The Google I/O 2018 keynote occurred yesterday and we’re still dissecting some of the major announcements the search giant made in order to share them with you. Today was day two of the conference in Mountain View, California, and we have some news to share in regards to Smart Displays, which were first announced back at CES 2018.
Google has provided some updates on the progress and status of many third-party Smart Displays with Google Assistant. These are devices similar to Google Home, only with a built-in screen that are not made by Google. Google doesn’t appear to have any launch plans of its own (for now), and is leaving the devices to its partners to sell and distribute. That’s because the new platform is open source. During the keynote, we learned that the first of these Smart Display products will release in select stores very much on schedule, this July.
In just a few months, Echo Show will have a lot of competition coming its way with presumably three Smart Displays running the Google Assistant and a new at-a-glance operating system by Google. Google is trying to get its assistant in as many homes and hands as possible, and Smart Displays are just one of many form factors the Google Assistant is taking to do that.
At Google I/O 2018, Google is showcasing some abilities all Smart Displays will have that were a last-minute additions to the software prior to the first releases. One of these is native access to YouTube and YouTube TV on the devices, and Amazon won’t have an answer to these. You’ll be able to watch content as you normally would on a phone or tablet, right on your Smart Display with built-in mini apps of these services. There will be other Google-owned apps and services pre-loaded as well, and hopefully no content from the manufacturer to keep the experience consistent. For example, since some Smart Displays are meant to be put on a counter top, Google has included a set of features to help you find recipes and even simultaneously watch how items are made from scratch alongside the steps and list of ingredients you’ll need to cook them.
Amazon surely won’t be happy with what Google is doing here, but moreover, it’s just a way to differentiate. It seems that speakers with built-in display will be the wave of the future, so that’s the direction both companies are likely to move in. With Google’s platform being open source, all OEMs can make their own units which will make for various options for consumers to pick from. We’re already seeing this with LG’s ThinQ speaker and some other expected units. Google did not mention where exactly the first speakers will release, though we’d expect the US to be one country that is included to start out. Hopefully pricing won’t be too high.
Only a few more months of waiting and we can test some of these out. Are you excited?
We’ll keep you posted on everything Google I/O 2018 right as it happens! Follow us on social media for up to the minute updates from Google’s Developer Conference.