A report on TechCrunch on Friday suggested that Google is building a “tabletop smart screen for video calling” that would likely compete with Amazon’s Echo Show device. This revelation comes the same week that Amazon unveiled a whole slew of new Echo devices.
According to TechCrunch’s sources, the new Google device—which is codenamed “Manhattan” right now—will have a 7-inch screen, similar to the one of the Show, and the device will offer YouTube, Google Assistant access, Google Photos, and video calling. It will reportedly also work as a smart hub that can control Nest (which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet Inc.) and other smart home devices.
What this TechCrunch report does is it helps make some sense out of why Google decided, earlier this week, to pull the YouTube app off of the Echo Show. It’s clear that the two are now essentially competing directly with one another in the hardware game with their smart speakers. But it’s even clearer now that Google has a legit reason to want to pull its video streaming channel off of the Show if they plan to launch a competing product.
The release date seems a bit up in the air on the new product. According to those same sources, Google was aiming for a mid-2018 launch, but given the success of the Echo Show, Google is reportedly under pressure to get the product to market before the end of the year, likely in an attempt to capitalize on the holiday shopping season.
Additionally, the focus on the smaller screened product was said to be a shift in internal strategy. Google reportedly had been working on products with larger screens that would compete with full-sized televisions, but has since decided to hone in on this Manhattan device.
It’ll be interested to see whether this new smart hub screen device makes an appearance at the Google event scheduled for next week in New York. There, the company is expected to launch the Pixel 2 smartphone, but it could use that opportunity to drop an Apple-esque “One More Thing…” kind of announcement.
SNES Hits Stores
Men of a certain age* queuing round the block for the SNES Classic at Best Buy on 23rd
*my age pic.twitter.com/gco5uWEcC0
— Nick Hide (@nickhide) September 29, 2017
It’s launch day for the SNES Classic, and people are actually lining up around the block at some Best Buy locations in the hopes that they’ll be able to get their hands on the product. Nintendo has basically promised to correct supply issues that were experienced during the launch of the NES Classic, but given the amount of coverage and excitement around the new Classic-branded device, they’re sure to go out of stock just as quickly.
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