Live from Google’s mega announcement: Pixel phones, Android updates, 4K Chromecast and more!

Next Story

This touchscreen office phone is called the ePhone7

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - MAY 18: Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during Google I/O 2016 at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 19, 2016 in Mountain View, California. The annual Google I/O conference is runs through May 20. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google is hosting a press event today in San Francisco… and if the rumors are true, it should be a doozy. We’ve heard whispers about everything from new phones, to new Chromecasts, to a new VR headset, to a complete rethinking of Android as we know it.

You might’ve assumed we’d be at the event covering it live with up-to-the-second updates from the scene… and, well, you’d have assumed right.

The event is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Pacific, so tune in then. In fact, chances are good we’ll start warming up the ol’ liveblog a bit before then — so if you don’t want to miss anything, tune in early.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:25 am

Thanks for tuning in.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:25 am

It looks like that’s it, folks! We’re being asked to step up into the hands on area

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:24 am

Assistant decoupled from Google-created hardware seems like it slightly conflicts with their aim at the front of the event of building hardware and AI intersection.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:24 am

That’s huge — Google doesn’t want Assistant to be a selling point for their devices, or in everything they build. They want Assistant everywhere.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:23 am

And sure enough: Google is going to launch an SDK next year to let others tie Assistant into anything from a phone to a raspberry pi

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:23 am

“As we’ve been developing Assistant, we’ve been asked by many manufacturers if they cant implement Assistant into their devices”

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:22 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:22 am

Making it actually open will be the key to getting long-term traction. It sounds like Google wants to go deeper than Alexa can in terms of conversational interfaces with third-party apps and services, which is great if it can pull it off in a way that’s consistent for the user.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:21 am

“Conversation actions” meanwhile, are for the back-and-forth kind of requests. You can say “I need an Uber”, and Assistant can pull in Uber to ask for the context it needs — destination, type of car, etc.

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:21 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:20 am

“Direct actions” are things like “Turn on the hallway lights”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:20 am

There are two types: Direct actions, and conversation actions. 

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:20 am

These abilities will be called “Actions on Google”, and they’ll launch in December.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:20 am

“But in many cases, i’m not just looking for information. I know what I want done, and I just want my assistant to do it”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:19 am

“Right out of the gate, Assistant will be able to find local businesses, Youtube videos, and great content from [the web]”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:19 am

Specifically, we’re hearing about how Google Assistant will work with other services.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:18 am

Okay, Home stuff is wrapped — we’re back to talking about Google Assistant

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:17 am

Free service trial offering for YouTube Red is smart, since the content play proves the value of ownership to a large extent.

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:16 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:16 am

The top bit is always white, it seems, but the base will come in a bunch of colors: mango, marine, violet, carbon, snow, and copper.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:16 am

Pre-orders start today, and it’ll ship on November 4th

Each Home comes with a free six month subscription to YouTube Red.

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:16 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:16 am

Context awareness is great for responding to voice prompts. Nothing worse than a bunch of hardware responding to “Hey Siri” or “Alexa” prompts.

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:16 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:15 am

Google Home will be available at $129

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:15 am

You can have multiple Google Homes in your house, and they’ll play music in sync, a la Sonos.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:15 am

I really like the idea of Voicecasting to the Chromecast Audio for voice control of your existing stereo setup. It’s the appeal of Echo Dot as well, but even cheaper (once you have Home).

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:14 am

Home will play friendly with Chromecast, Chromecast Audio, and Google Cast-enabled TVs

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:13 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:13 am

That feature only works with YouTube videos at first, but other video services are coming. He confirms that Netflix support is on the way.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:12 am

I’ve got a handful of Chromecasts in my house — presumably (/hopefully?) it lets me specify which TV.

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:11 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:11 am

Google Home will be able to control in-home Chromecasts. He demoes this by saying “Okay Google, play Katy Perry on my TV”.

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:11 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:10 am

Google is partnering with Nest, SmartThings, philips hue, and IFTTT to power smart devices at launch, with more partners promised on the way.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:10 am

Assistant’s cross device availability is one of its strongest features when compared to something like Alexa.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:10 am

He asks Home to add “kids vitamins” to his shopping list, then pulls up that same shopping list on a Pixel.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:09 am

Saying “Okay Google, good morning” to Home will give you a daily briefing — weather, traffic to work, and your first scheduled events.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:08 am

Listening to this demo with extended Assistant speech, I think honestly one of the key things needed to give this wider appeal is to make its speech more natural. With longer answers it really gets weird over time.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:08 am

He asks for nearby camping stores. Home presents a few — he picks a random one, and asks for traffic to that destination, then asks Home how long it would take to bike there instead. It answers each request without a hitch.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:06 am

“Okay Google — how do you get winestains out of a rug?”

