Recently, Amazon has announced a slew of new devices, which include a new streaming device (the Amazon Fire TV Gen 3), a new, smaller smart hub screen device (the Amazon Echo Spot) and a lot more. It’s pretty clear that Amazon wants to be in every single corner of your home, and they want you to be able to control everything in your home, using only your voice with Alexa doing the rest. But there’s another major player out there looking to take over your house: Google. They want to extend their Google Assistant much further than Android phones, and after confirming that they were going to roll out the Assistant to Android TV devices, we now have information that Google is building a smart hub screen device.
The device, which is codenamed Manhattan, looks to directly take on Amazon’s Echo Show device. It will come with the Assistant, which will probably be the most publicized aspect of the device, as well as support for YouTube, which was controversially pulled from the Echo Show due to “a violation of their terms of service”. Google Photos support and video calling with Duo and Hangouts are also coming with this device. It will apparently run Android, making things way easier for developers to make third-party apps for the Manhattan device.
It was originally slated to be launched in mid-2018, however, the launch of the Amazon Echo Show put some internal pressure to get it launched in 2017 in order to regain some market share from Amazon. As we said earlier, Google has pulled YouTube completely from the Manhattan device’s direct competitor, the Echo Show, and it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see Google changing their terms of service just to make YouTube exclusive for their own device as well. This is obviously just pure speculation based on current events and could be completely wrong. But if it’s true, then that would mean that the device is indeed coming very soon, and we might even hear from it on Google’s October 4th event. Because of the sheer lack of leaks on said Manhattan device, though, then you shouldn’t get your hopes up too high, as a 2018 launch is much more likely than a 2017 launch.
Whenever it launches, it’s pretty clear that Google is serious about turning its Google Assistant into the main voice operating system of your life, going much further than your Android phone or your Google Home device. We expect to hear more about this Manhattan device very soon.