What to Expect From Google's October 4th Event

By Michael Nunez on at

Google’s October 4th gadget extravaganza is quickly approaching, and if the rumours are true there’s plenty to be excited about. The company is supposedly getting ready for an entire hardware overhaul, and that means we expect to see not just new phones but possibly also laptops, streaming devices, and more. Have there been rumours? Many! Here’s what we think we know about what Google’s got in store.


New Google Phones That Aren’t Called Nexus

What to Expect From Google's October 4th Event

Who would have thought it would ever come to this? Google is expected to kill the Nexus brand. That doesn’t mean really great Android phones are going anywhere. Google is still expected to release two new phones, codenamed “Sailfish” and “Marlin”, but the phones are expected to be called Google Pixel and Pixel XL (5 inches and 5.5-inches respectively).

Earlier this month, Android Police published the first of several reports citing a “reliable source” that claims Google will announce a Pixel and Pixel XL smartphone on October 4th. Also earlier this month, a leaked APK of the Google Pixel Launcher made its way onto the web. Another rumour blog, Android Central, is also reporting with a high level of confidence that the phones will be called Pixel phones rather than Nexus phones. Android Central also claims the phones will be priced at $650 (£500 converted), which is significantly higher than older generation Nexus devices.

The unusually high price gives us reason to believe these phones are to compete with top-tier phones like the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S7. The unofficial `Pixel and Pixel XL technical specifications that show the phones have a lot of standard high-end hardware, including fast-charging batteries and 12-megapixel cameras. We expect both phones to include a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Chances of this happening: Extremely high


Google’s Amazon Echo Killer Will Arrive

What to Expect From Google's October 4th Event

Smart home fans have wanted this one for a while. Google Home is the first piece of hardware from the search giant that houses its powerful artificial-intelligence-powered helper, Google Assistant. The device itself is a little smaller than the Amazon Echo and functions similarly. Google CEO Sundar Pichai even acknowledged the resemblance when he announced the device at Google I/O in May.

We’re expecting Google to announce pricing and availability for its new device on October 4th. Google Home will ship with integrated speakers, a far-field microphone, and a Wi-Fi receiver. The device will be able to control internet-connect home appliances (such as lights and thermostats) as well as play music through a simple voice command.

The reason people are excited about Google Home is that it will make searching Google as simple as talking out loud. Right now, smart assistants like the Amazon Echo aren’t able to search Google for simple queries, which turns into a huge limitation for most people.

In addition to being able to answer questions about TV shows, sports, science, or basically anything else you can Google, the smart assistant will also be a central hub for smart appliances. Simple commands like, “OK Google, turn on my kitchen lights” will work with select devices (and the list of compatible devices will grow over time). For anyone that’s lazy and has ever dreamt of barking out orders to a computerised personal assistant, Google Home is going to be a dream come true.

Chances of this happening: Extremely high


Google Will Launch a Hybrid Operating System ‘Andromeda’

What to Expect From Google's October 4th Event

This is one of the stranger rumours circulating ahead of Google’s October 4t press event. The search giant is expected to finally release its Android-Chrome OS hybrid operating system under the name “Andromeda”.

Details are pretty slim for the time being, but 9to5Google reports there are several pieces of code hidden within the Android 7.0 Nougat code that indicate exactly what Andromeda might entail.

The report describes Andromeda as a variant of Android optimised for laptops and 2-in-1 devices. It includes a free-form window mode that lets you resize different apps at the same time (something that isn’t allowed on current Android phones or tablets). The site also reports that Android Nougat has a hidden graphics performance test that shows Andromeda requiring double the graphics power compared to a regular Android device. This all chimes with a Wall Street Journal report from last year that said Google would attempt to fold Chrome OS into Android by 2017. There is also this cryptic tweet from Google SVP of Android, Chrome OS & Play, Hiroshi Lockheimer.

Chances of this happening: Pretty darn good


Daydream VR is ready for liftoff

What to Expect From Google's October 4th Event

Google announced a virtual reality (VR) platform called Daydream at Google I/O in May. Daydream is essentially a set of guidelines for creating VR content for Android devices. Similar to the VR-ready specifications made for desktop machines like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, Google will have Daydream-ready specifications that include things like required sensors, display resolutions, and computer chips necessary for the absolute best VR experience.

The problem is we still haven’t seen any actual hardware yet. Google showed the public a nice reference design at Google I/O, but there’s still no physical hardware. There was a video demo at the announcement, but to be frank it didn’t look that much different than what is already available on the Samsung Gear VR. We’re expecting to see the first Daydream headsets on October 4th.

Chances of this happening: Pretty darn good


Everything else: a new Chromecast, Wi-Fi router, and more

What to Expect From Google's October 4th Event

Beyond phones, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence, Google is expected to make a handful of other hardware announcements that could be really exciting, depending on what your home entertainment setup is like.

Chromecast: First and foremost, if you don’t have a streaming device yet, you’ll probably be really interested in the new Google Chromecast rumoured to launch on October 4th. The new streaming dongle will reportedly be called the Chromecast Ultra, and it will be capable of displaying ultra high-resolution 4K content. Rumours suggest the Ultra will cost $70 and the original Chromecas will continue to sell at its $35 price (perhaps £60-65 in the UK, seeing as the original's RRP in the UK is £30). The firmware has already reportedly leaked to the Chromecast Preview program, and in the leaked firmware, all mentions of the word Chrome have been removed from the booting screen.

A new router: Google is also expected to release a new Wi-Fi router called Google Wifi. The device is expected to cost $130 (£100 on conversion) and will include many of the same “smart” features that were included on the Google OnHub last year (a device that hasn't made it to the UK) such as prioritising specific websites and having a strong range. What is expected to set Google WiFi apart from your junky Netgear router, though, is the ability to link multiple units together to create one large mesh network. It’s similar to technology found in the Eero.

We will continue to update this page as Google’s October 4 press event nears, and please join us for live coverage during the event. If you know something else, let us know in the comments.