Hunches, predictions and gut feelings about what’s next from Google.
Pixel season is upon us, as Google prepares to show off next-gen hardware across several categories this coming Wednesday, October 4. It’ll also be the sixth Google fall hardware launch I’ve covered (either in person or remotely), the first being the venerable Samsung Galaxy Nexus back in 2011.
Usually that’d give you a fair bit of perspective — background knowledge to help you see what’s coming next from the company. But Google is also notoriously unpredictable when it comes to hardware, as evidenced by the sudden pivot towards Pixel and the “made by Google” brand in 2016.
Nevertheless, as we approach launch day, there’s just enough time for me to dedicate a Sunday column to what I’m expecting.
So here goes…
New Pixel phones and a new Android version
Because of course.
We’ll get an HTC-made miniature Pixel and an LG-built biggie Pixel, and you can read all about what’s rumoured for both over here. The short version: This year the Pixel 2 XL will be the more interesting of the two, as Google moves away from the design and internal hardware symmetry of the previous generation. The baby Pixel will be a second-class citizen, with a 16:9 screen and chunky bezels.
Google should also push out a new version of Android for the Pixels, and who this may even be exclusive to the new phones until sometime later in the year, a la Android 7.1 last year. A good predictor of future Android versions is traffic to Android Central and our forums, and right now in our analytics we’re seeing small spikes from Android 8.1.0, and nothing from 8.0.1.
In the Android world, a .1 version bump usually means a new API level, which means new stuff for developers to get to grips with. (Though last year the