Last night, Verizon leaked the Pixel, ostensibly by accident, listing Google Magic as one of the phone's primary features. Today, Google announced the Pixel and a host of other products, but the company didn't say anything about Google Magic. Verizon also removed "Google Magic" from the Pixel specs on its business site, where it was previously listed. Screenshots via Verizon
Did Google decide to nix Magic? Or perhaps it's not ready yet? Let's speculate for a moment.
An anonymous tipster we'll call Kevin emailed me this last night: "Please don't credit me with the tip and next time do your homework. It's directly connected to Magic Leap AR Tech. This isn't tough to connect."
Well, Kevin, it didn't seem that obvious to me. Magic Leap, for the non-nerds who may not be aware, is an augmented reality company whose first investor was Google. The company is top secret and we occasionally get little snippets of what it's working on, like in June, when it patented an AR helmet. Apologies for not making the connection, Kevin, but to assert that Google Magic and Magic Leap are connected to one another because they share a name feels thin to me. For example, my last name is Peyser but I am in no way related to conservative New York Post writer Andrea Peyser.
A colleague of mine speculates that Google Magic was a simple placeholder for the phone's assistant, which is conveniently named Google Assistant. Maybe the company thought Magic sounded a little too dramatic and scaled it back?
Another colleague thinks it's marketing speak for Google Business Services. "I don't think it's really anything," he tells me. But what if?
A third colleague has a far more interesting theory: "It's a subscription streaming service, similar to Apple Music, but for magic tricks and illusions. A library of over 35 million goof, gags and ruses." I hope this is the correct theory because it's the best one yet, significantly better than what Kevin sent me.
Here's my theory: Google already used Magic on us and we didn't even know. The feature is so futuristic, it's beyond the scope of human comprehension. Google did announce Magic today, we just didn't realise it.
We reached out to Google but had not received a response at time of writing.