Commentary on Google Pixel Fall Launch

Commentary on Google Pixel Fall Launch

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In this Cast | Commentary on Google Pixel Fall Launch

Ray Sidney-Smith

Augusto Pinaud

Art Gelwicks

Art Gelwicks, a productivity and collaboration consultant, blogger at, and host of the Being Productive podcast, CrossPlatform podcast, as well as ProductivityCast Podcast.

Raw Text Transcript | Commentary on Google Pixel Fall Launch

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Raymond Sidney-Smith 0:00

Hello personal productivity enthusiasts and community, welcome to Anything But Idle, the productivity news podcast. I’m Ray Sidney-Smith. And I was to bring up and we’re your hosts for Anything But Idle. This is Episode 87. I’ve got that right this time, the Google Pixel for launch event, our commentary episode on that, of course, each week we review and discuss the productivity and technology news headlines of the week. But when these major events happen, and we’ve had three of them happen this week, we bring you these special commentary episodes to discuss you discuss with you, you know, what basically happened at those events. And today, of course, we brought onto the show, again, Art Gelwicks, to talk about what happened at the Google Pixel fall event, Art. Gelwicks is a productivity and collaboration consultant. He’s a blogger at the idea pump calm, and he’s the host of the being productive podcast. He joins gousto pinout as a co host of cross platform. And then of course, he joins us weekly on ProductivityCast. And so Anything But Idle art,

Art Gelwicks 1:00

Hey, guys, long time no see,

Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:06

we’re spending Good, good amount of time together,

Art Gelwicks 1:08

they got to spread out these announcements better, they’re killing us with this. I mean, there’s so much stuff in one, I was not ready for this, all of this stuff that hit at one time. Not that I’m complaining, I love having all kinds of cool toys to look at. But Good grief.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 1:23

So this was the pixel fall event on October 19. And of course, at this event, the keynote and the product announcements really were for the long awaited, but mostly known about made by Google smartphones, the pixel six and the six Pro. And so what did you think about the event? Kind of, you know, generally? And what was the What did you feel like, you know, was good about the event bad about the event. And then we could talk about some of the particulars regarding the pixel six, the six pro and of course, the announcement of pixel pass, which is Google’s first kind of subscription service for the pixel phones specifically.

Art Gelwicks 2:05

Yeah, the event itself, I thought was, if you look at it in the context of all the events that happened, I’d say it was one of the better ones that’s happened recently, they did a very good job of laying out exactly what they wanted to cover and how they wanted to cover it. They didn’t lose sight of their messaging during the presentation itself. They made it very inviting, why they felt the need to actually do it in the Google Store was, I don’t know, that kind of alluded me a little bit. But you could tell from the beginning, that they were all in on the main parts of these new phones, the tensor chip, and the camera updates. This is this is their thing, this is their push, this is what’s going to make them different. Plus the fact that they really, they really seem to want to go out of their way to call out the fact that this is an this is not your pixel five, this is not your pixel four. This is not what your old expectations of your phones were there was actually a point during the presentation. One of the presenters kind of said, Yeah, the pixel five, for lack of a better term underperformed. It was still really good. But it underperformed and this is this device is so much better, 370 times, or 370%. Better, in some factor than the pixel fives were. So already, they were setting the groundwork to say, hey, what you knew about pixel phones, is not the case anymore. This is literally a full leap forward. You can see that from the design aesthetic, you can see that from the way they’re approaching it. And honestly, the way they have these these priced. They want to be a serious player in this, which is new for Google, I think, I don’t think Google has ever taken themselves seriously in this arena. And I think this is the first time that they’re stepping up to say, You know what? We are a viable alternative to Apple and Samsung.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 4:12

Yeah, the I think the breakout star of the show was the pricing, right? There’s they’re starting out, right? Yeah, pixel sixes are starting at the 599 price tag. And yeah, and then the pixel six Pro is coming out at 899. So both very competitively priced at their baseline.

