Amazon may have got the jump on Google with its screen-touting Echo Show and Spot speakers, but this race has only just started, and Google has announced the Assistant will be getting its own range of screen speakers this July.
We already know quite a lot about the Assistant Smart Displays, as they’re officially named: rather than simply launching a Google Home with a screen - though that's rumored - Google’s taking the Android approach and putting its software inside other manufacturer’s devices. Three have so far been announced: the JBL Link View, Lenovo Smart Display and the Archos Hello.
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Each of these is different, but all of them have touchscreens alongside voice control so Google’s Assistant will be able to provide visuals when you ask it a query. At Google I/O, the company showed off how you can also ask it to watch YouTube - something you can no longer do on the Echo ever since Google removed it.
Assistant will perform almost identically to other Google smart home devices, but the screen has benefits for certain cases where a visual response is better than an audio one. For example, being able to scan across cinema showtimes rather than waiting for Assistant to list them out, or reading cooking instructions. A display has pros for the wider smart home too, such as being able to see a stream from your Nest security camera.
At I/O, Google announced the speakers will also come with a YouTube TV app when all three are made available to buy this July, hopefully just in time for all the juicy new features coming to Assistant.