Tag Archives: Chromecast Ultra

#madebygoogle Launch Event Chromecast Google Home (Part 2 of 2)

Here is part two of the @madebygoogle launch event summary. Part 1 we covered Google’s new phone Pixel, Google VR headset – Daydram, and Google Wifi. In part 2, we will go into detail with Chromecast Ultra and Google Home

Chromecast Ultra

Google announced their 2nd generation Chromecast roughly a year ago. At that time, it was rumored to offer 4K Ultra HD and HDR support but were dissapointed. Today, Google made the announcement for Chromecast Ultra which did exactly this. As of this day, Google has sold over 30 million gen 1 and gen 2 Chromecasts. chromecast-ultra

Google Play Movies will offer 4K movies soon. It will support Dolby vision, 4K, and HDR. With an adapter, you will be able to connect directly with an Ethernet cable. It is 1.8x faster than 2nd gen Chromecast.

Cost $69 and will be available in Nov.

Here is a quick comparison difference between Chromecast 2nd Gen and Chromecast Ultra.

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chromecast-compare-2

Sadly, the least amount of time was spent on Chromecast Ultra 🙁

Google Home

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A lot of time was spent on demo’ing Google Home. Here we are introduced to Google Assistant again.

Simple things you can do:
Enjoy music, get answers from Google, manage everyday tasks, control devices at home.

Features:
-Exchangeable Base for customization
-Far field speech recognition. Amazon Echo has this problem where it is hard to speak over the music. I am keen to find out how Google has resolved this.
-Voice activation
-LED status display
-Mute button
-Capacitive buttons

Music
-Direct access to Youtube Music
-Access to spotify, tunein, pandora, ihearttradio

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-Google Assistant can search the music you have in mind such as “find me shakira’s song from zootopia” and it will play. First time a ‘smart’ feature has been used and demonstrated.

Getting Answers from Google
You can ask various pictures and Google will pull info from their knowledge, Wikipedia, and others. It uses featured snippets by reading a quote from a certain website which may have the answer. No explanation on how they determine what is an authoritative site.

You can also use Google Home to search for businesses nearby, how to get there, traffic conditions and more.

it can also read certain answers in a foreign language. Spanish was demo’d.

Google can help manage everyday Tasks

You can get Google Assistant to read you a summary by simply saying, “Ok Google, Good morning”. It will give you a briefing of the weather, traffic, schedule, and reminder which can be customized. You can also ask Google Assistant to display your shopping list on your phone. This is something Amazon Echo cannot do.

Control devices at home

Next is controlling smart devices. They listed nest, Samsung SmartThings, Philips hue, IFTTT.

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If you have Chromecast, you can use Google Home to play content on your TV. It may be able to be used to turn the TV on if it supports the feature.

Photos – you can ask Google Home to display photos from Google Photo album by name and time.

Similarly, you can use Google Assistant through Google Home to activate your Google Cast Audio enabled speakers.

Google Home will support multi device support to stream or play across all devices. You can also create a group such as living room and kitchen but not the bedrooms. Echo cannot do this.

Google assured that Google Assistant will continue improve.

Google Home is $129. Great price!
Includes free 6 months trial to Youtube Red.
Pre-order starts today and will be shipped Nov. 4th. It will also be available in certain brick and mortar stores.

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As an Amazon Echo owner, I’m finding it hard to justify Google Home when the features are so similar. There are advantages to both with Google fully integrated with my Android phone and Alexa with the full Prime features.

Will you get the Google Home? Why or why not?

#madebygoogle Launch Event Summary! (Part 1 of 2)

Today, Oct 4, Google held their #madebygoogle event and wow’d the world the latest and greatest products. Here is a summary of all of the products announced at this event.

The event started out with a nifty video which segwayed from their signature search bar to Google Assistant.

Sundar Pichai gave the intro welcoming everyone including the interesting fact that they were using a space that used to be a chocolate factory in the early 1900’s. Put a lot of emphasis on the history of computing and now AI (artificial intelligence) and their desire to build Google Assistant. Google Assistant is an attempt to personalize information based on your preferences, history, and what is known to Google (that’s my interpretation). Google wants everyone to use Google Assistant. Google Assistant will speak as humanly as possible. Google will launch Assistant through the phone and the home.

