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Google developing ‘Manhattan’ smart speaker with a screen

Google is developing a smart speaker with a touchscreen similar to Amazon’s Alexa Show, it has been claimed. 

Two sources confirm to TechCrunch that the Google device has been internally codenamed ‘Manhattan’ and will have a similar screen size to the 7-inch Echo Show. 

It comes just days after Amazon overhauled its line of Echo speakers, adding several new models.

 

The Google ‘Manhattan’ speaker will have a similar screen size to the 7-inch Echo Show (pictured) and run Google’s smart assistant softwaree

‘One source received info directly from a Google employee,’ TechCrunch said.

It claims 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.

Google is also set to unveil a new mini smart speaker alongside its new Pixel handsets on October 4th, it is believed.

According to Droid Life, the new Google Mini Home speaker, which will take on Amazon’s tiny Echo Dot, will cost just $49 when it goes on sale – making the two the same price.

It will use the same Google Assistant software as the larger Google home speaker, and be  available in Chalk, Charcoal, and Coral colors. 

The Google Mini Home is expected to be unveiled on October 4th, and go on sale soon after. It is believed it will cost $49, and will have the same Google Assistant as the larger Home speaker

The Google Mini Home is expected to be unveiled on October 4th, and go on sale soon after. It is believed it will cost $49, and will have the same Google Assistant as the larger Home speaker

The Amazon Echo Spot ($129, US only) was announced this week, a round version of the Echo Show and has its own 2.5-inch display that can provide visual information (such as the weather or a clock face)

‘The Google Home Mini will be powered rather than wireless, at least according to the images here,’ Droid Life said. 

‘You have colored bases that match the color of the top, soft portion of the unit. 

‘So unlike the original Google Home that had swappable bases, it looks like the mini may not have that same luxury.’

The images show lights on top of each unit, which are expected to work in the same multi colored way as the lights on the larger Home speaker. 

‘The Google Home Mini will be powered rather than wireless, at least according to the images here,’ Droid Life said.

 Google is expected to unveil its new Pixel 2 handset at the same event. 

Rumours have been swirling for months about Google’s next Pixel smartphones and the long wait will soon be over thanks to a new trailer.

THE SMART SPEAKER WARS 

The mini home will take on Apple’s HomePod, Amazon’s Echo and Google’s own, larger Home.

Apple’s speaker will have a higher price tag than the Amazon Echo range, which begins at $49 (£49) for the Echo Dot.

The speaker will provide a hub for appliances via Apple’s HomeKit system and establish a centre inside the home to lock people in to using other Apple services, according to the report.

Apple's $349 HomePod speaker will work with Apple Music and has several speakers and a built in woofer

Apple’s $349 HomePod speaker will work with Apple Music and has several speakers and a built in woofer

A speaker might help customers stay loyal to other services such as Apple Music, Apple Watch, Apple TV and AirPods. 

Google’s $130 (£105) Home speaker is triggered by the phrase ‘Hey Google’ while Amazon’s Echo uses ‘Alexa’.

Amazon’s smart speaker is available in two versions – the full sized $180 (£145) Echo shown here, and a smaller, $50 (£40) version called the Echo Dot.

Amazon Echo uses Microsoft’s Bing search engine to provide additional information, while Google Home uses the company’s own Google Search.

Both Home and Echo are continually listening for commands, though Google and Amazon say nothing gets passed back to them until the speakers hear a keyword — ‘OK, Google’ for Home and ‘Alexa’ for Echo.

Google’s Assistant software is also able to answer follow-up questions on the same topic, in a near-conversation style, but Echo as yet cannot.

Google's larger $129 Home speaker, which launched earlier this year

Google’s larger $129 Home speaker, which launched earlier this year

However, Amazon’s Alexa software has a wider range of skills on offer that enable it to link up with and control more third-party devices around the home.

A light comes on to remind you that it’s listening.

You can turn off the microphone temporarily, too. 

The tech firm uploaded a short 35 second teaser to YouTube today, offering eager fans the chance to sign up to receive more information.

