Google’s war with Amazon is heating up, with the former reportedly working on an Echo Show rival that will also sit on a table and allow for convenient video calling. The new device’s launch date has apparently been moved up to 2017 from a mid-2018 unveiling, but this may not come to pass.
Two separate sources told TechCrunch that the smart screen is internally codenamed Manhattan and it measures 7 inches diagonally, just like the Echo Show. Software to be expected are YouTube, Google Photos, Google Assistant, and Google Duo. The offering might even serve as a smart hub to control Nest and other smart products.
Google recently pulled YouTube from the Echo Show, stating that Amazon’s implementation of the site violated its terms of service, thereby creating a broken user experience. The company may have been referring to the fact that the device didn’t have subscriptions and video recommendations displayed, but this seems like an extreme reaction to that omission.
A much better explanation is that Google simply wants consumers to buy its own products to check out YouTube videos. It was apparently working on a gadget with a larger screen that would go head-to-head with proper TVs, but that’s been shelved for the Manhattan. While the firm is targeting a 2017 release, 2018 is far more likely given all the moving parts involved with regards to smart hub partnerships.
Other than YouTube, Google also has the Android advantage. Developers will be able to easily build apps for the smart screen, with the team behind it particularly interested in Netflix. The brand does have an event set for October 4, but this new device probably won’t be part of the announcements.