If you're looking for a little inside information on the next Pixel phone, someone very close to Google is eager to spill the beans about the company's smartphone plans. And the source lives on your current Pixel.
That would be Google Assistant, which will offer up a teaser about Google's upcoming Oct. 9 press event when you pepper it with some very specific questions.
Ask Google Assistant "What's this big announcement about," and it will reply that it's rehearsing its lines. "Looks like there might be something about a new phone — and maybe, just maybe a few other new things," the Assistant says.
Follow-up questions like "When are you making this announcement" and "How can I find out more about the announcement" will reveal both the Oct. 9 event date along with instructions on watching the live stream of the event on YouTube.
Note that you'll have to be very specific about your query. Ask "What are you announcing Oct. 9?" and Google Assistant will feign ignorance. While the Assistant normally handles follow-up questions with ease, pressing it for additional details about the Pixel 3 will only yield links to Google search results. (Fortunately, you don't have to look far to find some pretty detailed rumors about what Google has planned for the Pixel 3.)
Google notified current Pixel owners of this Pixel 3 teaser via an email containing the phrases that will loosen the Google Assistant's tongue. But while the email encourages users to use the Pixel's Active Edge feature to awaken the Assistant and pose questions about the new phone, the Assistant can talk up the Oct. 9 event on any device. In a clever bit of cross-platform promotion, I was able to hear about the upcoming Pixel on my iPhone SE using the iOS version of Google Assistant.
Google's not the first company to turn its digital assistant into a hype man in advance of a product launch. In 2017, Apple turned to Siri to promote its upcoming developers conferences, with the voice-powered assistant hinting at what turned out to be the HomePod.
Google Assistant may be cagey about what's going on at the company's Oct. 9 press event. But next week, in addition to two new Pixel phones, Google could also unveil an updated PixelBook or new tablet, a Google Home Hub smart display and a new Chromecast. (That latter product seems like a certainty, after Best Buy accidentally sold one of the new streaming devices.)