“According to patch…”, Home says, reading off instructions from Google’s top rated link.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:05 am

“Okay google — what’s Adele’s real name?”

“Adele Laurie Blue Adkins”, it replies

“How many Grammys has she won?”

Home answers, citing Wikipedia.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:04 am

“Google Home also lets you get answers… from Google”.

This is where Google Home could really shine over the competition. Google’s knowledge graph, and its ability to figure out what the heck you’re actually asking about, is unparalleled. 

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:03 am

Prefer Spotify over Youtube or Google Music? Just set it as the default, and you won’t have to say “Play … on Spotify” each time.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:03 am

I would like a Google Home at the same scale as the giant on-screen one being demoed by Chandra right now.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:02 am

Google Home can also tap into curated playlists from Google Music. “Ok Google — Play 80s workout music”, he requests.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:01 am

“Okay Google. Play ‘Dont let me down’ by the Chainsmokers”, says Rishi. It plays.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:01 am

Rishi Chandra, Product Manager for Home, is taking the stage.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:00 am

It has a built-in mute button, allowing you to kill the mics if you’re ever worried about big brother listening in. I’m curious if it turns things off at a hardware wiring level or if it’s just a software toggle.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 201610:00 am

“Best in class voice recognition” should be very impressive if it really does beat Echo’s performance.

Lucas Matney October 4, 201610:00 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201610:00 am

They’re using a series of microphones with a bunch of machine learning voodoo to minimize noise — allowing you to shout commands even across a noisy room.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:59 am

It looks like it did when first announced at IO — it looks like a robot candle.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:58 am

We’re on to Google Home now — Google’s answer to Amazon’s Echo.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:58 am

That makes sense: not everyone has a WiFi network beefy enough to handle 4K streams, even if the connection into their house can handle it.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:57 am

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:57 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:57 am

Chromecast Ultra runs 1.8x faster — and, here’s a trick: it has an ethernet adapter, the first time one has officially been supported on a Chromecast. It’s built into the power adapter, rather than the dongle itself.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:57 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:56 am

Google Play will support 4k videos in November

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:56 am

Yep — as rumored, Chromecast Ultra is a Chromecast with 4k support

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:56 am

“You’ll now be able to cast your favorite content in up to 4K resolution with HDR and dolby vision”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:56 am

“Today, we’re introducing Chromecast Ultra — our most premium TV streaming device to date”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:55 am

“We’ve now sold more than 30 million chromecasts”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:55 am

“Last year we launched two new products: Chromecast gen2, and Chromecast Audio”

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:55 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:55 am

“Our second product announcement for today: Chromecast”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:55 am

A companion smartphone app will let you “pause” signal to any device with a tap— mario mentions pausing his teenage kid’s use of YouTube for some “quality family time”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:54 am

As you walk around the house, it’ll automatically put you on the right router and adjust to the optimal wireless channel. 

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:54 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:54 am

It’s a white, puck-shaped router. It’s modular, sort of like eero — you don’t have just one router, you have a bunch of routers working together all around your home

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:53 am

“Today, we’re excited to announce Google WiFi” 

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:53 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:52 am

Mario Queiroz is on stage to talk about Google Home and connectivity

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:52 am

Partner lineup doesn’t really offer much beyond existing platforms. The key piece here will still be hardware UX in terms of driving broader adoption, I think.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:52 am

“All of this will come together in November, when the Daydream headset AND the controller go on sale, together, for $79”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:51 am

Clay Bavor is back on stage, wrapping up the Daydream stuff

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:49 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:49 am

Original Gunjack was one of the most compelling VR experiences IMO, good game to kick off with.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:49 am

“To compliment our partners, we’re bringing the best of Google to Daydream: Google Play Movies, Google Photos, Streetview, and Youtube”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:48 am

Quick glimpses at Netflix, HBO, and Hulu apps built for Daydream

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:47 am

Now we’re seeing Gunjack II — a space shooter from the same people who made EVE.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:47 am

Harry Potter is good IP to hook ordinary folks in, too. Pulling out all the stops to make using VR not just for weirdos like me.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:46 am

We’re now seeing some of the stuff Google and partners have been working on for Daydream, including a Warner Bro’s Harry Potter/Fantastic Beasts tie-in. The controller becomes a wand.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:46 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:46 am

Very Snow, Extremely Slate, Ultimately Crimson.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:45 am

The headset will come in three colors: Snow (white), slate (grey), and crimson (red).

