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Report: Google building smart screen device to combat Amazon’s Echo Show

Google Home Smart Screen Device Leak

Google is working on its own tabletop smart screen device in the same vein as Amazon’s Echo Show, according to a report from TechCrunch this week. Sources tell the publication that the device (which has been codenamed “Manhattan” internally) will have a display about the same size as that of the 7-inch Echo Show, and that it will feature YouTube, Google Assistant, Google Photos and video calling. It will also act as a smart hub.

The Manhattan smart screen is also said to run on Android, which will make it easier for third-party developers to build apps for it. Google is especially interested in getting Netflix on the device, the source claims.

According to TechCrunch’s source, Google was previously working on “products with larger screens that would compete with full-sized televisions,” but the team has since shifted its focus to the tabletop device.

Google had planned on launching the device in mid-2018, but following the release of the Echo Show, the target launch date was adjusted to 2017. Many pieces will have to fall into place to make this dream a reality though, as Google is still “exploring the possibility of service partnerships” with Best Buy and Enjoy.

The source was unable to provide any information about how much the device would cost or what it might look like, though there is always the chance that Google could unveil it at the October 4th event next week.

Whether or not the device exists remains to be seen, but the fact that this leak comes just days after Google abruptly removed YouTube from the Echo Show seems like more than a happy coincidence. If Google really is working on its own smart screen device, exclusive access to YouTube would be a major selling point. This is also the second Google smart device leak in as many days, as 9to5Google shared details regarding the Google Home Max on Wednesday. Providing these leaks are legitimately, Google might be going all in on smart devices.

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.