Android Angst: Verizon's Google Pixel Phones Will Require Carrier Managed OS Updates

Meanwhile, Google's "Daydream View" virtual-reality headset will be available next month for US$79, in time for the end-of-year shopping season. It appears that will continue with the Pixel, even for Verizon devices, but when it comes to OS updates, rollout schedules will be Verizon's call.

Helping the Pixel's promotion is Verizon, who has exclusive carrier selling rights in the United States, since the company has millions of customers nationwide. Unfortunately, this is a feature that is only going to be on phones that ship with Nougat, meaning Pixel (and other new Android devices) will utilize this feature while Nexus phones can't. "Our goal is to build a personal Google for each and every user", Pichai said during the eventt. Backed by artificial intelligence, the Assistant promises to be a much-improved version of current iterations of digital assistants such as Google Now and Siri.

Google's new Pixel smartphones are often deemed to be the successors to the company's previous Nexus line.

That's also a model that Microsoft has begun following, with its own brand of Surface tablets and laptop computers that use Microsoft's Windows software.

Google pushed out the latest versions of Android without needing to wait for phone makers or carriers to figure it out.

While Apple spent $2.45 million and Samsung spend $1.4 million, Google trumped both with a $3.2 million expenditure across two days to put the Pixel on television.

Google's wish to compete with the iPhone directly could not be more obvious either.

The Pixel phone may in part be aimed at providing consumers more choice in high-end Android smartphones, a class of product dominated by Samsung's Galaxy models. And the Chromecast Ultra seeks to provide more 4K programming options for TV watchers by leveraging the phone as a content source. Although it sounds fantastic, it does not compare to Google Assistant. Along with answering questions and playing music, the device can be used to control streaming video through Google's Chromecast device, at voice command.