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:45 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:45 am

They’re really anthropomorphizing this thing with animations that feel Pixar-ish. Clearly all part of trying to make VR approachable for everyday consumers.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:45 am

Which is a good thing, because it seems a bit slippery — Bavor just accidentally tossed the controller to the floor, but pulls it off with a joke about it being well built.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:44 am

Hah! They’ve designed a little storage slot inside the headset that holds the controller when not in use. 

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:44 am

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:44 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:44 am

Wiimote Plus redux with the Google Daydream VR controller?

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:44 am

We’re seeing the controller now — it’s just two buttons and what seems to be a trackpad, but it has a ton of sensors inside. “It’s sensitive enough that you can draw with it!”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:43 am

Daydream View works like a super polished Google Cardboard, albeit one with a strap. Pop open the latch, slide the phone in, close the latch. Bam, VR headset!

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:43 am

Bavor: “And for people who need help seeing — people like me — we made sure that the headset fits over eyeglasses

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:42 am

“Cozy” VR says Bavor.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:42 am

“It’s also lightweight, at 30% lighter than similar devices”

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:42 am

Interestingly Oculus also used fabric design and touch comfort as logic for its consumer product materials.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:42 am

“One thing to note: we weren’t inspired by gadgets. We looked at what people actually wear. Fabrics! Soft microfibers you’d find in clothing, and athletic wear.”

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:42 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:41 am

“We didn’t just look at the specs; we obsessed over the details of this design. We wanted something thats comfortable, and that you can make your own”

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:41 am

The issues Bavor is addressing re: existing headsets, comfort and looks, are real friction points to more widespread adoption.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:41 am

It’s “the first Daydream ready VR headset”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:41 am

Yep. There it is. It’s called “Daydream View”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:41 am

He’s talking about VR headsets now… looks like the rumored headset debut is legit.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:40 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:40 am

“The Pixel phones will be the first that are ‘Daydream Ready'”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:40 am

“You just heard about the new Pixel phones. We’ve made them GREAT for VR.”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:40 am

He’s talking about Daydream — Google’s all encompassing platform for virtual reality.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:39 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:39 am

Clay Bavor, Google’s VP of Virtual Reality, is up on stage to talk about… you guessed it! VR

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:39 am

Google’s made two jabs at the whole 3.5mm jack thing already. This definitely can’t come back to bite them when they eventually ditch it, right?

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:39 am

This is the most directly I think I’ve ever seen Google go at Apple. It’s clear they want to win over premium customers who are on iPhone.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:38 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:38 am

It’s got a quad core CPU: 2 cores at 2.15Ghz, 2x at 1.6ghz

It’s also got 4GB of ram, a fingerprint sensor on the back, the aforementioned 12.3mp rear camera, and, yes, a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:37 am

Pre-orders start today in US, Canada, and Australia, and in India on the 13th.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:37 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:37 am

Pixel starts at $649 unlocked

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:36 am

WORDS ARE VALUABLE GOOGLE. Not loving the cutesy name schemes.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:36 am

It’ll come in three colors: “Quite black”, “Really blue”, and “Very Silver”

Heh.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:36 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:36 am

As rumored, Pixel will come in two sizes: 5″, and 5.5″.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:36 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:35 am

They’ve built a new system for directly syncing contacts, photos, videos, music, texts, calendars, events, and imessages from an iPhone — they’re even including an adapter in the box.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:35 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:34 am

There’s a 24/7 customer support button now built into the settings screen, with a built-in option for screensharing with customer support.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:34 am

Pixel will ship with Android Nougat, and will update its OS automatically in the background.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:34 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:33 am

Now she’s back to Pixel —specifically, she’s talking about Pixel’s quick charge functionality. It’ll give you 7 hrs of battery life on a 15 minute charge.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:33 am

