Published: Wed, May 08, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google announces midrange Pixel 3a and 3aXL with headphone jacks

Google announces midrange Pixel 3a and 3aXL with headphone jacks

A user will seemingly be able to open apps, set timers, reply to texts, activate the flashlight, browse Google Photos, get a vehicle from a ride-sharing service like Lyft, and do other typical Google Assistant things with minimal wait time or the need to say "Hey Google!" at any point in between.

Apparently, the new Assistant can understand voice requests in real time and deliver results ten times faster than its predecessor.

Google's smart reply feature is also getting expanded almost OS wide, now suggesting replies in messaging app notification, and also suggesting opening addresses in Google Maps. Google has applied this technique on Gboard, Google's smart digital keyboard, to improve next-word prediction for example by learning trending neologisms such as "zoodles" or "Yolo" at the same rate as humans begin using them. So for now, it's Android 10 Q. But oddly enough Google has stopped saying it's going to make feature updates faster, and is now choosing to focus exclusively on security patches with this rhetoric.

Let's have a look at the specifications make-up of both devices.

Those more ambitious projects, like developing speech recognition software for people with speech impediments and using machine learning to detect diseases in their early stages, are all built atop the company's research into machine learning and computer vision. But we were surprised to hear that you can buy one in Australia from today. "They are not bad, but they nearly seem like they're created to give the company a better messaging push instead of making wholesale improvements to user privacy".

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Android Q includes nearly 50 new features focused on security and privacy - the latter gets a top level placement in Settings even. The technology behind this, called Duplex, was announced with much fanfare previous year when Google demonstrated it making a call to book a restaurant reservation.

Google's new mid-range phone isn't as powerful as its flagship devices, as it is relying on a budget-minded Qualcomm Snapdragon 670 processor, as opposed to the Snapdragon 845 that's at the heart of the Pixel 3.

So far, 2019 has been relatively tough for Google. Later this year Google will be introducing that upgraded "next-gen Google Assistant" to the new line of Pixel 4 phones.

"Google is no longer a company that just helps you find answers".

Google I/O runs through Thursday May 9 at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California.

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