Well, that's a headline I long to read. Unfortunately, Google has lagged behind in the personal assistant device game for some time now. In September of this year, Amazon announced a plethora of new Alexa powered devices, which are now hitting stores.
- The Echo Show, which enables video calling.
- The Echo Look, which is intended for fashionistas.
- The Echo Spot, which is like a really fancy alarm clock.
- The Amazon Tap, aka portable Echo.
We all hoped that the Google announcement a few weeks later would bring something exciting and disruptive to steal the thunder from Amazon, but unfortunately, we got a pebble (Google Home Mini), and large square speaker (Google Home Max), and some new colours for the existing air purifier (aka Google Home).
All extremely underwhelming. Sorry Google, but I was expecting video calling, I was expecting Youtube videos, I was hoping to search through my photos, I was at least expecting two-way communication between devices! I'm not saying I don't like the Google Home range, I have 6 of them dotted around the house, and as I've recently posted, the family love Google Home. I was just expecting so much more, especially with all the rumours around project "Manhattan" in September of a Google Home Smart Hub stating that:-
the device will offer YouTube, Google Assistant, Google Photos and video calling. It will also act as a smart hub that can control Nest and other smart home devices.But there seems to be hope, in a recent article Variety revealed that Google is looking for someone to"work on the next generation of Google Hardware to enable the best multi-touch user experience".
Hopefully, this new role will help Google take the fight to Amazon, as the market for personal assistant devices heats up with Facebook and Apple also planning to release devices soon.
So Google, this is what I want to see in the next-gen Google Home range:-
- Two-way conversation, including drop-in feature (like Amazon Echo)
- Video calling (but please don't release yet another video calling app)
- YouTube, Chrome, Maps integration etc.
- Show my family photos
- Integration with G Suite accounts
- An awesome family game