Google has released a number of products at the end of 2016, some of which turned out to be great sellers for the company earning some good cash, valuation and brand reputation. But there were and there are still some downsides to all the good things that Google has announced. Let’s have a look at them and let’s see what we can predict to see from Google in 2017.
The Google Pixel has quickly become one of the best phones of 2016 that still holds a really good position on the market today, in 2017. It has a superb camera, great chipset and Vanilla Android. Design wise, the phone has not appeared as a number one choice among advanced users and average customers, however people who wanted an advanced, clear and smooth experience have quickly jumped on the Pixel train and picked up the device – when they could. Google promised that their devices would be updated to the latest version of Android for at least 2 years and after then, it would still provide the latest security patches for years to keep it safe and secure.
Where did it all go wrong?
The Pixel duo hasn’t been widely available in the US and parts of Europe for months after it was launched. It is now April, and Google’s store still says that the 128GB and Really Blue options are out of stock. Google has had issues with manufacturing enough devices to serve their customers, therefore those customers have chosen a different manufacturers with different promises. Google is constantly losing customers by not serving and manufacturing enough devices for them.
The price of the Pixel and Pixel XL duo has been up on pair with the iPhones that people think is too much for an Android device to spend on. Google has tried and is still trying to make an iPhone like competitor that will dictate the market and take the market share by a large margin. But how could this be done with such high prices and such low availability?
What’s the future for Google branded devices?
Google has to try harder to satisfy their customers with their high price tag by giving them what they want and by justifying the value for such prices. Google product managers have asked the Google Community to tell them the things they would want to see in the future in Google branded devices. People most often said that they want a better design, water resistance with the now industry standard IP68 certificate, the same and improved camera with more functionalities, stereo speakers to fill up the big chin that was left over for the Pixels in 2016 and of course a large battery that would last a solid day with high-usage.
What can we expect in 2017?
We can most likely expect that the Pixel 2/XL (if we assume they’re going to be called that) devices are going to be water resistant, will most likely have a slightly larger battery, have a superb camera that will top the charts in reviews and in real life experience and hopefully a better design that would suit more consumer’s likings as well as the more advanced users.
There is a chance that we are going to see fast, wireless charging that would work similarly to what Samsung has got to offer in the past and in the newly announced galaxies.
We might see Google implementing a new fingerprint sensor that would be ‘hidden’ under the display. This could free up space for other parts inside the phones and could increase battery size, give space to better haptic feedback motors and few other things. Google is also unlikely to kill the 3.5mm headphone jack this year, I would personally expect it to happen in 2018 from Google and many other companies.
The dual camera set-up is also not out of question. Google could have a dual camera set-up similar to what LG has done with their G6 flagships and implement some good looking wide angles, or it could perhaps have some cool bookeh effects and great 2-5x zoom without losing any quality. I wold rather bet on the wide angles but improving them to have better zooming capabilities could also happen.
When Amazon announced their Echo, people wasn’t sure how to use it and implement it into their lives. We’ve gone long since we had those issues and we are now open to voice activated speakers and home devices.
Google has announced their ‘Home’ device that goes head-to-head with Amazon’s Echo. It has Google Assistant that is currently the most intelligent voice assistant to date. With Home, people can ask questions by using the trigger phrase “OK Google” and ask questions that you would normally do. “What’s the weather like? Remind me to… What’s that song called in…? What’s the capital of…?”
We can expect to see a lot of improvements coming to Google Home in the future but we are unlikely to see a new Home2 in 2017.
We can already see that other companies are now adapting to Google Home and are trying to let their customers use their services by voice. This should expand in the next few years, giving customers the experience they have ‘signed up for’. Voice recognition should also get better over time with updates coming to home but we should not expect to see anything ground-breaking to happen in 2017, but rather 2018.
The router expander Google WiFi was announced last year and has not been available for long yet to decide if we really need such a modem in our homes. Early reviews have pointed out that it actually works, expands the coverage very well and provides great signal strength.
Techradar was able to:
“We’ve been able to stream 4K video through Netflix to our Roku Premiere in the basement as well as we’ve been able to play Overwatch in the office where the modem is located: without issue. Wi-Fi mesh systems like Google WiFi aren’t focused so much about throughput as they are coverage, but this product delivers regardless.” – Techradar
Google WiFi is well priced compared to what the competitors are offering for similar prices. It’s available for $299 in the US and will be available in the UK on 6 April for £229. While you get 3 routers in the US for that price, you only get 2 in the UK. A single piece can be bought however for only $129, £129. Google also offers it for less if you buy more.
We aren’t going to get into much detail other than it works well. I doubt Google would have enough reasons to announce another improved WiFi this year but they certainly can do in the next year and the year after when the tech will be a little more advanced and have higher internet speeds available.