Art Gelwicks 4:30

And just just think about that for a second. You’ve got a device, a pixel device, that it’s a pure Android experience. With five years I believe it’s five years of security updates for 599. That’s like Motorola level pricing. Plus, truly what I would say is the best camera in the business, not only from improved hardware now, which they finally stepped up and put A decent camera in it. But the software continues to be top notch. I would literally have no hesitation recommending this phone. to anybody who’s looking for an Android phone. I would say that this should be a serious considerate consideration for anyone who’s looking

Augusto Pinaud 5:21

on an undue conspiracy theories. This was really a job to who to Microsoft to Samsung. Because I agree I the big sell has always been, from my perspective, that toy that Google have, okay, and they’re powerful. They’re all that, but Google has never seem to make a real push. And they did the tablets and, but they they do it like, Hey, we can make a cool hardware, but we don’t care. This time, the impression was different for me, it was like, Okay, well, after five versions, we decided that we are going to start doing this seriously. And we are really going to bring it and then they bring it into a really competitive prices, which are completely powerful device. So who they’re taking the job to. So okay, it’s not the iPhone,

Art Gelwicks 6:16

well, no, but I’m going to build on it. Because I think who they’re taking a jab at, is themselves. And here’s, here’s where my conspiracy brain is going to go with this. If you’re going to put so much weight behind this new Google silicon, this tensor chip, that is supposed to be the most wonderful thing they’ve ever created, the last thing you want to do is put that in a crappy phone, you need to put that in a top notch device, because anything negative about that device takes away from all that effort that you’ve put into this tensor chip. So they, they literally, I would have loved to have been in that, that staff meeting or that design meeting where they’re all sitting around going, Yeah, we actually got to build a phone around this now. And if you’re a football fan, that’s kind of the way I’m looking at this from Google’s mindset, the tensor chip is their quarterback, they went out and they drafted and raised and through their academy system, a top notch striker, this is their guy, he’s the one that’s going to carry the franchise. But now you have to build the team around that guy. And that’s what I think Google is finally doing with these two phones, is they’re saying, we now have silicon that we can control, we can write our software to take maximum advantage of that silicon. But if we don’t have the supporting hardware around it, it’s not worth the effort, it’s going to cause problems to him. And you can see that with the increase in the battery size, you can see that in the increase with the camera sensors, you can see that in the increase with the memory, all of the things that they’ve gone through and optimized around the design considerations, that giant freaking camera bar on the back, not to go through and say, Oh, we need to make it little, we need to make No, no, we want the best camera experience possible. So therefore, we’re going to put a big bar on the back. And we’re going to put all the sensors there. And you’re going to know that that’s where all the sensors are. So I think it’s I think it’s Google really going through and saying, you know what, we’re going to be serious about this. Now, these are going to be our serious plays into this space. And they’re not releasing, you know, four different versions, five different versions, 10 different versions, they’ve two, that’s it. I don’t see any other variants coming of this, maybe next year, you’ll see a six a possible, but right now they got two players, they know who they’re shooting for. And that’s what they’re after.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 8:57

I always find it funny that we pay more for Android stock than we do for for OEMs that put a bunch of bloatware on our machines, I always find that to just be comical. But I am really pleased with this entire lineup I am I’m not actually sad that I bought the pixel five and will now trade it in and it’ll cost me you know, a couple 100 bucks, you know, in in changeover and whatnot, that’s fine, really to get a six pro that is going to be absolutely top notch in terms of capabilities. And, you know, while I have I have I went from the pixel two XL to the five so it was a pretty big leap for me and that was just because the two XL just kept on trucking. We and I’d gone through threes, a four, four XL, you know, it was a pourrais I think was a foray Excel and you know, like I was going through pixel devices for testing and utilize utilizing and whatnot. I went through a Samsung Galaxy 20 or two s 20 years 21 you know, I had some different phones. But my primary was still my two XL for some reason, it was just because it was what I was comfortable with that body was bigger than the pixel five, but same screen size, exact same screen size. And so going to the six Pro, the pixel six pro will be interesting for me because it will be this, you know, hi, you know, you know, high quality HD, and will be a bigger little, you know, incrementally bigger, but just a bigger screen size. So I’m curious to see how that will play out in terms of, you know, like I was talking about pocket ability, right, the ability for you to take your phone and stick it in a back pocket, and, you know, it fitting. And so I’m really curious with case and everything else like that, whether the the six Pro, the pixel six pro will will go ahead and do that. Well, the

Art Gelwicks 10:45

fact that they brought the six out in the smaller size factor, I think is a big callback to recognize that not everybody has massive pockets, which there’s clearly a market for for that. And again, that price point, but they’re not going to mnemic on it. I mean, you think about a five, you know, 599 phone, a $600 phone, this is a $600 phone that’s coming in with eight gigs of RAM, and 128 gig of storage. That’s nothing to sneeze at. That’s you’re getting a device that a year ago is a flagship device. So I really have no qualms about what they laid out on the table so far, from the hardware perspective, and especially from the software perspective. There’s Oh, go ahead.

