price point.
There’s also the battery life, which Google is claiming to be 30 hours on a single charge, and 7 hours with just fifteen minutes of charge, that too with the power brick out of the box.
And the icing on the cake? It has a headphone jack.