Google may be preparing a tabletop Echo Show competitor, code-named Manhattan

manhattan
Google, not to be outdone by Amazon’s new Echo Spot and Echo Plus, is reportedly developing a screen-sporting version of its Google Home smart speaker. The tabletop tablet, which is reportedly code-named Manhattan, could launch by the end of 2017.

The Manhattan resembles Amazon’s Echo Show, according to TechCrunch, and is an Alexa-powered mounted tablet with a 7-inch screen, a front camera, and high-speed Wi-Fi. It will support Google apps like YouTube, Google Photos, and Google Play Movies and TV when it launches later this year, and will offer video calling and always-on access to the Google Assistant.

Like the current generation of Home speakers, it will act as a hub for smart home devices like Philips Hue bulbs, GE appliances, Nest thermostats, and more. And it’s said to run Android, the Google-made operating system on billions of phones, tablets, set-top boxes, and smartwatches around the world.

Part of the Manhattan’s motivation is to catch up with other market entrants, according to TechCrunch. The Google Home team is under “intense internal pressure” to expand the company’s smart speaker lineup, and it’s no mystery why. Analysts at CIRP estimate that Google Home, which launched about a year after the first-generation Amazon Echo, has a 24-percent share of the U.S. home automation market compared to the Echo lineup’s 76 percent.

Timing isn’t on Google’s side. At a press event in late September, Amazon announced five new Echo devices at every price range: The $150 Echo Plus, the $130 Echo Spot, the $50 Echo, the $35 Echo Connect, and Echo Buttons. Apple’s HomePod, a self-contained speaker powered by Siri, is expected to launch in December. And Facebook is said to be developing Aloha, a 15-inch touchscreen smart speaker with support for voice commands and audio calling.

But the search giant is reportedly tackling the problem from all angles. A report earlier this month revealed Google Home Mini, a smart home speaker with a smaller profile and lower price tag than Google Home. And a subsequent leak revealed Google Home Max, a high-end stereo system with built-in support for the Google Assistant.

Manhattan will presumably sit on higher end of the pricing spectrum, but TechCrunch wasn’t able to confirm pricing. And there’s a good chance that the screen-touting smart speaker, which was originally pegged for early 2018, might be delayed. Sources tell the publication that Google is in ongoing negotiations with component and supply chain partners, and that third-party content partnerships — including one with Netflix — have yet to be finalized.

Computing

Cortana wants to be friends with Alexa and Google Assistant

Microsoft no longer wants to compete against Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant in the digital assistant space. Instead, it wants to transform Cortana into a skill that can be integrated into other digital assistants.
Deals

Here’s a look at the hottest 4K TV deals for January 2019

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Smart Home

Thinking of buying an Instant Pot? Here's what you need to know

The Instant Pot is a powerful kitchen appliance that does everything from pressure cook to to slow cook to steam. Heck, you can even make yogurt in it. Here's all you need to know about the magic device.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Smart Home

Busted: Facebook Portal gets 5-star reviews from company employees

It's fair to say that Facebook's Portal smart display received a tepid response at launch, so it was something of a surprise to see lots of glowing reviews of the device on Amazon. Turns out some were written by Facebook workers.
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.
Smart Home

Project Alias is a ‘smart parasite’ that stops smart speakers from listening

Two designers chose to do something about nosy smart speakers. The result is Project Alias, a "smart parasite" that whispers nonsense to Google Home and Alexa until it hears a specific wake word.
Smart Home

DS3 Clean water-free swatches could be the future of cleaning products

DS3 Clean swatches were on display at CES 2019. The small swatches come in several types, including shampoo and toilet cleaner. They're great for travel, but their real impact is in how such supplies will be shipped and stored.
Smart Home

Amazon patents a technology to help Alexa fight fake voice attacks

Amazon filed a patent this month for a new technology that looks like it would help its digital assistant Alexa fight fake voice attacks that could potentially fool Alexa's biometric security protocols.
Smart Home

Amazon Prime members number more than 100 million in the U.S., survey says

Consumer Intelligence Research Partners estimated there were 101 million U.S. Amazon Prime members as of December 31, 2018. Last April, CEO Jeff Bezos wrote there were more than 100 global million Prime members.
Smart Home

The Instant Pot Lux is a gateway drug into the pleasures of pressure cooking

The 3-quart Instant Pot Lux is one of the most affordable Instant Pots you can buy. Is it still a solid pressure cooker? Here are our thoughts on the Instant Pot Lux, a great IP baseline model.