Augusto Pinaud 11:38

Sorry, go go go. Now,

Art Gelwicks 11:40

my question was going to be based on what you guys have seen with the devices, though, and and I’m gonna ask you, would you recognize one of these phones if you saw it on the street?

Raymond Sidney-Smith 11:57

Oh, absolutely.

Art Gelwicks 11:58

And I think that’s the difference right there. We have for the first time, a Google phone that’s not a slab of black glass, we have one that has a design aesthetic on the back that makes it stand out. That makes it clear that this is a Google phone, even beyond the little g because even if you put a case on it, it’s still going to have that distinctive bar across the back.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 12:20

And all the cases, all the cases that are aftermarket and the ones that Google are providing, like has the big cut out for the bar is clear.

Art Gelwicks 12:29

And that for a company whose design aesthetic has always been lacking Spartan aid Spartan, Is that alright? Fine. Maybe it is in the hot gates of Thermopylae. But engineering focus will go that way. This is a whole different change. for them. This is a whole different approach. And to me, when I start to look at these devices, and people will get them in their hands. They’re gonna recognize, Hey, you know what, I can go get one of those, I can see one of this, I will be very curious to see how these are played in the carriers, how they actually sell and push these, because those never really seem to do much. But I think when we talk about that plate that Google pass later on, I think this that’s their way of fighting that. But can we talk about the cameras?

Raymond Sidney-Smith 13:20

Yes, let’s do it. 15 megapixel cameras,

Art Gelwicks 13:24

holy cow. I mean, if you’re, if you’re Now granted, there are bigger out there. I mean, there’s 108, I forget even how big the camera is in mind. But just the fact that Google’s going to something that’s almost four times the size of what they had before. And then you make that available to their software, Google night shot with a four times bigger sensor. Hope, I mean, I cannot wait to see the quality of the photos that come out. And the big press that they had a couple things is that they actually have a legitimate telephoto on there now, which is a big step. And they’re taking advantage of those multiple cameras. So they tackled their 4k video issue. Because it’s always been iffy on the 4k video, or on the video quality. They couldn’t do the fancy algorithmic based updates and cleanup of the video that way they could do it with the photos. But apparently they can now the tensor chip makes that possible. And when you see the samples of this video, it’s like holy cow. This is this is spectacular stuff. So again, we’ve talked about this in the past. This is a reference product. This is showing what’s truly possible. And now other companies have to step up and say, Yep, we can do that. Go ahead, God. I was gonna say, if you watch the Samsung event, there’s a point where they go through and in In when they’re demonstrating ui 4.0, they call out improvements to the camera software, specifically to say, Hey, we can do this stuff too with like, magic eraser. And that’s what they do something similar. So it’s already pressing the market forward saying, Hey, you know, this is now the minimum standard, you guys have to reach this and go beyond,

Raymond Sidney-Smith 15:23

right? Yeah, so they so they have these two primary features that they that they showcased here, among many other little refinements of the camera. But you know, one of the things that I had constant problems with with all of the prior pixel phones, is that if I open up my banking app, and I do a lot of mobile check deposit from various clients, and so I’ll get a check. And now I’ll open up the bank app. And the the image that the bank app is pulling in is not clear, it’s not as good because when I take it with the Google camera app, it’s doing all of its machine learning on top of it, and providing me with this great image. But when I when I do that, with the naked phone, it’s not taking as good a crisp image, I also have that problem, by the way, with my, you know, seventh Gen, iPad, 10 inch. So it’s not necessarily anything more than that, but the computational components of the photography, enhance it. And that doesn’t really work when you’re scanning things. And I’m really looking forward to seeing this camera, do that in these other ancillary applications, where you’re taking photographs that are without the computational components and still getting a clear image. And then, you know, the Magic Eraser app is basically your ability to take objects out of your photos. And so you know, somebody photo bombs, you you can, you can go ahead and kind of remove that person or remove, you know, silly objects that may be in the background that you don’t want to have there in that sense. So that’s really nice, real tone, so that it actually captures skin tones effectively, that was

