In response to Amazon's Echo Show, Google announced that it was building Assistant 'smart displays' with partners. Put simply, they are Google Homes with a touch screen for watching videos, calling friends, looking up recipes, and performing other basic functionality. The smart displays were planned to go on sale this summer, but now we have more information and a more precise date. Read More
Android Things is a minimal version of Android, intended to power Internet of Things devices (like smart appliances). The first Developer Preview was released at the end of 2016, and new versions have come out steadily since then, most recently with Preview 8.
Today, Google is releasing the completed Android Things 1.0 build. This is the first long-term support release, intended for use on finished consumer products. For example, Android Things will power all upcoming Google Assistant Smart Displays, as well as various smart home speakers and other products. Read More
Right at the end of 2017, and prior to CES 2018, LG announced a new Google Assistant speaker as part of its ThinQ smart lineup. Then, at CES, the company followed up by adding the ThinQ View (pictured above), its own take on Google's Smart Displays with Assistant integrated. At the time, the pricing and availability of these wasn't clear. Now, we know just a little bit more. Read More
It's time for another Google app update. The beta release of v7.20 follows the trend of making few changes to the interface or functions, but there's a lot to see in a teardown. Thanks to resources harvested from the app, there are clues pointing to a new hotword to wake the Assistant, which may finally mean custom hotwords. We can also see more updates for smart displays and podcast management. There may even be a redesigned order tracking feature coming that keeps better track of status changes. Read More
It's already time for another update to the Google app, and this version bump carries a little bit of the post-CES glow with it. Of course, there are some new details related to the smart displays we've been expecting. Also joining the round of topics are clues that suggest we'll be able to use Google to identify TV shows by sound and that Google Assistant is going to become bilingual. There's even a sign of a new feature called summer time mode, though it's still a mystery for now. We haven't spotted any changes to the UI yet, but you can grab the latest version from the APK Mirror link at the bottom and let us know if you come across anything. Read More
CES 2018 is over, and with another year of the world's largest electronics show wrapped, we've compiled a list of the best Android-related stuff we saw in Vegas this year. While CES has veered away from being a smartphone show - now left largely to MWC - there's still a fair bit of news from the connected tech and peripheral world that comes out of the event. This year was no different, and the field of products we felt deserved special recognition is predictably diverse. Everything from laptops and lapdocks, to phones, to TVs, to a smart speaker display thing - so without further delay, here's what we've got. Read More
Two of the big trends at CES 2018 were AI and smart home stuff. The former was actually a major buzzword, and it became so overused that I stopped caring (thanks, Huawei/Honor). However, the smart home ecosystem continues to thrive and we saw a ton of new products that are launching with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. This post will focus on Assistant; you can expect the Alexa wrap-up a little bit later. Read More
The new Google Assistant smart displays keep trickling in. Shortly after the announcement of Assistant coming to display-endowed speakers, we discovered the Lenovo Smart Display then we learned about the JBL Link View. Now we have the third device of its kind, the LG ThinQ WK9 (could also be called the ThinQ View).
Details are really sparse, even sparser than the JBL ones. We know it will look like this, it will have an 8" touch display and front-facing camera, and the audio is tuned by Meridian Audio. Read More
After months of speculations on Cody's part, the Assistant devices known under the "Quartz" codename were announced yesterday as smart displays and Lenovo unveiled the first one of the range. Google said that other companies were on board too, like LG and Sony, but another one is now also known: it's the JBL Link View.
JBL already has a few Google Assistant speakers in the Link portfolio, and the View is joining them with not only 2 x 10 W speakers and a passive radiator, but also an 8" touchscreen display that can show all the Assistant interactions like weather, calendar, cooking and recipes, as well as stream YouTube videos and make Duo video calls (there's a 5MP cam on the front). Read More
Earlier today, Google announced that Assistant is coming to 'smart screens.' JBL, Lenovo, LG, and Sony are all making smart screens with Assistant, but Lenovo's is the first one to make it out of the gate. As you might expect, it's basically an Echo Show, but running Google Assistant instead of Alexa. Read More