I have been considering an terrible lot about Pixel telephones recently. And it appears protected to say the trigger for my present contemplation is a teensy bit uncommon.
The burning query in Android Land at this specific second, y’see, is why Google seems to be getting ready to launch a brand new Pixel telephone that appears shockingly just like one among its earlier-generation Pixel fashions — which itself existed in an odd in-between place, with no apparent cause for its presence in final yr’s quirky lineup. (Oof. My head hurts.)
That, nonetheless, is just not the query we’re right here to contemplate immediately. Till Google truly releases that gadget, we do not essentially know the complete image of what it entails, and all we are able to do is speculate.
At this time, the puzzler I need to ponder is a bigger-picture query concerning the Pixel line’s existence and the way Google is — or possibly is not — positioning the telephone for achievement.
As a part of my just-launched Pixel Academy e-course, I have been main people on a deep-dive journey to discover a few of the most helpful — and, in lots of circumstances, distinctive — prospects introduced by Google’s Pixel telephones. And whereas chatting with a few of the sensible and enticing land-mammals who’ve signed as much as uncover the hidden secrets and techniques of their pocket-sized Pixel friends, I have been reminded of one thing: Google actually does a mind-bogglingly unhealthy job of publicizing the Pixel’s strengths.
Now, I am not speaking concerning the higher-level Pixel benefits, just like the telephone’s distinctive consumer expertise or its peerless stage of post-sales software program help. These are critically necessary qualities, no doubt, however they are not precisely perks which are simple to articulate to the phone-buying lots. They’re pretty summary, considerably technical, and simply not the types of issues you may placard on a billboard and use to seize the eye of a median tech-seeking Homo sapien (and/or platypus).
However what kinds of perks are simple to market? Yep, you guessed it: those that contain particular options designed to handle widespread ache factors and make your life a bit of simpler. (Man, you are good!) And that is very true when these perks revolve round futuristic-sounding Google smarts — smarts no different firm may even come near matching.
These are the options that set the Pixel aside in significant, sensible, and impossibly engaging methods — and but, Google does virtually nothing to advertise these types of prospects. Not solely is the overall phone-buying public woefully unaware of their existence, however Pixel house owners themselves, as my Academy interactions have jogged my memory, are positively blown away once they study what their gadgets have been in a position to do all this time.
We are able to discover quite a few examples that match into this narrative, however two Assistant-connected techniques stand out essentially the most. The primary is a characteristic that routinely screens calls from personal, unknown, or suspected spam numbers and also can reply and display any incoming name on demand. Google’s silky-voiced digital helper truly picks up the telephone and asks the caller what they’re calling about, then relays that data to you in your display. You’ll be able to even ask follow-up inquiries to get further data, if you’d like, earlier than deciding if you wish to cope with the decision your self or let Assistant take a message.
I imply, actually: Who would not need entry to that?!
The second characteristic is a vaguely associated system that depends on Assistant to carry for you anytime you end up within the unenviable place of listening to how “necessary your name is” (and the way it’ll be answered, in fact, within the order it was obtained — insert retching sound right here). Every time such a state of affairs arises, a Pixel telephone places a immediate on the display providing to take over the holding for you after which provide you with a warning as quickly as an alleged human comes again on the road.
Fairly forkin’ unbelievable, proper? You’d higher consider it. And each options work impressively properly, too.
Now riddle me this: How usually have you ever seen these options marketed or promoted, whether or not inside an precise Pixel telephone or in some type of exterior advertising and marketing? Until you’ve got been residing in a dramatically completely different world from the one I have been wading round recently, the reply most likely falls someplace between “extraordinarily not often” and “by no means.”
I imply, heck, even on the storefront web page the place Google explicitly tries to persuade individuals to purchase Pixel telephones, the corporate makes completely no point out of both of those awe-inspiring parts. As an alternative, its high promoting level is the truth that Pixel telephones “come preloaded with all of the Google apps you like.”
Erm, proper. That is what makes these telephones particular? That is what’s gonna persuade common phone-buyin’ folks to go away behind the brilliantly marketed manufacturers they’ve identified and trusted for ages — gadgets the place, thoughts you, stated Google apps are additionally available? Actually, Google?!
Now think about if the following iPhone got here with these very same options — the A.I.-enabled name screener and hold-for-you expertise. Think about how Apple would market these prospects. They’d be modern, groundbreaking, magical and revolutionary, rattling it! They’d be life-transforming techniques obtainable “solely on iPhone” (as a result of when somebody pretentiously avoids the usage of articles whereas referring to their merchandise, you know they need to be necessary).
Plain and easy, we might by no means hear the tip of it. And with Google? Google’s obtained the products this very minute. And we by no means hear a single peep about it.
It is not simply these newer Assistant-connected bits of intelligence that match into this sample, both. From kind of the get-go, Pixel telephones have had a intelligent system for working hand-in-hand with Google Photographs and routinely clearing out native copies of backed-up media at any time when a telephone’s storage begins to run low. It is a easy factor, nevertheless it’s such a pleasant little addition and one other good instance of a high-impact, hassle-eliminating characteristic. We have all had the frustration of working low on native storage, in spite of everything. And even when you use Photographs for backing up your photos, the onus nonetheless falls upon you to periodically go in and clear up the native copies — until you personal a Pixel, through which case, Google companies can work collectively in concord and deal with all of it for you with none ongoing effort.
That is the very first merchandise in day 5 of my Pixel Academy e-course. And guess what? It is one of many issues I’ve heard essentially the most reactions about — reactions from individuals who personal Pixels and had no thought it was current or potential.
And all of that is to say nothing concerning the equally underplayed notion of Pixels and privateness — an nearly ironic-seeming benefit, contemplating the countless questions surrounding the topic of Google and privateness today, however an space the place Google might severely set its telephones other than the invasive ad-injecting, shady data-selling setups its Android-embracing companions present with out most people even realizing it.
Advertising and marketing has by no means been Google’s energy, to place it mildly. However as we gear up for the Pixel line’s sixth technology of gadgets — a technology that is anticipated to be an actual turning level for the merchandise, with the first-ever Google-made processor and all the intriguing prospects that might allow — it is onerous to not surprise how the corporate continues to overlook the mark so badly on emphasizing the Pixel’s most outwardly spectacular benefits. And it is onerous to not surprise how completely different the gross sales image may very well be if it ever found out how one can current its merchandise in a manner that really resonated on a big scale.
Google’s obtained the products. Now it is gotta work out how one can let individuals learn about ’em as a substitute of hiding ’em away as Android’s best-kept and most mystifying secret.
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