Google’s new Pixel 4 phone products could be of interest to owners of Android phones who love Google software and services, although I suspect they will not win many loyal owners of Samsung and Apple phones.
You can control some features of the Pixel 4 smartphone, presented Tuesday, just by moving. Google's built-in radar technology uses invisible waves to track the movements of your hand and detect your nearby presence before you even touch the phone.
Google’s new Pixel 4 phone
First, there were phones with screens that you could touch, then there were some who listened to your voice and knew your face. Now, Google brings a new dimension to phones: an awareness of how you move around them. It must simply demonstrate why we would like that.
Nevertheless, you must thank Google for maintaining the competition. Google plays an unusual role in the world of gadgets. It already makes the Android software that handles most of the world's phones made by other companies, including Samsung and Huawei. But over the past three years, he has also spent more than $ 1 billion to become an incubator of his equipment. His goal was to explore new consumer applications for his research on artificial intelligence and other technologies.
Google’s new Pixel 4 phone has had the biggest impact on smart home products, where its talking AI assistant competes with products containing Amazon's Alexa. Google's advantage in this space is better, more colorful designs, as well as more user-friendly software and privacy settings. On Tuesday, Google introduced a new WiFi WiFi router ($ 270 for two pieces) including a speaker and a microphone to access Wizard. And a new version of its $ 50 Mini Mini Smart Speaker promises improved sound quality and faster response times.
Google’s new Pixel 4 phone
This year's Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL models, which will be available from October 24, are the first phones developed by Google with the acquisition of the Taiwanese phone manufacturer HTC, for $ 1.1 billion. . It catches Apple by abandoning the fingerprint reader for a system of unlocking by facial recognition. (Unfortunately, Google has already made mistakes: one of its subcontractors has been found paying homeless people with darker skin to scan their faces to improve the technology.) Google also announces that it will start to sell its competitor to the AirPod wireless helmet competitors, the $ 180 Pixel Buds, next year.
Pixel 4 promises closer links with Google services, especially the wizard. Artificial intelligence is now responding faster because the phone processes some orders locally without first sending them to Google over the Internet. And a new voice recorder application transcribes what it hears as it records it, making it easier to search.
The photos on your smartphone are wrong and you like them
The Pixel 4 camera will probably remain the main attraction for many. It now has two lenses on the back, including one for zooms. Although Apple and Samsung have phones with three lenses in the back, the Pixel camera software, designed to produce photos that we like, still seems to be about a year ahead of the competition. Last year, Pixel 3 added an exceptional "Night Sight" mode for low light situations. This year, he adds the opportunity to take pictures of the stars.
It is the hand-handling capacity that, he hopes Google will allow Pixel 4 to distinguish itself among customers looking for the most advanced technologies. Dubbed "sense of motion," the phone contains a miniaturized radar that constantly searches for motion in an invisible "bubble" around it within a radius of about three feet. Nicknamed Project Soli,
The uses of the direction of motion are, until now, limited. They start with gestural commands: put your hand on the phone to advance a song - or do it backward. You can also dismiss ringtones and alarms to silence them. This is useful when you are ... maybe driving? Or maybe eating Cheetos? Well, at least it helps to impress other geeks.
Some phone manufacturers, such as LG, have offered gesture control features using their front cameras. Google says that its radar goes much further by allowing the phone to become aware of what is going on around it. Knowing that there is a person around him, the Pixel 4 screen turns on (or turns off) and reduces the volume of the ringtones when he feels a hand approaching him. (This makes him more "polite", says Google.) He's also starting to turn on the phone's Face ID cameras to unlock them faster.
A more "conscious" phone, to use the term Google, also seems a bit scary in a world where data about our lives has become Google's most profitable product. Google says that the sense of movement can not tell the difference between specific people, at least not yet. (How long before there is a murder, where the proof that there was someone else in the room will be a pixel radar?) The movement data is processed on the phone and is not saved to your Google Account or shared with other Google services. And other app developers can not access the sensor so far.
It's hard to say where this idea will end, but thinking that a phone can now know where you are, or something important, is a big step forward. Maybe this type of data will become useful for future augmented reality applications.
Entering its fourth year, the Pixel remains halfway between curiosity and an existential threat for Apple and Samsung. However, adding a new category of sensors to the already mature smartphone is a bold, even crazy decision that hardware manufacturers often do not see today.
So, for that, I'm going to greet a Google’s new Pixel 4 phone. I know it looks.