New Pixels, New Assistant, but the Same Old Google


Paresh Dave: There it is.

Lauren Goode: There it is.

Michael Calore: Wow. And I—

Lauren Goode: We interrupt this podcast for … Oh, I had Do Not Disturb on.

Michael Calore: Same here.

Lauren Goode: Wait. Oh, there. Well, there it goes.

Paresh Dave: Isn’t it two minutes early? It’s 11:18. Someone’s a little trigger-happy it sounds like.

Lauren Goode: So folks, we interrupt this Gadget Lab podcast because our gadgets are blowing up. This is a test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. The purpose is to maintain and improve alert and warning capabilities at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels. No action is required by the public, and we require no action of you, our listener right now, except maybe to stick with us and we apologize for that.

Michael Calore: I just want to note that Paresh is holding two phones and he’s struggling to turn both of them off right now.

Paresh Dave: You can’t do anything with this notification. You can’t make it go away.

Lauren Goode: It’s not actionable. Who do we complain to about that?

Paresh Dave: This seems like an Apple problem.

Lauren Goode: I feel like we should just task it to—

Paresh Dave: How do you get rid of it?

Lauren Goode: I don’t know.

Michael Calore: Don’t look at me, man. I’ve got a Pixel over here, and I was able to dismiss it immediately.

Lauren Goode: I think we need a neutral party to sort this out. Let’s bother Adam Mosseri.

Paresh Dave: Maybe send him an alert.

Lauren Goode: Well, he’s fixing Threads. Let’s just fix the emergency alert system.

Michael Calore: So where were we?

Lauren Goode: We’re talking about the smartwatch.

Michael Calore: Right, the watch.

Lauren Goode: And James Park from Fitbit was there on stage presenting it. James Park’s still there.

Michael Calore: Yes.

Lauren Goode: If I was that guy and I started Fitbit and I was acquired by Google … How many years has it been now? Four years?

Michael Calore: More than that, I think.

Lauren Goode: I’d be out of there.

Michael Calore: Yeah, maybe. Although Fitbit still exists as a company, and they still have their own strong brand, and people love Fitbits, and they just put out new watches last week. There’s a new Charge 6 out there in the world that people are buzzing about. So it is kind of strange that Google makes many smartwatches and trackers now, and that one of them is Google Pixel branded, and the others are all Fitbit branded, but they also run all Google software, Wear OS. Not all Fitbits run Wear OS, but all the most important smartwatches in the Android world are all on the same software now. So I feel like the watch is getting there, and it’s still interesting to see Google putting a lot of effort into it and making it something that’s actually desirable. So I want to kick it back to you two, because I know that you have both been following a lot of the Bard and Google Assistant news, which also came out this week, and I feel like we should talk about that.

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