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Screenshot: Google

Google unveiled its Pixel 4 smartphone and other new Made By Google hardware at an event Tuesday morning in New York City. Other products included a cheaper Pixelbook, more capable mesh WiFi system and a preview of new Google Buds earbuds coming next year.

Why it matters: Google intends for the Pixel to directly compete with Apple's iPhone and, while past versions have received positive reviews, it remains a relatively minor player in the smartphone market.

The big picture: The Pixel 4 has a range of new cameras and sensors, including the first radar sensor in a camera, as well as new software features.

  • Radar powers gesture controls, but also speeds up face unlock and can power down a phone when you aren't nearby.
  • A new Recorder app not only captures voice recordings, but transcribes them, a feature that will no doubt be appreciated by journalists and students.
  • Improved computational photography for better portraits and night shots.
  • 3 colors: Just Black, Clearly White and a limited edition Oh, So Orange.
  • 2 screen sizes, available today for pre-order, and ships Oct. 24. Starts at $799.
  • Unlike previous versions, the Pixel 4 will be available from all major U.S. carriers.

In addition to debuting the Pixel 4, Google also:

  • Introduced a less expensive Pixelbook laptop, the $649 Pixelbook Go.
  • Detailed its second-generation Pixel Buds that are coming next spring for $179.
  • Announced its Stadia streaming game service that will arrive Nov. 19.
  • Debuted a second-generation Nest Mini (neé Google Home Mini) with a case made from recycled plastic bottles. It sells for $49 and will be available Oct. 22.
  • Introduced Nest Wifi mesh router that Google says can cover 85% of the homes in the U.S. with just one extender "point." It also includes a smart speaker with Google Assistant.

Go deeper

37 mins ago - Technology

Facebook: Metaverse won't "move fast and break things"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook on Monday said it will invest $50 million over two years in global research and program partners to ensure its metaverse products "are developed responsibly."

Why it matters: "It's almost the opposite of that now long-abandoned slogan of 'move fast and break things,'" Facebook's VP of global affairs Nick Clegg told Axios in an interview at The Atlantic Festival Monday.

Ina Fried, author of Login
47 mins ago - Technology

Facebook presses "pause" on Instagram Kids

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Facebook's announcement Monday that it was "pausing development" on Instagram Kids did little to slow a wave of criticism of the project ahead of a Senate hearing Thursday.

Yes, but: There's an argument to be made for building kids' versions of popular apps, even if their adult versions are causing real-world harms.

Ford's big plans to turbocharge the electric car industry in the U.S.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Ford Motor Company’s new $11 billion manufacturing plan, the biggest component of which will sit just outside Memphis, is part of a much bigger effort to put the U.S. at the center of the electric vehicle revolution, executive chairman Bill Ford says.

The big picture: Ford’s plans — for enormous facilities in both Tennessee and Kentucky, employing a combined 11,000 workers — are ambitious manufacturing efforts designed to minimize their environmental impact.