2023 Made By Google event - what did you think?

This Community skews a bit toward phone :nerd_face: types, so I expected to see some comments about today’s Made By Google Event.

Did you watch? If so, what did you think?

I’m extremely fortunate to have a fabulous employer who provides us with a new phone every two update cycles. As a relatively new employee with the company, I had not taken advantage of this perk… until today :grin:. I watched the Made By Google Event and submitted my pre-order for the Google Pixel 8 Pro as soon as the order option popped on the screen. With it, I’ll get a free Google Pixel Watch 2 (WiFi version). Don’t even bother with me this year, Santa, there’s no way you’re topping this!

This will be my first Pixel phone, and I’m very eager to make the move away from Samsung’s bloatware. Yes, I know the Pixel will have Google bloat on the phone, but I’m already all-in when it comes to Google. All my home’s smart devices are Google Home products, my phones have always been Androids, and I use Google for email, photo storage, search engines, documents and spreadsheets. I’m fine with letting one company know everything about me, but I don’t want to share the joy with Samsung, Motorola, Apple, Microsoft, or anyone else.

I’m not too terribly keen on all the AI hype in this year’s release, but I understand the AI train is a strong one, and companies have to hop aboard lest they get left behind. The AI photo enhancements strike me as “too much.” Do we all really need “picture-perfect” pictures every time we snap a shot? Take a bunch of group pictures and let the AI swap the faces out so that you end up with a shot where no one blinked! Take a great photo at a crowded tourist attraction, and magically erase all the strangers from the shot. Maybe if I were into social media these features would be more important to me. Maybe I’ll warm up to them.

I did like the sound of the Super Actua display to make it more likely I’ll be able to read my screen even in bright sunlight. That’s one thing I’ve really liked about my Samsung phone, and even my Fitbit Sense is legible to my old eyes in bright sunlight. I hope the Pixel 8 Pro delivers on this promise.

I had to laugh at the idea of a temperature sensor on the phone, and the suggestions they had for how it would be useful. Then came the news that they’ve submitted an application with the FDA to be able to use the sensor to measure human temperature. I suspect that was the goal all along, and I imagine there’s a good bit of unhappiness in the Google HQ that they didn’t get that application approved before today’s event. Having worked with teams at Google, Apple, AT&T, and some other very large, powerful companies, I’ve seen how they react when outside forces don’t meet their deadlines!

Rick Osterloh promised to support the Pixel 8 for seven years of OS upgrades! “For the first time, Google is expanding Pixel support to seven years. Seven years of OS upgrades, security updates, feature drops, and AI innovations. That means your Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be supported all the way to 2030.” That’s welcome news, and almost makes me wish I had gone ahead and splurged on one of the larger memory options. I note, though that the Google Store promises only “Seven years of security updates.” :frowning_face:

AI was also an important part of this year’s updated Pixel buds. I didn’t order them, but some of the noise reduction features almost made me want to. I hope someone here ends up with a set and lets us know how those features play out, especially the one that pauses audio when the buds hear you speaking. Seems like there’s lots of false-positive potential, making it a feature that quickly gets disabled!

As for the Pixel Watch 2, I’m sure it’ll be packed with features I’ll never figure out, but this lefty was pleased to see at least one person in the photos wearing the watch on her right arm, with the proper orientation. That’s a feature that was never released on the Fitbit Sense, which means a bent wrist often triggers the side button.

Anyone else have thoughts about today’s event or the newest releases? Did you order, or are you tempted?


Man, I wish there were something I was excited about. As far as hardware goes we seem to have plateaued in the last few years. Most of the cool stuff seems to be focused around AI, and that’s more software as a service for now. I haven’t watched the Apple or Google conferences for some time. I figure anything significant that comes out of them will be thoroughly reported by tech news and clickbait sites.

We’re a Google home (except for the kid who is following his school buddies down the iPhone path). Anytime Google comes out with something new they seem to push an ad for whatever new feature they’ve added to my phone. The most excited I’ve been about one of those pushed ads involved adding spooky sounds to my Nest doorbell cam.

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I don’t follow stuff that much.
I’m hoping my current Pixel will last me till after the 9 comes out. 7 years of support sounds good!

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