Yeah, I should have, could have but didn’t write about the Google Pixel Buds or whatever they are called…
When they were announced and all the so called Tech Journalists that had been to the Google event to launch the Pixel Phone and the Pixel Earbuds or Pixelbuds or whatever they call them I spoke to a friend online about them in a conversation and said that the thing that is not being told to the Journalists or the Journalists are choosing not to tell readers is huge.
At the time Google and the Tech Journalists or Reporters all chose to not mention that the Translation feature is only available on the Pixel2 and Pixel2 XL and implied that the Earbuds were autonomously translating, journalist Karissa Bell literally said “It’s like magic, they say it and you hear the translation in your ear”.
I said to Luke, this is how it really is;
1. The earbuds are merely bluetooth earbuds with an extra touch command to activate a feature on a phone.
2. The Translation feature will only work on the new Pixel 2 & Pixel 2 XL.
3. The Translation is actually just Google Translate App.
4. The feature will be slow, cumbersome and if you ain’t got internet connection it won’t work anyway.
So how did I do?
1. They really are just earbuds, slightly better connectivity when used in conjunction with Android Oreo based phones (I’ve been told, but still as clumsy as it is with just ordinary Bluetooth earbuds).
Yes, I got that spot on.
2. Yes the translation feature is a gimmick to try and make people buy the Google Pixel 2 Smartphone range. It doesn’t work on any other phones.
Yeah, right on that too.
3. The Translation is done by the Translation App that opens when you tap the right earbud four times (predicted in 1 above). Yes the feature is not in the earbuds but actually in the phone and purely just an app, like listening to music or an audio book or making a phone call.
4. Yes, the biggest complaint by reviewers that actually tried to use the Translate feature in real life is clumsy, slow, awkward and doesn’t magically do it.
What does it tell me about the Tech Journalists at the Launch Event?
There is one big take away from comparing real life reviewers and reviews with the “Glowing Articles” by tech Journalists at the event is that either the journalists were paid to write glowing reviews or are not smart people that did a very limited test or the launch sample phones were running doctored apps that operated on the basis that they were receiving a scripted set of foreign languages that it would translate magically in the ear of the journalist.
I would say it could be any of those scenarios. There have been so many paid Articles where multiple Tech Outlets have reviewed an app or a product and claimed to be the journalists original work when it was almost word for word identical and all claiming to be original work without any of the journalists complaining their work had been plagiarized.
Yes, plagiarizing does take place in Tech Journalism, for a long time there was a CNET editor/Journalist that would read the comment section in articles looking for comments that rebuffed the article in question and lift the comment, add a title and subtitles etc then call it his own work. More than once I would see my own and the comments of others suddenly become his articles and if you dared call them out you were immediately banned from commenting.
As for Google using a doctored App to give the impression of a perfect product using a script would not surprise me either, we all want honesty from companies and sadly Google has more than once shown that they can be less than honest when it comes to presentation of a product and claims from small companies that Google Ventures entertained them, reviewed their software or hardware product then said they weren’t interested followed by the creation of an almost identical product months later claiming that the smaller company were copying them.
Of course we could also say that the other choice is that the Journalists are really not that smart and did limited tests and were wowed by it.
Either way we have seen that Google’s Pixel Products have been dogged with issues and bad reviews.