Google needs to catch up to Amazon.
At least when it comes to smart speakers, anyway. Amazon has several Echo-branded smart speakers, while Google only recently announced two more on top of its original Google Home. However, it might introduce a new product soon that could go toe to toe with Amazon's touchscreen Echo Show speaker, according to a report.
During an APK teardown of the Google app (7.14.15 beta version), Android Police discovered code with references to several on-display features such as notifications, timers, forecasts, video playback, web browsing, photo galleries, Google Maps listings, and a customisable home screen. The code also mentioned "Quartz".
Quartz appears to be a device with a built-in display that responds to voice commands. So, what does all this mean? Google might be developing a yet-to-be announced device that could be designed for the kitchen, as evident by the numerous references to the ability to display timers, recipes, and YouTube videos, specifically.
- Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL pre-order deals, prices and details
- Google Pixel 2 review: Clean, speedy Android in a minimal can
Keep in mind reports from TechCrunch and 9to5Google in September claimed Google was working on touchscreen smart device that would compete with Echo Show. At the time, it was thought to be codenamed “Manhattan”. Now, we're seeing the name Quartz, but Android Police warned that Quartz could be something different.
Rather than a touchscreen device, it could just be software that interacts with a touchscreen device. Either way, we'll have to wait longer to know for sure. TechCrunch thinks it will arrive by mid-2018.