What to expect from Google's October 4 event

Google's October 4 event could be one of its biggest hardware launches ever. Here are all the facts -- and the rumors -- we know about what the search giant will reveal on Tuesday in San Francisco.

Justin Yu Associate Editor / Reviews - Printers and peripherals
Justin Yu covered headphones and peripherals for CNET.
Justin Yu
4 min read
Watch this: Pixel phone, Chromecast Ultra, Andromeda: What's next from Google

Expectations for Google's October 4 event in San Francisco were already big. And then Hiroshi Lockheimer, the company's Senior Vice President in charge of Android, Chrome OS and Google Play tweeted this:

So what will be so big that it will be reverberating almost a decade from now? A boatload of new Google hardware, and possibly some new software and services to pull it all together, if the rumors are to be believed.

According to published reports, here's everything Google may show on stage on Tuesday:

Let's break down what we know so far, with the big caveat that most everything is still firmly in rumor territory -- albeit with some meaty leaks thrown in.

Pixel phones


This could be the new Google Pixel and Pixel XL.

Android Police

Google Home

Google/Screenshot by Lynn La/CNET
  • Google already announced its Echo-like Google Home smart speaker back at the I/O conference in May.
  • Housing its "OK Google" digital voice assistant, the compact, plug-in speaker will be able to play music on speakers throughout the home, turn on lights, check the traffic and, of course, query Google search.
  • Google recently held a closed-door meeting attended by 50 participants including some of the biggest names in the home audio industry. According to Variety, Google encouraged attendees (some of whom have already worked with the company on Wi-Fi-enabled speakers powered by Google Cast) to build their own versions of the Google Home virtual assistant.
  • We should finally get more details on pricing and availability on Tuesday. The same sleuths at Android Police claim the speaker will cost $129 (about £100 or AU$170).

Chromecast Ultra 4K


Early rumors suggest this is an image of the new Google Chromecast Ultra, capable of streaming 4K content to any display with an HDMI port.

VentureBeat/Evan Blass
  • A recent leak uncovered by Android Police previews the release of a new 4K digital media streamer called the Chromecast Ultra.
  • The Ultra will retail for $69 (£55 or AU$90) -- double the cost of the current Chromecast dongle.
  • The device would compete with new 4K video streamers from Roku, among others.

A new Wi-Fi Router

  • Google may unveil a new home router called Google Wi-Fi that touts smart features that will extend its range beyond the capabilities of the typical Wi-Fi routers we've seen.
  • Users can run multiple Google Wi-Fi access points at the same time to cast one large wireless network, according to Android Police.
  • The same unnamed source told the site the router will be similar in size to the Amazon Echo Dot, the smaller version of the voice-enabled Amazon Echo speaker.
  • The Wi-Fi router is said to cost $129, again about £100 or AU$170.
  • The router would presumably be a successor to Google's OnHub.

Daydream VR


Possible: A new tablet, powered by 'Andromeda'

  • According to reports from 9to5Google and Android Police, Google will release a laptop and tablet powered by a new operating system called Andromeda, which merges Android and Chrome OS.
  • Andromeda will get its debut on a Huawei tablet with Nexus branding, which is confusing given the previous rumors Google would do away with the Nexus name.
  • But the Android Police report specifies that an "ultra-thin" convertible laptop called "Pixel 3" will supposedly release near the end of 2017 -- which doesn't sound like something we'd see on stage a full year earlier. So maybe the laptop, and the rumored Andromeda OS, are longer-term rumors that won't apply to this event.

What not to expect