The Google Home Hub smart display was confirmed at the Made by Google event earlier this week, joining earlier entries from third-party manufacturers like JBL, Lenovo and LG.
However, Google has revealed that under the hood, its own-branded smart display, is a little different to its forerunners. For instance, the Home Hub doesn’t use the scaled-down Android Things operating system and doesn’t include the Qualcomm SD624 Home Hub platform.
Instead, the Home Hub runs on a version of the Google Cast software it uses with its Chromecast devices and an Amlogic chip rather than the Qualcomm platform, which was developed for the smart displays.
So, essentially, Google developed an operating system for these devices and then decided not to use it. Why? Well, Google says it’s because developers are happy using Android Things.
Diya Jolly, Google‘s VP of product management, told ArsTechnica: “There’s no particular reason. We just felt we could bring the experience to bear with Cast, and the experiences are the same. We would have easily given the third-parties Cast if they wanted it, but I think most developers are comfortable using Android Things.”
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Google’s real reason for dropping the Android Things/Qualcomm combo could be down to an effort to make the device as affordable as possible.
After all, the Home Hub is a little less premium than some of the other smart displays out there. Ars Techica points out the Amlogic chips deployed by Google usually appear in lower-end smart TVs and media players.
The company also eschewed a web cam for making video calls and only has a 7-inch display. The Home Hub is priced at just £139/$139, which is $50 less than the next smart display up.
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