Sources are claiming that Google is working on a new smart screen device that will compete against the Amazon Echo Show. The device has been given the codename “Manhattan” internally and will come with Google Assistant and will support video calling.
Information on Google’s new Manhattan device was shared to TechCrunch by multiple anonymous sources. Like the Amazon Echo Show, the Google Manhattan is said to feature a 7-inch display and will have Google Assistant, YouTube and Google Photos on board.
The Google Manhattan device can also function as a smart hub to control other smart home devices like Nest’s cameras and thermostats. Unfortunately, no information was given on what the Google’s Manhattan device will exactly look like, but it’s believed to run a version of the Android operating system.
Having Android run on the Manhattan device will make it easier for third-party developer to create apps for it. Sources say that Google is interested in having Netflix as one of the apps that’s capable on running on its new smart screen device, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet.
TechCrunch’s sources claim that Google was previously working on new devices with larger screens that could compete with televisions. The team behind the development of that project is now focused on this new Manhattan device. Google’s original plan is to have it launch in mid-2018, but the company is now pressured to release it in 2017 because of the Amazon Echo Show.
Although Google wants the device to launch in 2017, it’s very likely that the company will have to settle for a 2018 release date. This is because Google is also trying to get smart hub partnerships while also exploring the possibility of service partnerships for home installation with Best Buy Geek Squad and Enjoy.
No information was given on how much the Google Manhattan device will cost, but Amazon’s Echo Show currently sells for $229.99. Next week on Oct. 4, Google will be unveiling new products including the Pixel 2 smartphones and the smaller Google Home. It’s possible that the Manhattan device could be announced at the upcoming event. Whatever Google is planning, the company now needs to act quickly since Amazon has already expanded its lineup of Echo devices with the recent announcement of the Echo Spot, Echo Plus and the new Echo Buttons.
Google’s plan to develop and launch its own Amazon Echo Show competitor also seems to shed some light on what transpired earlier this week. This past Tuesday, Amazon told The Verge that Google pulled YouTube from the Echo show “without explanation.” Google then came out with its own statement saying that Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates their terms of service.
The problem with the Echo Show is that it was unable to show users their subscriptions or recommendations, two key features on YouTube that Google needs to ensure growth and user engagement. If Google releases its own Echo Show competitor, the company would finally be able to deliver a YouTube experience that it wants.
Aside from competing with the Amazon Echo Show, Google’s Manhattan device could deliver an experience that Google Home is incapable of doing since it doesn’t have its own screen. The Manhattan smart screen could also be a way for Google to push its Duo and Hangouts video calling services to more users.
Google’s rumored “Manhattan” device will be an Amazon Echo Show competitor that will run a version of Android.