I’m not going to lie, I was pretty disappointed last week when Google’s ‘Hey Google’ virtual event came and went with not even a single nod to new hardware from the search giant. Given the fact that I/O was cancelled in full this year, it seemed like the right place to drop a few new pieces of hardware we’ve all been waiting on. The new Nest Home speaker that is all set to replace the original Google home and the new Chromecast/Android TV dongle many think will also carry the Nest branding were likely candidates for this virtual event and simply never showed up. I suppose that was a lot of expectation to put on a virtual event, but with so many other companies launching hardware via these online-only events, it made sense that Google might follow suit.
As it were, that didn’t happen and Google completely geared the event towards manufacturers and developers, discussing new and upcoming software features that can be leveraged in smart home devices moving forward. There were some nice nuggets of info to be gleened from the presentation, but no hardware was mentioned and nothing was announced.
Just yesterday, however, the Google Nest Twitter account took to the internet to tease a little something new coming on Monday. There are no clear allusions or hints that we can see, but Fred Armisen (the former SNL alum) is seated on a cushion with his legs crossed and looking as if he is attempting some sort of yoga or relaxation pose. He mouths something, but we haven’t been able to discern what it is he is saying. Check out the tweet below.
With the very recent FCC leak of the upcoming Nest Home speaker and Google’s interesting reply and confirmation, it feels pretty obvious at least that speaker will be revealed tomorrow. Others have speculated other software enhancements in the Nest line of products might be the center of this announcement, but we’d really hope Google has a better grasp on the market than to make this sort of tease for some trivial software features in light of the fact that it just openly revealed a new Nest Home.
As for the upcoming Chromecast/Android TV dongle known as ‘Sabrina’ at this point, I’m quite as confident. All the regulatory hurdles have been passed already for it to make its official debut, but I’m trying to keep my expectations in check. If the new dongle ends up being branded as a Nest product, it would completely make sense as part of this Monday announcement. Nest Chromecast? Nest TV? We have no clue, but I for one am hoping Google keeps the Chromecast name around simply because it is one hardware brand that has stayed the same from the get-go. People know the name and are familiar with the brand, so ditching it for a device that looks to be a very capable and likely to sell well feels like a misstep to me.
Finally we have the phones Google is working on. I have little to no confidence that we’ll hear anything about the Pixel phone line in this announcement. With Google choosing to make this tease via the Google Nest Twitter account, I’m assuming that means the announcements will completely center around products for the home. The new Nest Home speaker and TV dongle make sense as a part of this announcement. Phones simply feel out of place. If Google chooses to at least get the woefully late Pixel 4a out the door, great. Just don’t expect it.
Google didn’t give us a time frame or a specific channel to keep tuned to, so we’re keeping our eyes open and eagerly awaiting whatever it is they are planning to announce. Even if it is just a new streaming dongle and a new Home speaker, I’m excited to see Google get some hardware out the door here in 2020. It is long overdue at this point, so anything is welcome.