Google has just confirmed that it's making a new, first-party smart display. The speaker, called the Google Home Hub, will rival the Amazon Echo Show and shares a lot of the same functionality.
Like its Amazon counterpart, the Home Hub will be able to show visual information on your day and control your smart home devices. It will have Google Maps, Calendar and Photos support, alongside YouTube and YouTube TV. (Keep in mind that, due to their on-going dispute, Google doesn't allow YouTube on the Amazon Echo Show family of devices so that's a definite advantage right out of the gate.)
To play up the YouTube integration aspect, Google is offering 6 months of YouTube Premium for free when you purchase a Home Hub.
Unlike the Amazon Echo Show, however, the Home Hub doesn't have a camera on its front face. That means video calling could be a bit difficult. That said, voice calling will almost definitely return as a feature here.
The Home Hub will support Routines – Google's name for a string of related commands – and will recognize distinct voices using 'voice match'.
Google is positioning the speaker as the ultimate home helper with a feature called Home View that gives you an overview of the smart devices currently in use. Not only will Home View be available on the Hub but, according to Google, it will be available on the new Home mobile app on Android and iOS devices.
According to Diya Jolly, VP of Product Management at Google, it's also 'the world's best photo frame', offering live photos and albums. Live Albums, a new feature on Google Home Hub, allows you to select photos of people you want to see and then creates a new album with all the photos of that person you've ever taken. Using the power of machine learning, Google will help you avoid embarrassment by automatically eliminating any underexposed or blurred photos in your collection.
Cut to the chase
- What is Google Home Hub? The new first-party smart display from Google
- What will Google Home Hub cost? $149 (around £110, AU$210)
- When is the Google Home Hub release date? October 22 in the UK, US and Australia