Art Gelwicks 16:51

a big thing, just to hold you there for a second, they spent a lot of time talking about how the machine learning has been improved for true skin tone recognition. And I think that is that’s really important on a couple of different levels. One, not only the fact it’s a technological leap, but to the inclusivity leap and the recognition that this is a problem. And doing something about it sets the tone for other manufacturers to say, Yeah, we got to address that too, because it is clearly a problem. It is clearly a bias structure that you know that the algorithms are not engineered and not educated in a way to have that diversification, of being able to recognize different skin tones, it’s it’s really a big deal. It’s big, they gave it a lot of time. But I think it’s really important that they keep that at the forefront.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 17:49

Absolutely. And the guy who said

Augusto Pinaud 17:53

I was gonna say, and, you know, it is it is interesting, because really, what they did was a camera on the chipset and, and all these individuals I have seen outside it is I’m not a camera person. I’m not taking a lot of pictures, but I know I put use iPhone users who do. And right now if they come and ask for an advice is gone by that thing, because that’s going to be cheaper and better camera than the camera do right now on your iPhone.

Art Gelwicks 18:25

And that that’s the thing that always intrigued me with the pixel cameras. These are cameras that are truly point and shoot, they are smart enough that you will get a good photo almost every time. They they will handle it for you. So if we look at that classic comparison of why people off like Apple devices, it’s because they quote just work. Correct. That’s what the camera software does on a pixel. It just works. And it works all the time and you get fantastic photos. That’s one of the things that I’ve missed when I moved away from a four XL and I moved over to the note 20 the cameras fantastic on this note 20. But the software’s just not quite the same. I know I’m going to have to go in and tweak it a little bit or play with a little bit to get exactly what I want. Never had to do that on the pixel. He was always smart enough to handle it for me. So that’s you’re absolutely right. If somebody comes to me and says, Hey, I want to get an Android phone, I’m gonna point them at a six. I’m gonna say make sure you’re looking at this. I’ll also point about Samsung’s and things like that, you know for comparisons. But if you like to take a bunch of pictures, yeah, you can’t really go wrong with this.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 19:46

Also note that so in addition to that, the real tone and the magic eraser, they’ve also added motion mode, which allows some action shots you know, if you’re taking shots of people doing action based shots and then also faces deep Which seems to have been a problem with some children, you know, basically have, you know, having their faces kind of show up blurry and images. And this goes ahead and correct that. So that it’s

Art Gelwicks 20:10

just to jump in on that their description of how that worked, I found it was very interesting, because again, this is a good example of Google, leveraging the hardware that they’ve put into their device to provide functionality to solve a specific problem. In this case, if you have faced deibler turned on, it actually takes a picture with two lenses at the same time, and then uses machine learning, learning and algorithms to cross combine those two, meshing the faces to give you that clear shot. It’s one of those things, it’s a feature, you turn it on, the problem goes away. It’s that easy, but but there’s enough stuff in the background that they’re able to be able to do that and other vendors won’t be able to because they don’t have that hardware available to them.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 20:55

Now, they did note that it does not work on dogs and cats only humans. Yes. So that’s a that’s an unfortunate one for us pet parents. But the Yeah, so so they they did add those features to the camera app. And you know, again, it’s just a matter of setting the bar high enough for those folks so that you know they’re there. And then do we know what the backside camera is?

Art Gelwicks 21:21

I am looking right here, the 12 megapixel, okay, the second ultra wide camera is a 12 megapixel, with a two two aperture and 114 degree view. The pixel pro also adds a 40 megapixel camera with a four times optical zoom. So you’ve got I believe it looks like 12. That’s the problem with these is you get so many cameras, you can’t tell what’s what, right? Yeah, it looks like there’s the there’s the standard, the ultra wide. And if you get the Pro, then there’s the telephoto, the front facing camera is also 12 megapixel Yeah, is actually there’s two different ones, the front facing camera, and the six is an eight megapixel with a 2.0 aperture. And the six Pro is an OLED 11 megapixel with larger pixels and a slightly smaller 2.2 aperture. So yeah, if you’re a photo geek, that’s going to mean something, if not, it’s got cameras. So

Raymond Sidney-Smith 22:27

absolutely. And of course, it comes with Android 12. And there are some really fun things coming to Android 12. And so I don’t want to get too far into the weeds there. But you know, utilizing that tensor chip on your pixel device, so that you can do some of these things like live translation, I recently came into a challenge with a client, you know, who, you know, not doesn’t speak English, and I don’t speak her language. And so you know, the, the Funny enough, the, the second language of both of us that we could use was German. And unfortunately, her German wasn’t so great. And so I couldn’t really understand. And so we had to use Google Translate, you know, kind of put put on speakerphone, use the live Google translation, it’s not like, you know, it’s not gonna be perfect, but it was it was okay, now it’s being built into Google meet. So you’re capable of saying, Okay, I’m in an English speaking environment. But I want to have the person understand me in another language, that’s going to be really powerful for a lot of folks. It was fascinating

