I flew to NYC for a 23-hour trip to watch the Made by Google event in person. It took place at Pier 57 in a pretty fancy event space. Google always has liked to hold events in nice places. Shortly after Google’s head of devices and services Rick Osterloh took the stage, he made a small comment about how he was looking around the room and could see faces of people who were at the first Pixel launch and I instantly went down a nostalgic rabbit hole of all the Google Nexus and Pixel launch events I’ve been to. I’m 98% sure I’ve been at every Pixel launch event in person. Kind of crazy.
You can preorder all of the devices Google announced now. If you preorder the Pixel 8 Pro, you’ll get a Pixel Watch 2 for free. If you preorder the standard Pixel 8, you’ll get a free pair of Pixel Buds Pro. All of the new devices arrive Oct. 12.
The 8 Pro has a totally new design for the Pro line, ditching the curved edge display for a flat screen design. It also has a pretty big camera upgrade, as most flagship phones do every year, and there’s now a temperature sensor on the back of the phone. Google’s touting the sensor as a way to check the temperature of random objects, which sounds fun, but not all that useful on a daily basis. However, Google plans to eventually get FDA clearance for the sensor to measure your temperature and log it into the Fitbit app. I think the plan all along was to check your own temp, but FDA clearance didn’t arrive in time for launch.
The Pixel Watch 2, for me, has the most exciting new feature announced today and that’s the ability to measure your body’s stress level and log it into the Fitbit app. I would love nothing more than to have an objective source to tell me when I was stressed or anxious, especially if I didn’t realize it. Hopefully it works.
Another nostalgic side note: James Park, CEO of Fitbit (seen above), came out on stage and walked us through the Pixel Watch 2. I’ve interviewed Park a half-dozen times or so before Google bought Fitbit. Actually! I interviewed him for Fortune Magazine right after he rang the opening bell on Wall Street the day Fitbit was on the stock market, and he gave us full access to his heart rate and sleep data leading up to and on the day his company IPO’d. The story was printed in the magazine, but here’s a link to the web version.
I’ll have reviews of all the hardware in the coming weeks, and maybe a how-to article or two covering the new features. More to come!
Flash sale: 50% off Lightning cables from Nomad Goods
If you don’t plan on upgrading to the iPhone 15 and its USB-C port quite yet, you can find some good deals on Lightning cables. Nomad Goods is giving 50% off all of its Lightning cables to Cip’s Clips subscribers through Sunday at midnight if you use the code “CCLIGHTNING” at checkout. I have their cables all over my house.
To be clear, I make nothing off you clicking that link and using that code. I legit like Nomad’s products. Good stuff.
Stories I’ve had published this week
- I rounded up all of the hardware news from the Made by Google event, going into more detail (and forgoing any nostalgia) for The Street. You can read that story here.
- The camera on the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max is crazy good and full of a ton of new features. Not all of them are all that obvious, so I broke down how Apple is able to claim it has seven different lenses, where to find them, and even how to use that adjustable focal point feature I included in last week’s newsletter. You can read that story on Pocket-lint.
- Which phone is the King of Android? Google’s Pixel 8 Pro or Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra? That’s something I tried to figure out for Pocket-Lint. Spoiler: It’s too close to call for now. But if you want to read the spec-by-spec comparison, then you can do that here.
- Need a break from all things Pixel? The iPhone’s MagSafe charging feature is low-key one of my favorite features added to a phone in the last 5 years. I use it daily to wirelessly charge my iPhone, hold my wallet in place and with the addition of StandBy to iOS 17, it’s become even more integrated into my daily routine. Aren’t sure what StandBy is? Or where to start with MagSafe chargers? I got you, fam. I rounded up the best MagSafe chargers for The Street, where I even explained Standby. If you’d rather just order the top pick for best MagSafe stand, that’d be the Twelve South HiRise 3 Deluxe.
Other tidbits and looking ahead
Samsung had a busy week itself, announcing a new SmartTag2 tracker that’s similar to Apple’s AirTags, and an entire line of new Galaxy FE (Fan Edition) products. There’s a new Galaxy S23 FE, Tab S9 FE and Galaxy Buds FE. You can read a good breakdown of what’s new with the FE line and why you should care over on The Verge.
Amazon is having yet another Prime Day. The two-day event is next week — Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 — I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to cover it here. I may end up sending next week’s newsletter early and include links to stuff I actually use and recommend. Then again, I may not. (If you feel strongly about it one way or another, reply to this email and let me know!)
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