Google may soon launch a rival to Amazon's Echo Show, the smart speaker powered by the Alexa voice assistant with a touchscreen and video calling capabilities. A new report claims that Google's upcoming tabletop device has been internally codenamed "Manhattan".
Citing multiple people familiar with the matter, TechCrunch reports Google's Manhattan speaker will sport a 7-inch screen similar to Amazon Echo Show. The anticipated Google speaker is not only seen as an attempt to provide more 'smart devices' to the living room but also a way to expand the scope of Google Assistant. The report claims a Google employee is one of the sources. On the product front, the alleged "Manhattan" is said to offer Google Assistant apart from Google Photos, YouTube, and video calling access. The report adds that the device could function as controlling hub for other smart devices like Nest among others.
The report adds that the alleged Google "Manhattan" will run on Android which will make it easier for developers to make apps for it. It also suggests that Google wants the device to run Netflix app though there's no word on development of the app. The report claims Google was previously working on devices with large screen sizes to compete with televisions though is now more focused on "Manhattan" device. The report suggests that Google's tabletop device with video calling capability was initially set for mid-2018 launch though with Amazon Echo Show already out, this may be pushed to 2017. There are still speculations that Google "Manhattan" may be revealed in 2018 only due to various constraints like smart hub partnerships.
At this point, it's unclear what will be pricing of the alleged Google "Manhattan" or even design. The possibility of Google launching a rival to Amazon's Echo Show is loud and clear especially after the former pulled the plug to YouTube support.
Google at that point had said in a statement, "We've been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time, working towards an agreement that provides great experiences for customers on both platforms. Amazon's implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service, creating a broken user experience. We hope to be able to reach an agreement and resolve these issues soon."