Art Gelwicks 23:29

to go to watch the live demo, because they did it with Marie Kondo. And they were doing it through Japanese, which has a speed to it, which I think causes havoc with many of the translation applications. And the one thing, she kept commenting, because she could understand not only the Japanese part of it, but the English translation of it, is how accurate the English translation was, which I know is always a challenge, he doesn’t quite get it, right. The fact that they’re doing that on device is huge. And again, back to that tensor processor, the ability to move so much of that functionality on device, they also talked about the text to speech, or the speech to text capability through. If you’ve been using the Google keyboard on your, on your Android phone, you’ve had that capability. But that’s always goes out to the cloud and back. This is all locally processed now. So the speed is there, the reliabilities there and the data security’s there. So that’s a huge thing in my book, especially that speech to text capability

Augusto Pinaud 24:37

Yeah, I think that’s that’s fantastic. I like I have to tell the story I had experienced similarly traveled to Brazil to meet with a client and when I get there, we have been doing business for a while good business but with Governor he didn’t speak English. English was too bad. My Portuguese was worst. So we sit basically, with the two computers side by side siren, I typed in Google and text to him. And when I saw that it made me thought about that app in Portuguese a couple of times in French was a Canadian, so it’s sometime my past or my life, and how easy is now to have a minimum conversation, discussion, coaching, but really use these tools and how easier they’re making it to even use it on the future.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 25:31

I think I think that, you know, language barrier is kind of the ultimate final frontier for human communication. Part of obviously, language is culture. And if we can get over the language part, then we can then start to sort of, you know, I guess, I guess the final frontier is, is culture, but then the, the, you know, penultimate frontier would be language. And if Google can solve that, for us in that sense, then it sets the standard for zoom, and for other organizations, large tech to fix those problems, Microsoft Teams, and otherwise, and so then we can start figuring out how to, you know, mediate across cultures, and that really brings humanity together in such a vibrant way, it seems subtle, it seems like such a subtle change, but it is actually substantial, when we think about the fact that we can do this kind of live translation in, in a real time engagement with someone across the planet, and not have language be the barrier to connecting, and I just think that’s gonna be really, you know, think of, you know, grandchildren of, of, of parents, you know, you know, of grandparents who can’t speak the language of their, of their, you know, ancestors, and they’re trying to go ahead and communicate with them now across languages, they can do those kinds of things. In that sense, I just see a lot of opportunity here where it not only brings families closer together, but it also brings, you know, business closer, collegial and personal relationships closer without, without that level of feeling that boundary of physicality, and that boundary of language. So it was just it stood out for me. And I thought that was really fascinating.

Art Gelwicks 27:06

Now, not to be a fanboy for the Google phone stuff, but there are a couple things that that concern me about it. One, they are still claiming that they’ll get 24 hours of battery life, even out of the bigger batteries. And I believe the Pro has a 5000 milliwatt battery. That is yet to be seen. I don’t think you’ll ever get a 24 hour battery out of these things. But if you can go a day, you’re fine. If you can go 12 hours, 16 hours, and you can do a fast charger, fine. That to me is still a bit of an overstatement. I’m also still concerned about two main areas one, how are they going to get these representatives in the carriers so that people actually buy them. Because that is that was always a challenge with the pixels will continue to be unless they get a larger footprint. You can get it directly from Google, you can get it from some channels. But we’re never going to see a massive groundswell on this. And I don’t know if they’re necessarily trying to do that. But if that’s their intention, they got to get a better footprint for that. The second part is the same question I have when we talk about, say the new Apple devices, anything like that, you’re making your own chips, do you have the supply chain necessary to be able to deliver this product? Same challenge with Samsung with the flip phones, they’re they’re already starting to see some of the stressors around being able to produce related to demand. And if these Google phones are the home runs, that they look like they’re going to be, are they going to be able to meet the demand? I don’t know, I’ve seen them struggle in the past. And with our current worlds, they that we have with supply chain challenges. I mean, this tensor chip is really cool. But the tensor chip is also based on ARM processors. So it’s not completely new from the ground up. There are other components that work into this equation that they have to have available to screen displays and that sort. So being able to meet demand is always a concern in my book for the way Google does things. So

