Wow, Google really, really wants to be cooler than Apple

Wow, Google really, really wants to be cooler than Apple

Tech duopoly infighting – love to see it. Google dropped several burns on its longtime nemesis Apple during its Pixel Event On Thursday, where the tech giant unveiled its Pixel 7 line-up and long rumor Pixel Watch and teased an upcoming dockable Pixel tablet — and we are here for that.

Google’s live stream of the event began with a fun commercial in which a group of musicians coordinated an impromptu virtual jam session with a little help from their Pixel Phoneswatches and listeners. As the hip quartet came together to make some great music on the same stage as the Google executives were about to appear, I thought for a second I was looking at another Apple event. Is Google “cool” now?

As someone sitting here with a Fitbit on my left wrist and a Pixel 6 to my right, I’ll reveal my bias and say, yeah, totally cool. As someone sitting here counting the ways Google just pulled a “How are you, classmates?” I have to say…probably not.

There was a guy in my college dorm who wanted nothing more than to invite friends over to hang out with him, but for some reason (he was kinda weird I guess) no one ever knocked at his door. “I don’t understand,” he said. “I have food. And music!” It’s basically Google.

volume the Pixel 6 ripsthe Pixel Watch looks like a winner and Android 13 has a ton of cool features to get excited. But the Pixel brand has always won only 2% of the North American market against 52% for the iPhone.

Still, I like a good underdog story, or what you call a software giant with a fragile material balance which also happens to be one of the largest companies in the world. And I particularly appreciate when this “underdog” is so wild.

Pixel 7 in white and Pixel 7 Pro in black, side by side, facing back

The Pixel 7 (left) and the Pixel 7 Pro.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Always-on display and lock screen widgets: “We take it as a compliment when others in the industry follow our lead,” Brian Rakowski, Google’s vice president of product management, said during the Pixel 7 keynote, checking the name of the always-on display of the Pixel, lock screen widgets and astrophotography. Paraphrase: But we’ve had this stuff since, like, never! Apple has just added a always-on display on the iPhone 14 Pro and lock screen widgets in iOS 16both in the past — check the watch — month.

Car crash detection: Rakowski also pointed out Google introduced car crash detection three years agobefore it was cool — before it was a twinkle in the eyes of the iPhone 14. Major hipster vibe.


The iPhone has a flat edge.


iPhone design: Google also threw some shade at Apple’s design choices, genuinely undertweeting the iPhone colors (“We don’t just copy/paste a single color we love into all of our products”), a flat-edged tile design (“Your phone and watch are meant to be personal, to be touched and worn… And they have smooth, rounded surfaces so they always feel great in your hand and on your wrist”) and the AppleWatch “prominent” external connectors (“You’ll notice the Pixel Watch doesn’t have [them]like many watches do”).

Photo blur: A die The exciting new features of the Pixel 7 is Photo Unblur, which Google says will sharpen blurry photos, even older ones taken “on a phone or camera that doesn’t quite match the quality of a Pixel phone.” Like, say, an iPhone? I’m just saying the quiet part out loud here.

RCS: The spiciest zinger came from Google’s required RCS advocacy. “RCS is the modern industry standard for messaging. And it’s already been adopted by most of the industry,” Rakowski said, pointing out modern and more. Note that RCS is actually Google’s own technology, not technically an industry standard (and not without its issues). Google has been trying to make RCS a reality since 2008, really hijacking the green bubble shame story. “We hope every device manufacturer will understand the message and adopt RCS, which will improve texting for every smartphone user,” Rakowski added. Paraphrase: I ask you again to support Enhanced Communication Services!

the Google logo and Made by Google are projected onto a stage in front of an audience


This is not the first time that Google has criticized Apple for not “getting the message”. In August, Google launched a whole Android campaign dedicated to the cause, this time explicit in its addressee. Google has announced several improvements to its Messages app earlier in 2022, many of which make texting a friend with an iPhone a little more enjoyable. But Apple has doubled down on its proprietary messaging app by iOS16freeing new features such as the cancellation of the sending of an SMS it won’t work when your recipient is team android. “Buy your mom an iPhonesniffed Tim Cook. blue/green bubble lives on. So much drama!

I would be remiss if I did not point out that this underdog story is not without twists and turns: Google later announced features of the Pixel line of phones that he copied from Apple, like Cinematic Blur (or Cinematic mode), 2x zoom and face recognition/Face ID.

For more Google Pixel coverage, check out everything Google announcedour first takes on the Pixel 7, Pixel 7 Pro and Pixel Watchand relive the experience with CNET’s live blog.

#Wow #Google #cooler #Apple

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