She’s recapping Duo — the video chat app Google announced at I/O

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:32 am

Sabrina Ellis, director of product management, has taken the stage

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:32 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:32 am

Another shot at Apple with a dialog box that looks very iOS-y saying “Storage full”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:31 am

With Pixel, Google Photos will store your photos/videos at full resolution (including 4k), for free. Generally, Google Photos caps free hosting to 1080p

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:31 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:31 am

Shorter capture time is also huge, as is video stabilization. Apple does video stabilization with what appear to be similar results. Impressive results considering it’s software-based stabilization.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:30 am

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:30 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:30 am

He’s showing a bunch of demo photos, but these are always hard to judge. A good photographer can make any camera shine.

One photo, however, is pretty nuts — it’s a couple in front of a sunset. Generally, the couple would be completely silhouetted. Here, you can see both the couple (albeit faintly), and the sunset behind them. It’s… pretty damned good.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:29 am

Pixel camera looks very good. The aquarium pic does show visible noise, but the landscape one with available outdoor light has nice clear blacks.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:29 am

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:28 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:28 am

The Pixel has a 12-megapixel rear camera (with an f/2.0 lens)

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:28 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:27 am

That’s a very good DxO rating. Highest ever for smartphone, and these guys really know their stuff.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:27 am

DXOMark — an image quality/camera analysis firm — gave the Pixel an 89, its highest score ever.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:27 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:26 am

Just a reminder: Assistant can’t make you a better human if you’re not a great one to start with.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:26 am

“Can you make me a reservation?” he asks

“What time?” responds assistant.

“6 pm” he says.

“Okay, I’ve made a reservation”. 

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:26 am

His wife texts him about grabbing dinner before; Assistant recognizes the restaurant they’re talking about, and offers up information about the restaurant. 

“How far is it from the Greek theater?” he asks — it automatically recognizes the context — that is, that “it” in this case is the restaurant — and answers accordingly.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:25 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:24 am

He uses voice-to-text to text his wife. “Want to go see the lumineers on friday?”

It picks up “Went to go see..” instead of “Want to go see..”. Whoops! Will he fix it? Nope. Power through, power through!

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:23 am

“Play me a song by Lumineers”, he says

‘Assistant knows I like listening to music on YouTube, so that’s the app it opens up’

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:23 am

He asks Assistant for upcoming events at “the greek theater in Berkeley” — it finds them, and tosses up a list.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:23 am

Built-in assistant is interesting but I’m curious to see how much uptake it’ll get when you still have the option to stab around the UI with your finger. Alexa works because it’s your only option with Echo.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:22 am

Brian asks Assistant for his photos from last October — sure enough, they slide right up.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:22 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:22 am

“Like Rick said, Pixel is the first phone with Assistant built right in. You just touch and hold the phones home button, and Assistant jumps into action.”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:21 am

Brian Rakowski, hardware product manager at Google, is coming out to do a quick demo of Pixel

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:21 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:20 am

Fifth: Pixel is made for Google’s Virtual Reality.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:20 am

Fourth: How we’ll let people talk easily, no matter what OS they use.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:20 am

Third: Google Cloud, so you never run out of space 

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:20 am

Second: A terrific photography experience

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:20 am

First: Google Pixel is the first with Google Assistant built in

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:20 am

ooh sick burn osterloh

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:20 am

“Today, we’re going to tell you about five things”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:19 am

It’s got polished aluminum all around the edge, and as Osterloh points out with a jab “There’s no unsightly camera bump”

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:19 am

Google’s claiming total control over hardware and UX design.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:19 am

If you’ve been watching the leaks, you’ve seen this one. It’s exactly what’s leaked everywhere over the last few days.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:19 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:18 am

Aaaand there’s Pixel.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:18 am

“[Phones are] literally most peoples life lines — to the internet, and to each other”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:18 am

“This is a natural step — but we’re in it for the long run. So lets get started. First? Phones!”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:18 am

“As you’ll see today, we’re building hardware with Google Assistant at its core, so you can get things done without worrying about the underlying technology”

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:17 am

Osterloh talking about how “now is the right time to focus on both hardware and software” sounds very Apple-y. He also said “just works” and “intersection of” but used hardware and AI instead of art and technology.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:17 am

Osterloh is continuing Sundar’s messaging: Google’s goal, moving forward, is finding the junction between AI and hardware