Raymond Sidney-Smith 29:12

but it’s currently out of stock for you know, several of the versions of you’re already out of his truck. Yeah, so so I was looking at the trade in value for my own five, and you can still get from what I’m seeing on the website right now, you can still get the 128 gigabyte here in the United States unlocked in stormy black, in stock, but it seems like the higher level ones, which would, you know, I would probably like to max out at the at the, you know, 512 gigabyte version. We can’t get them because they’re out of stock. And you know, there’ll be replenishing, hopefully, quickly enough, but you’re absolutely right, we’re going to be dealing with the supply chain shortages, predominantly, you know, forced by labor shortages. And then of course, Chip shortages, compounded on upon that. So we’re gonna have some issues with getting access to it, but I think these are All things that Google is prepared for and will will solve over the short term. And then we get to the pixel pass, unless there’s any other pieces here, I’ll probably run through. So we noted the prices up front 599. For the pixel six, it’s at 128, or 2256 gigabyte storage variants, that’s a 6.4 inch screen. And they come in the colors of kinda coral, which is their limited edition version for that, sort of see seafoam, sort of seafoam and story black, then on the pixel six pro side, that’s 899 USD starting, and then you get 128 256 or 512 gigabyte variants 6.7 inch screen, so you get a little point three inch screen bump up there. And then the three colors are available in sort of Sunny, which is their limited edition color. And then cloudy white, and stormy black, as well. So those are kind of the specs on all of this are already noted the battery size. And so then we get on to the final thing they announced, well, they announced the pixel standard also, but you know, fine, but the, you know, if anybody wants to talk about the pixel standard, we can but but really the other primary thing that they discussed was the pixel pass. And so this is a bundle of sorts that puts together a number of different things. pixel pass is only available in the US. So if you’re, if you’re not in the us right now, you can just ignore this part. But the six and six Pro, as part of this process, you can get a pixel pass, what did you think about the pixel pass, and all of that stuff, so so that you are aware of, it’s the smartphone, you get biannual upgrades as built into it? And I’m not quite sure how that works, you know, is it going to be a lateral upgrade is, you know, like, what’s the what’s the upgrade process there. But it also then gives you access to YouTube premium, Google Play pass, and a 200 gigabyte Google one tier storage plan option. So you can also add an optional preferred care plan so that if you you know, break or damage the phone, you can have some device protection built in. And so that’s the whole kind of pixel pass connection there. And so you know, that’s a that’s a, it’s a nice discount when you put it all together if you already have those things.

Art Gelwicks 32:18

Well, and that would be my question is, if you already have those things, can you carry them over? Can you roll them over into it can get that discount? Because $45 for the phone is high? How long? Do you know how long that period is? I’m I’m looking right now to see how long that term monthly purchase would apply?

Raymond Sidney-Smith 32:43

Thought it was two years.

Art Gelwicks 32:45

Okay. I thought it was okay. Well, okay, Add to add two years. That’s not too bad. But still with the premium and YouTube Music premium and the play pass, I mean, play pass itself. You’re you’re talking probably, I forget how much I’m paying for that. But it’s not a huge amount. It’s a it’s a good play. If you don’t have a dedicated carrier, and you want to go down this path of using Google phi plus you plus this gives you $5 a month off your Google phi plan. Right? Right. So

Raymond Sidney-Smith 33:16

so it’s like, it’s like basically having a 25 or $35 phone payment, along with $20 of bundled Google services. Together,

Art Gelwicks 33:26

though, is it Google self subsidizing their phones?

Raymond Sidney-Smith 33:32

It’s giving Yeah, I don’t know, if it’s subsidizing I think it’s giving people a remember that not everybody on there is going to stick with pixel pass forever. So it gives them It gives people a long enough time and an entry level for buy in to the ecosystem. And then to feel like you can’t do without it. Like I have YouTube premium. And I enjoy having you to premium. I like having the features of YouTube premium. And so then I’m not going to want to let that go after I maybe discontinue my pixel pass if I get to that point. So I think that’s really the goal for them is to give people an entrance into those Google premium services. And then once they move on from, you know, their pixel device, they’ll still want the Google services.

