The screen in front of you is now just the vessel for Google services.
It’s been noted several times and with many words that Google didn’t announce any hardware at Google I/O 2017. Never mind that we actually did talk of stand-alone Daydream devices and new Android Auto partners, the internet wants to hear about phones! All the phones!
Google started as a software services company and things have come full circle.
What we did hear tells us that to Google, phones no longer matter. Google is moving forward in ways that it only needs hardware, and not necessarily Android-based hardware, to use its services. This is exactly how it started all those years ago.
Google I/O has always been a developer conference, not a product announcement or a swap meet. Google will still offer a phone or two later this year, but the Pixel phones are built to showcase the services the company wants you to use work properly without any third-party shenanigans. If we can believe the collective power of the internet rumor (and we should in this case), HTC is slated to build the Pixel hardware for at least one more year. But nobody presenting any sessions at Google I/O this past week is concerned about that. This was a developer conference.
Whether the best from Apple or Android Go, a phone is the window to Google’s new world.
We’ll still see big hardware announcements from the companies whose products make use of Google’s services: Samsung and Apple. They are manufacturers of some darn nice pieces of gear, and two companies in direct competition because they both do the same thing: hardware, software and services. But, primarily, they make the hardware we love.
Google, though, like Microsoft, is not a hardware manufacturer. It never has been, despite the existence of Chromecasts, Google