2019 is upon us and that means another new year that is sure to be full of gadgets and software offerings from the world’s biggest tech companies. Being one of the largest, Google is sure to have a slew of products coming out in the next twelve months.
And those products have a lot to live up to if 2018 is anything to go by when Google introduced new or updated products like the Google Home Hub, Home mini, Android Pie, and the Pixel 3 smartphone line. So what’s in store for Google in 2019? Here are the most likely candidates.
Android Q (or Fuchsia OS)
This is almost a certainty since Android is now roughly on an annual upgrade cycle. To date, Google has said exactly nothing about Android Q or when it will be released. However, the company generally unveils new Android OSes at Google’s I/O conference in the early summer before releasing them to the public in autumn. This year’s timetable should be no different. As for what “Q” may stand for (since Google names Android after food), may we suggest “Android Quinoa” or “Android Quesadilla”?
As far as features, a leaked early build is rumored to have a system-wide dark mode. There have also been references to a “desktop mode” which could mean you plug an Android Q device into an external display and it takes on a more desktop-like look and feel.
But 2019 could also see a historic change for Android–there may not be another one. Though this has less than a 30% chance of happening, Google may use 2019 to launch its new hybrid “Fuchsia” OS that is rumored to eventually replace Android and Chrome OS. Fuchsia would be a single OS that runs on every Google device.
More Google Home Devices
By the end of 2018, Google had three major Home devices–the smart speakers that run its Assistant software. There’s the regular Home, the Home mini, and the Home Hub, which adds a display to the Home.
As Google continues to try to find ways to dethrone Amazon’s Echo in the smart speaker industry, you can bet Google Home devices will all see updates this year. Though there’s been nothing but rumors, expect new designs and perhaps an all-new Home product.
Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL
The Google Pixel smartphone line really came into its own in 2017 with the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL. Many reviewers have called the Google Pixel 2 the best Android smartphone ever. It’s been praised for its camera as well as the power of running Android in its “pure” state.
That’s why so many people were disappointed with the Google Pixel 3 series, which the company launched in the autumn. It hardly looked any different than the Pixel 2 and most of the upgrades were software-based.
One thing the Pixel line lacks is a modern design. It’s still got relatively thick bezels for a 2018 phone. Expect that to change in 2019 with an all-new streamlined design when the Pixel 4 series launches in the autumn–and maybe we’ll finally see a dual-lens camera.
Google Pixel Buds 2
Google launched its wireless earphones, the Pixel Buds, to much fanfare in 2017. However, once people actually got their hands on them, there was much that left them disappointed. Though they matched the battery life of Apple’s uber-popular AirPods, the sound quality was not considered as good.
And the big supposed benefit of the Pixel Buds–their real-time language translation–was something many felt still felt like it was in an alpha state. Expect Google to double down on Pixel Buds 2 this year, with improved acoustics and translation features.
Google Pixelbook 2
The final big hardware we’re expecting is a new Pixelbook. Google introduced the Pixelbook in 2017 as a “high-performance” Chromebook–and fans of the lineup say it’s the best Chromebook out there. In 2019 we’re expecting to see the Pixelbook 2 with improved computing power, smaller bezels, and, perhaps, multiple screen sizes.