Art Gelwicks 34:19

Yeah, the the site itself is saying that, excuse me, if you get a pixel six Pro, with the Google pass package, you’re gonna save $414 over two years. If you get a pixel six, it’s going to be savings of $296, as compared to getting those individual services. So that kind of makes sense. I mean, if you wanted to go down that path and play that game and not have a dedicated carrier, but use Google phi, it’s a great option. It’s a viable option. I mean, it doesn’t preclude you. I’m sure if you decided to not keep the pixel after that. You could convert each one of those services over to regular service plans. I’m sure they would like to do that so that you wouldn’t abandon all of it. The 200 gig in the cloud. It’s not bad. I think you’re going to chew through that pretty quick, though with the camera. And the photos you’re taking, especially if you’re going to keep them at original resolution rather than compressed. But it’s definitely a good option.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:22

I mean, yeah, you’re not you’re not tied to Google phi, I don’t believe at all. Oh, really? No, you’re not tied to Google. Google phi. You just have to buy it through the Google Store. And but but you can have it unlocked. And you can go on beyond any carrier. So they’re not tying you into a carrier, which is great.

Augusto Pinaud 35:38

You can buy it on Verizon, Verizon will give you a discount, you can buy it online, or you can buy it on Google phi.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:45

Okay, yeah. So so it’s an option.

Art Gelwicks 35:48

certainly an option.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 35:49

I think, I think it’s good I, you know, again, I still think that they need to be able to provide, like, I just I still don’t see this as a cost savings for me. But I wish that there were a plan for people who wanted, say, a YouTube premium, you know, YouTube TV, I just, I really see those, like, why can’t I have a plan that covers those two? Those two things, you know, it makes sense. YouTube premium gives me youtube music, and then the additional features of content and removing ads from the YouTube videos of being allowed to have downloaded YouTube videos on my mobile devices. So I can have YouTube locally, if I’m on the road, all those things are beneficial to me. But we also have YouTube TV, and we’re paying for youtube tv separately. That doesn’t make any sense. It just seems like they’re they both have YouTube in the name. We’re an all pixel household, we have a bunch of pixel devices. So why why can’t we bundle those pieces together and make pixel pass and the YouTube pieces really come together to make sense, you’re already bundling in YouTube premium into the pixel pass. Why wouldn’t you give me that in backwards compatibility? So I hope Google figures this out, because it makes no sense that we have this kind of weird pricing.

Art Gelwicks 37:05

I think they have they’re seeing the same team that’s doing their messaging products working on this. So

Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:11

don’t make fun of a made by Google folks. All right,

Art Gelwicks 37:17

I agree completely. I have YouTube TV. I’ve got the other services, I would love to see it under one umbrella. I’m totally fine with it under the YouTube TV umbrella. And if you don’t have YouTube premium, and you’re watching YouTube with commercials, I’m sorry, I apologize for you. Because it is terrible. It’s worth just getting rid of the ads.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 37:38

So yeah, absolutely. All right. Any other final thoughts around the Google Pixel fall launch event?

Art Gelwicks 37:46

Where was the fold? Where was the foldable Google phone? Where was the? Where was the Google watch?

Augusto Pinaud 37:55

I was going to be my question here. Is

Art Gelwicks 37:57

there? Is there more coming? Or is there another event coming? Or are they just kind of dragging their feet? This is one of those things that I wonder at times with Google, if they can’t just all get in the same room and say, Okay, let’s do all this together. It just really fragments, their messaging and their approach, I think,

Raymond Sidney-Smith 38:18

well, from a productivity perspective, I’m really, I’m really inclined to have a warehouse, you know, a pixel watch that is tied to my phone for the seamlessness between, like, I’m not worried about my, well, I am worried, but I mean, I feel more confident in having Google services and products because I can use them on any device, it doesn’t matter whether I’m on a Debian OS platform, I can be on you know, on on Ubuntu, I can be on Mac, I can be on iPad, I can be on Android, I can be on Windows, and I’m going to, I’m going to be able to access all of my Google services that I need to be productive. But really, the watching phone, I just have this real need to have a deep integration so that I’m able to do everything that I need to do and and that’s the part that I’m really most disappointed with, as it relates to Google’s slowness to this now they own the Fitbit. And so the Fitbit and its connectivities are and have been great for a long time. And so I can’t really fault them too much. But I wonder if there isn’t a bit of internal conflict between putting out a pixel watch and the fact that they own Fitbit. And they’ve been putting out new models of Fitbit watches, you know, which are pretty slick, they’re nice, but they’re just not where iOS and so I’m curious to see whether or not they put out a Fitbit where iOS watch and put it under that brand, as opposed to the pixel brand. And if that’s possible, right, like if that’s if that’s something within the realm of zone of possible agreement within the Google factions,

