Google’s next smart display is rumored to be a detachable tablet

Zoom / The second generation of the Nest Hub.

Cory Gaskin

Google’s second-generation Nest Hub smart display is yearSo it’s time to wonder if a new device release is coming soon. 9to5Google A new rumor to keep in mind: Google is working on a “new 2022 Nest Hub with a dockable tablet form factor where the screen detaches from the base/speaker.” The site didn’t provide further details, but the idea fits Google’s latest product plan.

Since its inception, Google Assistant devices have essentially copied the Echo line from Amazon. the original Google Home The speaker released two years after Amazon Echo. The Home Mini He left after a year and a half echo dot. The Google Home Hub Smart display introduced into the market a year after the release of Echo Show. Google Assistant smart watches Released after a year and a half Eco Spot. The lack of hardware innovation from Google is no big deal because Google is generally considered For a better voice command system, but it’s pretty clear where to go Google to shop for a product roadmap.

Of course, Amazon owns A complete set of tablets that turn into smart screens. In 2018, the company built smart display functionality into Fire OS, Amazon’s fork for Android. When you stick an Amazon tablet into an official dock, it automatically goes into Smart View mode. Google tried withAmbient Mode“For Android phones a year and a half after Amazon’s launch (Google’s timing is remarkably consistent), but the feature was initially only available on select third-party phones. Ambient mode didn’t turn on on devices like the Pixel 6. The feature also doesn’t make much sense on phones. , which is generally not readable from across the room. Smart displays usually are. A tablet’s ambient mode could have been better, but Google’s launch in 2019 was during a dead period for Android tablets.

This will boot Android, right?

What operating system can a device like this run? From anyone’s guess. Currently, Google’s Smart Latitude is supported by a huge mess of operating systems. in 2018, A native The Google Assistant smart display for partner devices powers Android Things, a single-app kiosk operating system built on Android. Google decided not to use Android Things for the first and second generation of the Nest Hub and instead used an upgraded version Chromecast OS. In 2021, after the launch of the second generation screen, Google pushed the third operating system in development, Fuchsia, To the first generation of the Nest Hub.

Android stuff closed In 2020, this will likely be out. Cast has always been a strange stepson in the Google OS lineup. While the cheap $30 Chromecast is still up and running and needs a super simple OS, the top model is now “Chromecast with Google TV” and Runs on Android TV. Google has added more features to the Cast OS, despite the latest App Drawer User Interface. Google has some third parties involved like Spotify and Netflix, but Cast OS doesn’t have a full platform of apps, and these “apps” are basically shortcuts to web pages.

We’d be more comfortable calling Fuchsia the future of the Nest Hub line if Google pushed the operating system into a second-generation smart display, but it never did, so Fuchsia feels like an experience relegated to the first-generation line. Fushia OS on the first-generation hub never got the improvements that the second-generation hub did (like the app drawer), so the OS doesn’t look like the future of Smart Latitude.

Really, though, if you want this smart display to be a handy mobile device, what you want is a regular Android tablet. Android isn’t a perfect tablet operating system, but if you have to pick something from Google’s toolbox, Android is the best fit. It has a complete OS interface and millions of easily installable apps that cover most of the things you want from a tablet. What Android does not have is a smart display interface, but with Android 13Google may change that.

Android 13 has an improved screensaver mode with “complications” widgets that display information such as weather, air quality, date and time. These complications are supposed to appear when you stick the tablet into the dock, making Android 13 work like a file Fire OS tablet. There are still many things you need to add to Android, like the big buttons for smart home controls and media, but Android can handle them. The entire Google Smart Display UI was originally an Android app that runs on Android Things, and now you can simply run something similar on a full Android.

Google pushed to tablets recently, with the release of Android 12 for The most significant sign of the company’s interest in large-screen devices is emerging once again. We’ve been wondering when Google hardware will arrive to back up this software, and display/tablet hybrids might be part of the answer.

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