Pixel – Phone by Google

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Google finally announced their latest Google phone, Pixel. Google went away with the Nexus brand and now call their phones simply ‘Pixel’. Pixel is the first phone with built in Google Assistant. All the functionality in the Google Home will be available will be available on the Pixel phone. The phone has a polished aluminum look with a ridge on the sides and no camera lens bump (sorry iPhone!).

Everything from finding event tickets, texting, showing pictures from a particular time will be do-able from Google Assist.

Pixel Camera:
Highlight for me is the camera. The Pixel received a 89 rating from DXOMARK Mobile which is the highest ever. Can’t wait to see the photo quality comparisons between iPhone 7+ and Pixel! It utilizes a 12.3-megapixel camera with smartburst, HDR+, and video stabilization capabilities. With Pixel, you get unlimited full quality photo and video storage with Google Photos. It is also compatible with Daydream (more on this later).

google-pixel-camera

Pixel Battery:
The battery has quick charge up to 7 hours of battery life with just 15 minutes of charging (if that is from max, then that is worrying…). 5″ will sport 2,770 mAh and 5.5″ will have 3,450 mAh battery

Pixel O/S and support:
Pixel Operating system will run Android Nouget and will receive timely updates. It also includes 24/7 customer care including the option to share your screen. No more awkward description of what you can and can’t do! If you own an iPhone and want to switch? No problem! Pixel will include a tool to migrate from your iPhone to Pixel including messages in iMessages.

Pixel Screen Size and color:
Pixel will come in two sizes, 5 inch and 5.5 inches. Unlike the iPhone 7, there is no difference in the features between the two. The Pixel will be available in 3 colors: Quite Black, Very Silver, and a limited edition Really Blue (yes, these are the actual names of the colors).

Pixel Hardware Specs:
Other specs includes
-hi-def AMOLED display
-Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 CPU / processor
-Quadcore 2x 2.15GHz / 2x 1.6 GHz Processor
-4GB LPDDR4 RAM
-Pixel Imprint fingerprint sensor
-5″ will sport 2,770 mAh and 5.5″ will have 3,450 mAh battery
-32 or 128 GB internal memory option
-USB Type C port
-3.5mm headphone jack
-Bluetooth 4.2

Pixel Price:

Ouch! Google’s Pixel phone starts at $649 for 5″ and $769 for 5.5″ for the 32GB version. If you want the 128GB version, it will be $749 for 5″ and $869 for 5.5″.

Daydream View

Google then announced their first VR headset. It is made of soft fabric material which is a deviation from hard plastic from others like Samsung. It comes with a controller which seems to function like a Wii remote as we know it.

Comes in three colors – snow (not white btw), slate, and crimson.

A Demo on a Harry Potter game that is Daydream compatible and looks super awesome! Google Play movies will also feature Daydream. Interested to see how this will work.

Daydream Price is $79

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Google Wifi

Google announced a smart WiFi router which can be cascaded to cover ‘blackout’ areas in your house. It includes WiFi assist where it can manage traffic to prevent congestion. Not sure how much traffic you need to fully utilize this. If also has built in features where you can shut off certain connections (*cough* teenage kids).

They are packaging the router where you can get a discount if you buy 3. I’m not sure how many have homes that need 3 routers if you ask me.

Google Wifi Cost: $129 for one or $299 for 3-pack. You can pre-order in Nov. and will ship in Dec.

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continued at part 2

Google will possibly launch a 4K streaming device – Chromecast Plus

chromecast ultraMark your calendars for Oct 4th. Google has scheduled a live event on Oct. 4, 2016 for their hardware lines. The main focus of the event is to launch two new phones, the Pixel and Pixel XL, more info on Google Home, and Daydream VR device. Android Police is reporting that Google also plans to announce the 3rd gen casting device dub’d Chromecast Plus or Chromecast Ultra which will support 4K streaming.

4K was intended to launch with the 2nd Gen Chromecast but it was delayed. With more and more consumers jumping to TV supporting 4K, this may be the perfect timing to get into the Ultra HD game.