Google Vice President of Product Management Mario Queiroz shows the new Google Home during Google I/O 2016 at Shoreline Amphitheatre / Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The phone appears, like every other new handset, to just be a phone. It’s what’s inside and outside of it that will matter

Google’s about to launch a new phone, its first Pixel handset. And that’s just the start of it.

The company is expected to launch a whole range of new hardware at an event that will be livestreamed across the world.

It has been bigging up the event this year – likening it to eight years ago when it first unveiled Android – and claims that some of the things will be as important eight years ago as Android is now.

Rumours suggest that the company is set to unveil a whole suite of hardware for connecting up people’s houses and lives. Those include an assistant for the home, a headset for the face and a whole new way of interacting with Google.

The phone, it seems, might be the most boring part of the whole event.

Pixel and Pixel XL

Even if this wasn't just a plain old phone, it's already been revealed – making the time spent showing it off at the event a little pointless. Carphone Warehouse accidentally published information about the phone this week, showing all of its features and what it will look like.

Daydream VR headset

Google’s made a lot of VR in recent years – introducing new features like 360-degree videos on YouTube, and hardware like its super-cheap Cardboard headset that can have a phone slid into it.

But it appears to be preparing to go even harder into VR, at a time when almost every company has either made its own headset or suggested that it’s about to do so.

Google is expected to at least unveil some of how that might work at its event – and potentially unveil the whole headset. That’s been rumoured to be called Daydream, which is a name that Google has used for virtual reality products before.

What Google will really have to make clear is how its headset stands out from the huge number of others – what it’ll have that’s different from Samsung, the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR.

Google Home

This was just one of a number of products introduced at the I/O conference earlier this year. But it’s set to get its proper introduction at Google’s latest event.

Google Home is a little white, rounded obelisk meant to sit in people’s homes and listen out for when they talk to it. When they do, it can fire out information or play media, according to what people ask for.

It might look to make more of a case for why people will want to bring it into their house. Amazon has had its echo on sale for a long time, and Apple is rumoured to be bringing out its own Siri companion – and so it will be expected to show just what it can do that those can’t.

Given that Google has already revealed this, they’ll presumably have to announce a release date at the new event. But it’s not clear that they’ll say when it will come to the UK – Amazon’s Echo took the best part of two years to go on sale anywhere outside of the US, presumably because of the extra work needed to make the content local.

Google Assistant

This is the central part of Google Home. But it’s the central part of an awful lot of other Google things, too – including the new phone.

Leaks have already suggested that the new phones will be advertised as having “Google Magic”. That could easily relate to the way that the Google Assistant will be baked into the new hardware, presumably allowing it to help people out by calling on Google’s vast web of knowledge.

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Google Wi-Fi

This is expected to be a cheap, smart Wi-Fi hub that intends to fix typical routers by doing things like fix their often rubbish range. It might be one of the more boring things to be unveiled at the event – there are few people who get excited about Wi-Fi routers – but it could include some nice innovations like the ability to have routers link across a house and extend their reach.

What’s more, Wi-Fi will be central to the home if Google wants to continue its mission of connecting everything up to the internet. So this could be the foundation of some of the more spectacular releases.

Chromecast Ultra

Google has been gradually making new versions of Chromecast – a second version and one just for audio – which has won plaudits for being a cheap and easy way to get stuff onto your TV.

This year, the new version will be the Chromecast Ultra, rumours suggest. That’ll be able to send out 4K video – and could get a much increased price to go along with it.


This is perhaps the longest of the long shots – but it will definitely be coming at some point, according to rumours. It is the long speculated about unification of Android and Google’s Chrome OS, making an operating system that could be used across various different systems.

It isn’t clear what that might look like, or what new kinds of computers it might be made for.

And it’s unlikely that it’ll be arriving this time around. But we might get a sneak peek at it, or some suggestion that it’s planned.

Any surprises?

Google doesn’t tend to do surprises – it’s a lot more leaky than Apple, for instance. But there’s always space for a shock.