I’ve Been With Google For 30 Days. Things Are Getting Serious.
Google is a lifestyle choice. And now it has the devices to prove it.
I was recently on a train traveling home from Montreal when I got locked out of my test Google Pixelbook. I panicked. In that moment, various Handmaid’s Tale scenarios went through my head because I truly believed that Google had shut me down. My Pixelbook had been disabled and I was off the G-Train. When you deep dive into a new system as I did for this article, you don’t know what you’re getting into. Two deep breaths and one hard reboot later, the Pixelbook and my sanity were restored. Suffice to say I don’t consider myself a technophile. I’m not even in love with my phone. But I don’t ride a horse and buggy to work either and refuse to be a luddite.
The Google Pixel 1 Is a Great Camera
Full disclosure: I do love the Google Pixel phone and have been on the Android device for over a year. Without any exaggeration, the Google Pixel saved my life and career earlier this year when I was given the opportunity to cover London Fashion Week. This was a dream come true, but my phone was near death having been dropped one too many times on the ground. A former colleague loaned me a Google Pixel, and the camera on it was incredible. My career had been saved. I’ve always felt like I owed Google since then, and began toying with the idea of embracing Google wholeheartedly. Various circumstances made this possible for the first time in a while. My laptop was dying; my kids were outgrowing the tablet and getting a game console, and I was already on an Android phone. These thoughts were percolating when Google dropped a suite of new products.
Pixel 2 XL Is An Even Better Camera
I’ve long been concerned with what technology is doing to my vision so I’ve been on a bigger screen phone format for some time now. Therefore moving to the Pixel 2 XL with its 6-inch (150 mm) screen was a given. If you wonder what it takes to make the change from one phone to Pixel 2 XL, it’s really easy with the adapter inside the box.
Sorry to annoy the tech-savvy, but I meet countless people who shudder at the thought of leaving their longtime phone behind, preferring to complain about an outdated obsession. What will happen to their contacts? Their photos? Their this? Their that? Newsflash: Everything transfers seamlessly. The key glitch on my first Pixel was I could not get my Facebook Live to work. The glitch was gone on Pixel 2 XL and there have been so many improvements to the already highly rated camera that I will source a sidebar tutorial at a later date.
Full of Gas
Though the Pixel XL 2 has a long life, charging it on the fly can be a problem. No hotels have a Pixel charger at the front desk, but there’s always an Apple or Android adapter around. I find myself in a bind one night in a hotel when my Pixel XL dies and can’t be charged. I lay awake all night from the stress. Order an extra charger. There is that small adapter in the box that I mentioned earlier. At first I only used it when changing from from Apple to Google but that can be taken everywhere so you can connect to other chargers if need be.
Bend It Like Pixelbook
But if you really want to make the jump, the much-hyped Google Pixelbook is the crucial piece in this conversion puzzle. It’s a hybrid laptop and tablet with a screen that folds closed or backwards for easy viewing if you plan to watch TV. The keyboard feels amazing to the tips and an additional Stylus Pen allows you to take notes and doodle. It’s also a touchscreen.
Now as a writer and editor, I have been getting more and more into the cloud concept of sending and receiving files. I love the ease and mobility of leaving a file at the office and picking it up at home, but as a non-geek I find the constant need for connectivity baffling. It’s a problem I run into at the airport one day when I cannot get onto the wifi to review files. There is software to rectify this and I could always mainline my phone but won’t that just add to my cell phone plan? It’s a problem that a non-tech person like me needs help resolving but it’s not a deal breaker. The best part of the Pixelbook is that it is slim, lightweight, charges crazy fast and yes it looks really good. While going through airport customs, even the border guard stops to ask what kind of laptop it is. Which brings me to another interesting thing about going Google. It’s a premium device and people notice it. I try not to be vain about something as utilitarian as a phone but these Google devices stand out. People always ask about them.
Google Home Mini Is A Little Creepy But It’s Very Cute
Which brings us to the much-hyped Google Home Mini. The teeny speaker is truly adorable and once you’ve activated the Voice Recognition system, it will supply quite a bit of entertainment. I know people who think this device is creepy but I have to say I like being able to hear the hourly radio news on demand and finding out the weather whenever I want to. Recently we had friends over for dinner and someone said they liked a particular pop artist. From across the room I shouted at my Google Home Mini : “Ok, Google play…” It connected to Spotify and the crimson mini streamed the whole album with no one having to get up from their chair. Creepy or not, I was smitten. But do we have what it takes to stay together forever?
See a few new things made by Google below.