Google announced Google Pixel phones this week, focusing on how they incorporate Google Assistant seamlessly into the software and harping a lot on the quality of the camera, Google Duo (for Facetime/Skype-style calls) and the DayDream View VR headset.
So what’s the pitch on the Google Pixel? Is this interesting for Mac/iOS folks?
At first glance (and second and third) it’s amazing the similarities to the iPhone, including not just the look of the device, but the features Google is touting and even how it’s marketing the Pixel.
It seems to me that Google is taking control of the hardware and software experience with Android in a way that it never has, and the “feel” of that branding experience is very Apple-like. The rollout even focuses on how easy it is to switch to Pixel—something Apple has focused on for years.
(I noticed that, scrolling the Pixel’s page, there isn’t a cute little Android icon anywhere. The word “Android” shows up twice in the text and twice in footnotes. In other words, they’re burying “Android” in place of “Google.”)
The more I look at this, the more it looks like a play directly for Apple users—especially those of us who use a lot of Google products and could imagine being comfortable in that eco-system.
For those of us who are Gmail/Google Map/Google Calendar/Google Apps users… the thought becomes: ‘Maybe I’d be better off with a Google phone.’
(Check out this podcast discussion I had with Brian about the Pixel, another iPhone user.)
For some Apple users, it’s the chaos of the Android ecosystem that keeps us away from the lower-priced and sometimes better-equipped phones.
If Google can overcome that, they may have some switchers on their hands.