The next generation flagship handset will be officially unveiled on Wednesday, October 4. 

Rumours have been swirling for months about Google's next Pixel smartphones and the long wait will soon be over thanks to a new trailer. The next generation flagship handset will be officially unveiled on Wednesday, October 4

Rumours have been swirling for months about Google’s next Pixel smartphones and the long wait will soon be over thanks to a new trailer. The next generation flagship handset will be officially unveiled on Wednesday, October 4

GOOGLE PIXEL 2 RUMOURS

Leaked photos allegedly of the Google Pixel 2 give truth to some of the rumoured features.

Via the photos or per the tipster, we know:

The phone will have a curved screen.

It has two LEDs in the camera flash.

The back will be made of a glass panel.

Google is ditching the headphone jack for the device.

The source also reported a better in-hand feel than the original Pixel phone,

The source said the device is ‘sleek’ and ‘elegant.’ 

It is also expected to feature a Snapdragon 836 processor. 

The minimalist video, while scant on images, makes some bold promises about some of the features fans can expect.

It is themed around the Menlo Park, California’s iconic search engine.

The cryptic clip shows a user searching for various failings of their own smartphone.

These range from ‘what’s wrong with my phone’s battery?’ and ‘why is my phone always out of storage?’ to ‘why does my phone take so many blurry photos?’ and even ‘why doesn’t my phone understand me’. 

Other search queries state their phone is ‘slow, hot, fragile, annoying, broken, cruel, impersonal and … dumb.’ 

The marketing ploy suggests that all of these problems will be answered when the new Pixel handsets are finally revealed.

If the video is to be believed, this suggests the smartphones, believed to be a Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, will feature a better battery, more storage and a better camera than its rivals. 

This is in line with rumours circulating online in the leadup to the launch about the Pixel’s expected features and launch date.

Most notably, serial leaker Evan Blass from Philadelphia said in a tweet back on August 24th: ‘Google’s second-generation Pixel handsets, powered by Snapdragon 836 SoC’s, will be unveiled on October 5th.’

Mr Blass has a strong track record for predicting when new technology will be launched, as well as features on devices. 

The rumours follow leaked images earlier in August, which claim to show Google’s Pixel 2 handset.

According to the photos, it appears the upcoming device will, as previously predicted, have a curved screen and a glass back.

Leaked images suggest that Google is planning to follow Apple and dump the headphone jack for the new device

Leaked images suggest that Google is planning to follow Apple and dump the headphone jack for the new device

However, one thing is missing – Google is planning to follow Apple and dump the headphone jack for the new device. 

Also shown in the leaked images is the presence of two LEDs in the flash and a glass panel on the back, which is smaller this time around. 

While previous leaks have suggested the phone will also be equipped with a Laser autofocus feature, that can’t be seen here – although it may just be too difficult to spot. 

The photos, sent to Gsmarena by an unnamed tipster, show the front and back of what is clearly an early developer unit of the phone, as is indicated by the stickers on the back.

While the lack of headphone jack isn’t seen in the photo, the source told Gsmarena the device doesn’t include one.

The source also reported a better in-hand feel than the original Pixel phone, saying it is ‘sleek’ and ‘elegant.’

The original Google Pixel phone was launched in October 2016, and the Pixel 2 is set to launch this autumn, which would make it in direct competition with Apple’s iPhone 8 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.

Leaked images allegedly of the Google Pixel 2 reveal some of the device's rumored features. According to the photos, it appears the upcoming device will indeed have a curved screen

Leaked images allegedly of the Google Pixel 2 reveal some of the device’s rumored features. According to the photos, it appears the upcoming device will indeed have a curved screen

As the company prepares for the release, it’s dropping the price on the original Pixel phone.

As part of a back to school promotion, the Pixel’s starting price is currently down to $524 (£408) instead of $649 (£506), while the Pixel XL is now priced at $569 (£443) rather than $769 (£600) – the company is also throwing in free Daydream View headsets for consumers who take advantage of the promotion. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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