The earbuds have been that one accessory that has been bundled with virtually every smartphone. Originally, these were used for hands-free chatting which was pre the Bluetooth-Dad-Style earpieces. The earbuds evolved to play music and even receive FM/AM radio using the earbuds wire as the antenna (did you know that?)
It seems like the earbuds have taken the next step in their evolution as they announced the Pixel Buds. Although, the announcement came with a pinch of Good News/ Bad News…
Let’s start with the BAD NEWS:
I cannot believe Google Pixel 2 does not have a headphone jack. After virtually gushing at the first Pixel launch that it has kept the faithful 3.5mm headphone jack, it looks like Google has done a complete 180 and removed the headphone jack from the Pixel 2. Yes, Google has followed the dark pathway of Apple and removed the 3.5mm headphone jack and now Android users will have to start carrying a headphone adaptor. Yuk!
Let’s focus on the GOOD NEWS:
The Google Pixel Buds wirelessly connect to your phone via Bluetooth and they interact with your phone’s Google Assistant. Touch and hold the right earbud and you can ask your Google Assistant to play music, make a phone call and get directions and no need to pull out the phone. Your earbuds will also alert you of an upcoming meeting by reading your calendar events and will read any incoming text message too.
But wait – there is more – The Translate
Reminiscent of scenes out of Star Trek, the Pixel Buds can translate between 40 languages in real time by using the Google Translate App on the Pixel or the Pixel 2. So for example if you happen to find yourself in Vereeniging South Africa, you will be able to hold down the right earbud and say “Help me speak Afrikaans” and then speak naturally. The Pixel Buds will enter your sentence or question into Google Translate App via your phone and translate it to Afrikaans which is played back via your Google Pixel phone’s speaker.
For example, if you happen to find yourself in Vereeniging, South Africa, you will be able to hold down the right earbud and say “Help me speak Afrikaans” and then speak naturally. The Pixel Buds will enter your sentence or question into Google Translate App via your phone and translate it to Afrikaans which is played back via your Google Pixel phone’s speaker.
When the person you are speaking to replies in their native language, you will hear the translation in your Pixel Bud!
Which languages does the Google Pixel Bud translate?
Here are the languages that the Google Pixel Bud translate app can understand:
What do you need to use the Google Pixel Buds?
To use the Pixel Bud, your phone will need to be running Android 5.0 or higher or iOS 10.0 or higher with Bluetooth.
To use the Google Assistant your phone will need to an Assistant enabled Android device, Android 6.0 or higher, a Google Account, and a data connection.
To use the Pixel Bud with Google Translate you will need to have the Pixel or Pixel 2 and the Google Translate app.
The Pixel Buds will be available in November in the USA and will cost $159
*pics from the Google Store