Google could be working on a brand new version of the Google Home smart speaker that features a built-in display.
While Amazon has forged ahead with a dizzying array of Alexa-enabled smart speaker devices, rival device makers have struggled to keep up. We’re still waiting on Apple’s HomePod to actually to make it to stores, for instance. Google has done a better job of keeping pace, with two smart speaker devices having launched so far.
Excitingly, Google could be working on a third device to add to its Google Home smart speaker roster. A new report by Android Police suggests that a Google Home speaker with a built-in screen could be in the works.
The report details information found in a teardown of the Google app v7.14.16 APK file teardown, relating to a codenamed entity – like a product, perhaps – called ‘Quartz’. This could relate to a single hardware product, or a group of devices, or a piece of software – we’re just not sure.
According to information found in the APK file, Quartz can perform a number of functions, including:
- Operating on voice commands
- Helping with cooking and recipes
- Watch YouTube
- Control media
- Set timers
- Check the weather
- View a photo gallery
- Browse the web
- Use Google Maps
- Set a screensaver
In the Android Police article, the author writes: “Based on all of the clues available in the latest update, my prediction is that Quartz is either the codename for a Google Home device with a built-in, full colour touchscreen, or it may be the software component that will interact with such a device.”
The article continues: “When you’re not interacting with the device, it will show a default screen with date and time, weather, and a counter for notifications. The background will cycle through photos like a Chromecast, but they’ll pan and zoom in the Ken Burns style.”
It’s worth noting that TechCrunch has also previously reported that Google is working on a screen-based Google Home speaker, although that original reported cited the product codename as ‘Manhattan’.
If Google did release such a device, it would be a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo Show. The Echo Show is a spin-off of Amazon’s core Echo speaker, which features its own built-in screen. Google will certainly be wanting to better compete with Amazon, so directly rivalling some of Amazon’s main Alexa offerings is the best way to do that.
Of course, Google hasn’t confirmed any such product announcements, so take this report with due caution.
Related: Google Home vs Amazon Echo
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