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:16 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:15 am

okay nevermind, it’s Trudeau everywhere. My beloved colleagues were trolling me.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:15 am

Rick Osterloh, head of Google’s new hardware group, is taking the stage.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:14 am

So apparently here in the Canadian satellite presentation they’re inserting references to PM Trudeau in the slides behind Sundar – different in different goes. Amazingly Google move.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:14 am

“Today, we’re bringing our Assistant to two new surfaces: one, in the context of your phone, and the other, in the context of your home”

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:14 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:14 am

Sundar: “It’s early days, but we’re going to work on this for a long time. But it’s important to get Assistant into the hands of our users and that’s what today is about”

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:12 am

Assistant will help tremendously in improving accuracy of translation, text-to-speech because of massive volume of available input.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:11 am

They’ve also made improvements in automated machine translation. They’re deep learning to translate entire sentences in an almost-human way, rather than breaking things down to easy translated phrases that don’t come out on the other end cohesively.

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:11 am

Captioning differences Sundar is talking about may seem like small potatoes but achieving that degree of accuracy in just a couple years is actually a huge jump.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:09 am

Sundar is recapping some of Google’s recent strides in AI, like beating champion Lee Sedol at Go, and drastic improvements in automated image captioning

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:09 am

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:08 am

With the improvement areas all together on the slide like that, the aggregate impact of Google’s progress in AI tech is actually pretty stunning.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:08 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:08 am

We’re watching a quick demo video of some of what Google assistant can do — bringing up your itinerary, play music in your home, call an uber, and more things you’d expect of a voice assistant. Google is focusing here, though, on how it can tailor its assistant to you.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:07 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:05 am

“Just like we built a Google for everyone, we want to build a [Google assistant] for all”

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:05 am

Sounds very much like Sundar is talking about a future where Assistant its he center of the Google universe.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:05 am

“We envision this assistant as a two way conversation; a natural dialog. It’ll be universal, and available whenever our users need it to help them”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:05 am

“At Google, we’re very very excited about this shift. We’ve been working a long time towards it. At the heart of this effort is the goal to build a Google assistant”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:04 am

“When I look ahead, it’s clear, we’re shifting from mobile-first, to AI-first.”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:04 am

“In the mid-2000s, we had the mobile revolution. The shift continues.”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:03 am

“Roughly in the 90s, the web arrived. It radically changed industries, and how people connect.”

Darrell Etherington October 4, 20169:03 am

Maybe the new Pixel phones are powered by historic chocolate.

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:03 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:03 am

“We’re at a seminal moment of computing. Computing takes big steps every 10 years ago. It started in the 80s, when computing first touched the lives of many people, revolutionizing the way they work”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:03 am

“This space used to be a power plant for a chocolate factory; we’ve transformed it pretty well”

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:02 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:02 am

Here’s Sundar! Sundar Pichai has taken the stage

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:01 am

“Is [the beta] a thing? Is it multiple things?”

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:00 am

They’re talking about some Beta they want to be on. They have no idea what it is, just that they want to be in on it. “You’re on the beta?! How do I get on the beta?”

Lucas Matney October 4, 20169:00 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:00 am

We’re starting with a video from the Silicon Valley guys

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20169:00 am

Looks like we’re about to start. Your livebloggers for today are Greg Kumparak, Frederic Lardinois, Lucas Matney, and Darrell Etherington

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:50 am

We just got the 10 minute heads-up inside the auditorium. Almost go time!

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:46 am

Everyone’s in their seats and ready. 13 minutes to go!

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:39 am

If you ask for water, they give it to you in a trippy Google box/bottle. Boxle?

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:32 am

26 minutes to go before the event starts!

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:23 am

It’s a pretty tight space — there’s room for about 150 people, tops. 

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:20 am

All badged up!

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:19 am

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:19 am

We were here… a bit early. As in “Dammit Ted move the forklift people are arriving” early.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:18 am

We’re getting seated and online. Pictures incoming shortly.

Greg Kumparak October 4, 20168:17 am

And we’re in!

Greg Kumparak October 4, 201612:04 am

Hey! You’re here a bit early. That’s okay! Google’s announcement is scheduled to start at 9 AM Pacific (12 PM Eastern), but feel free to stick around. We’ll start bringing photos from the scene a bit before the announcement begins.

Featured Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images