Move over, Amazon Echo Show. You may not be the only touchscreen smart home device on the market. It would appear that Google is hot on its biggest home competitor’s heels with a new device that would take the existing Google Home smart speaker and give it a smart screen. Back in September, TechCrunch reported that the Silicon Valley giant was working on a device (at that time, reportedly code-named Manhattan) comparable to Amazon’s seven-inch Echo Show, and now, an APK teardown of 7.14.15 beta version of the Google app by Android Police suggests that this work is well underway.
As per Android Police’s analysis, it would appear that the latest version of the Google app references something called Quartz, which could either be the same Google Home touchscreen device alluded to by TechCrunch, or one of the “visual responses” Google debuted at I/O that would allow the Google Home speaker to send information screens to TVs.
Either way, the teardown references a number of on-display features, including notifications, interactive timers, weather forecasts, YouTube video playback, a basic web browser, photo galleries, Google Maps with business listings, as well as a customizable home screen. Whatever “Quartz” may be apparently responds to voice commands, and can also live in the kitchen — at least, the teardown notes that a screen can display both recipes and timers.
As previously reported by TechCrunch, this alleged touchscreen speaker supports YouTube, and can also control other media.
Although it’s still unclear exactly what Quartz will look like, Android Police notes that “the most predictable element, and the part that ties almost everything together, is an idle screen.” This screen is said to show crucial information like the date, time, weather, and a counter for notifications. All of these features will be displayed against a background, and it would appear that users can select from a number of different layouts and suggestions.
Of course, much of this is still conjecture, and it’s still too early to tell exactly what Google might have up its sleeve with Manhattan or Quartz or any other code-named hardware. But it certainly gives us something to think about.
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