On Thursday, the tech company said it's releasing the first of several home assistant devices with screens slated for the summer. The Smart Display, built by Lenovo and running Google's Android Things software for internet-connected devices, hits stores this weekend. Like Google's Home, Home Mini and Home Max, the Smart Display lets you control it with your voice, and focuses on playing music. But it also has either an 8-inch or 10-inch screen, on which you can watch YouTube videos, have a video chat or get better answers to some questions. The Smart Display starts at $200.
These days, just about every smart home gadget works with Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa. And, for the most part, Google Assistant and Alexa can do many of the same things--like give you the weather forecast, play music, read the news, and so much more. But, when you compare Alexa and Google Assistant head to head, which intelligent personal assistant is smarter? We took a deep dive into the nitty-gritty of both Alexa and Google Assistant to find out which smart assistant knows--and can do--more. The Hub Max comes with Google Assistant, so you can check the weather, watch recipe videos, control your smart home, and more.
Google has plastered digital billboards and the Las Vegas Monorail with the "Hey Google" wake-up command. It's announced a range of new gadgets featuring its assistant on everything from smart displays to pressure cookers. And it's sent out the clowns -- a jumpsuit-wearing army of advertising associates wearing brightly-colored Converse sneakers and hovering around partner firms' booths to explain how Google's technology works.
Smart Displays were the talk of Google's big push at CES this year -- but there's been nary a peep in the intervening months. As expected, we got a little more insight into the company's Echo Show competitor at today's big I/O kickoff -- though the actual devices are still a few months out, officially launching in July. The company walked through a demo of Lenovo's devices, easily the best looking of the bunch. It's clear that the company's invested some resources into building a visual-first version of Assistant, justifying the addition of a screen to the experience. The key to the offering, naturally, is YouTube, which was at the center of a tug of war between Google and Amazon around the Echo Show's launch.
Amazon Echo can do seven things that Google Home can't. Amazon and Google have long competed for the No. 1 smart speaker spot. And while Google Home has features that Echo doesn't, like listening to multiple commands at a time, Amazon still has a set of unique skills that Google can't yet do. Only Amazon Echo ($100 at Amazon) can guard your house and alert you if it hears something suspicious while you're gone. It also lets you know when your packages are out for delivery.