Google Launches New Phones, Tablet, Home Hub
Google has launched the latest versions of its Pixel smartphone, as well as a new tablet computer and a smart home controller.
The new products were announced during an event Tuesday in New York.
Google launched the first Pixel smartphone two years ago as part of a major new effort to develop hardware. The company is better known for building software to power internet search technology and the Android smartphone operating system.
Over the past two years, Google has sold about 7 million Pixel phones, the technology research company IDC estimates. Those sales are a very small part of the estimated 3.6 billion phones sold by all manufacturers during that same two-year period. Apple, for example, sold about 388 million iPhones during the two years.
Google's new smartphones — the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL — appear aimed at providing iPhone-like features at a lower price.
The Pixel 3 will be available October 18 in the United States for $799. The larger Pixel 3 XL will cost $899. This compares to the iPhone Xs, which sells for $999, and the iPhone Xs Max, priced at $1099.
Both new Pixels are also being released in 12 other countries, including Japan, Singapore and India.
During Tuesday's launch event, Google officials demonstrated new features and improvements to the Pixel 3. At times, they made direct comparisons to iPhones.
Google promises better camera performance in its Pixel 3 devices. A new tool is designed to use machine learning software to produce better low-light and close-up shots. The tool works by combining many shots quickly taken one after the other. The camera also uses machine learning to examine the many photos it takes in an effort to find and suggest the best ones.
Pixel 3 phones were also built with two camera lenses in front, which Google demonstrated as a helpful tool when taking selfies with large groups.
The phone is also able to answer itself if the user cannot or does not want to pick up. If a call comes in, the user can touch the screen to have the phone answer and ask who is calling. The answer from the person placing the call is then put into a text message and shared with the user in real time.
Google Product Manager Liza Ma said the feature puts the user in complete control of the phone.
"You can decide whether to pick up, send a quick reply, or mark the call spam. You'll never have to talk to another telemarketer."
As with the earlier models, the new Pixels center heavily on the company's search engine and other products. These include maps, Google Assistant and YouTube video service.
Google also introduced its new Home Hub, an internet-connected smart speaker and home controller with a small screen. The device is similar to Amazon's Echo Show and Facebook's new Portal.
The company said Home Hub is designed to be a central controller for many devices throughout the home, such as lights, outdoor cameras, temperature controls and televisions. Like similar devices, it can be activated by voice to play music and look up information on the internet.
Home Hub will cost $149 when it goes on sale later this month in the United States, Britain and Australia. This compares to the new version of Amazon's Echo Show, which sells for $229. The cost of the Facebook Portal starts at $199.
Google also announced it would launch a new computer tablet later this year called the Pixel Slate. The company says the device will be powered by its own newly designed Chrome OS system. It appears aimed at competing with Apple's iPad Pro.
The Slate will run Android phone apps, but Google says it offers performance closer to a desktop computer. It is priced at $599. An exact release date has not yet been announced.
I'm Bryan Lynn.
1. be known for 以…闻名的；
Ozone is best known for its role in screening the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays from the Sun.
2. at times 有时；间或；
The debate was highly emotional at times.
3. pick up 接电话；
I'll pick up the phone.
4. be similar to 相像的；相仿的；类似的；
My teaching style is similar to that of most other teachers.
作为开发硬件的主要新举措，谷歌在两年前发布了首款Pixel智能手机 。谷歌在为互联网搜索技术和安卓智能手机操作系统制造软件方面更为出名 。
据技术研究公司IDC估计，谷歌在过去两年售出约700万台Pixel手机 。这一销量在同期所有制造商售出的约36亿部手机中只占很小的份额 。举个例子，苹果在过去两年售出了约3.88亿台iPhone手机 。
谷歌推出的Pixel 3和Pixel 3 XL两款新手机，旨在以较低的价格提供类似iPhone手机的功能 。
Pixel 3将于10月18日在美国上市，售价799美元 。尺寸更大的Pixel 3 XL售价为899美元 。相比之下，iPhone Xs的售价为999美元，而iPhone Xs Max售价为1099美元 。
谷歌官员在周二举行的新品发布会上展示了Pixel 3手机的新功能和改进之处 。他们在展示期间有时会与iPhone手机进行直接比较 。
谷歌承诺在Pixel 3手机上提供更好的相机性能 。该公司推出了一种新工具，旨在利用机器学习软件来提供更好的低光和特写镜头 。该工具通过将多次连续拍照的镜头组合起来来实现效果 。相机还能利用机器学习来检查所拍摄的多张照片，以找出并推荐最佳照片 。
Pixel 3手机同样配备了两个前置摄像头，谷歌称在一大群人自拍时这是一个有用的工具 。
新款手机还能在用户无法或不想接电话时自动应答 。如果有电话打进，用户可以触摸屏幕，让手机自动接听并询问是谁打来的电话 。对方的回答随后会被转换成文字信息，并实时与用户共享 。
谷歌产品经理Liza Ma表示，这一功能让用户可以完全控制手机 。
“你可以决定是否接听电话、发送快速回复或标记为骚扰电话 。这样一来，你再也不用和电话推销员对话了 。”
与之前的型号一样，新款Pixel手机也以谷歌的搜索引擎和其他产品为重 。这些包括地图、谷歌助手和YouTube视频服务 。
谷歌还推出了新款Home Hub，这是一款带屏幕的联网智能音箱和家居控制设备 。这款设备与亚马逊的Echo Show和脸谱网的新款Portal类似 。
谷歌公司表示，Home Hub旨在成为家中众多设备的中央控制器，比如电灯、户外摄像头、温度控制器和电视等 。与类似设备一样，Home Hub也可以通过语音激活，来播放音乐和在互联网上查找信息 。
Home Hub将于本月晚些时候在美国、英国和澳大利亚上市，售价为149美元 。对比一下，亚马逊新款Echo Show的售价为229美元 。而脸谱网推出的Portal的售价为199美元起 。
谷歌还宣布将于今年晚些时候推出新款平板电脑Pixel Slate 。谷歌表示，该设备将搭载谷歌自主研发的新版Chrome OS系统 。这款平板似乎旨在与苹果的iPad Pro相竞争 。
Pixel Slate将运行安卓手机应用程序，不过谷歌表示，这款平板电脑可以提供接近于台式电脑的性能 。该设备售价为599美元 。目前谷歌并未宣布确切的上市时间 。