Art Gelwicks 39:53

I will speculate that you will not see if you do see a Fitbit wearos watch. You will see one of them. Because where oh S is heavy for lack of a better term, and the Fitbit audience as a very targeted purpose. I mean, the Fitbit tried to release the equivalent of a smartwatch before and it has not done well. So if you want that smartwatch capability, you’re going to step up to a pixel watch, you’re going to step up to, you know, a galaxy watch, I think they’ve kind of identified that’s where they want that to be the Fitbit side of the house. I think that’s going to stay targeted, focused and dedicated. What we may see though, is some of the smarts come over, we may see some of the malicious machine learning capabilities come over, we may find some way of them, you know, turning a tensor chip into something equivalent to that on a health related device. Because Google’s so all in on health and health capabilities. So it’s possible. But somebody said the front door, go get it. But it’s one of those things that I don’t know that we’re going to see them blend all that together. And it’s just, yeah, it does that well,

Raymond Sidney-Smith 41:11

I’m going to say that they have been made making steady marches forward toward it. So where wearos has come to Fitbit already in the charge five. So we know that Google is working on putting wireles on to Fitbit watches. So we’ve got the one, right, we’ve got the charge five coming with wearos on it. I’m just curious. I mean, that’s not a, that’s not a watch aware, you know, it’s just not something that I’m going to be doing. And I’ve owned fitbits before and I love the concept of Fitbit, but I’m watch where so I want a traditional classic looking watch. And I want it to also have the smart guts. And as you noted, you know where LS is, is is a big app, I mean, it’s a big application platform, it’s a big operating system. And so we need to make sure that the hardware associated with that is, you know, especially low light, low level hardware is going to be able to take the the necessary requirements and make it seamless for the user on the other side. So I’m curious to see what they do with the charge five, but I don’t know if that’s the right direction for Fitbit, in the premium watch space for people like me, which is you know, someone who wants a classic watch, they want the watch to be of a premium nature, but but I don’t want a fitness band, I want a watch, I want something that is you know, classic, elegant, something that I can wear out and feel good that it matches, you know my style and, and casual and dress style.

Art Gelwicks 42:45

And this is where I think that their joint effort with Samsung is going to pay off. Because you look at the the watch classic, you look at the act of watch. Those fit that bill of what you’re describing, they provide the Google capabilities will provide better Google capabilities as time progresses. But they have that level of functionality looking at the charge five, it’s a weird form factor. I mean, it’s that long vertical form factor which makes application design. Again, difficult. Because if you’re designing watch faces, you now got to design to watch faces three, four, it gets complicated. So while I think we’ll see that I think they may lean back in Google may lean back and say, Okay, we’re not going to try and fight that space. We’re going to let Samsung run with that and will will be a player involved in it through the background, you know, providing the the underlying architecture because if people use that, and if they finally put a system on the freakin watch, then they have that gateway and that connectivity. Bixby is fine Bixby works, but Bixby is still Bixby. So

Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:00

Alright, gentlemen, any final thoughts before we wrap up?

Augusto Pinaud 44:03

I get a Siri Oh,

Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:05

no, that’s not a possibility in this house. I actually I was I was in a meeting yesterday and I actually accidentally triggered Siri and I was shocked because I don’t usually use Siri at all. And I was like, how did I even do that? I don’t say you know,

Art Gelwicks 44:19

hurt and that’s actually the the right adjective to use because Siri is very triggering. So

Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:27

Art, thank you so much for joining us. And where can folks get to know you more and find out more about what you’re doing out there in the labs.

Art Gelwicks 44:36

Glad to be here guys. You can come over to the idea slash Follow me. If I’m writing something, if I’m recording something or if I’m showing something, it’s probably going to be there.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:47

Fantastic. Thanks so much Art.

Art Gelwicks 44:49

Thanks a lot guys.

Raymond Sidney-Smith 44:52

Already Augusto we’ve done it. three episodes down today. So folks out We will be back to our normal programming for Anything But Idle next week and but otherwise hopefully you have enjoyed our special commentary episodes. And this is Episode 87. So you have one coming after this in the podcast feed, which is Episode 88 on the apple launch event with Michael Sliwinski and Art Gelwicks. And so enjoy all of the shows that we recorded today. And we’ll see you next week on Anything But Idle Here’s your productive life.


Download a PDF of raw, text transcript of the interview here.

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