Google's Pixel Stand might turn smartphones into smart speakers

Is Google planning to turn your phone into a temporary Home device?

Google may turn phones into smart speakers
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One of Google's big advantages over Amazon in the smart home wars is that it has Android, one of the world's most popular mobile operating systems. Even better, it has the Pixel phones, a phone experience that Google controls end to end.

Google has already leveraged this with its Assistant, allowing you to take your Assistant in between devices, but now it looks like it's taking another step. In beta code for the Google app, a reference to a device called the "Pixel Stand" was spotted by 9to5Google.

Read this: The best Google Assistant commands

The Pixel Stand appears to be a wireless charging dock that lets you see your battery's status via the At a Glance widget. Once you agree to trust the dock, the Pixel Stand will also let you use Google Assistant while the phone is locked.

Specifically, Assistant will be able to "use your personal info to make suggestions, answer questions, and take actions." While there's no outright confirmation in the code, it appears that all of this information will be displayed on your smartphone while it's on the Pixel Stand.

As the Pixel Stand carries Pixel branding, it's likely that it will launch alongside the Pixel 3 this fall. While it's likely the Pixel Stand's wireless charging will also work with other phones that carry the same wireless charging standard, it's harder to tell whether it'll let other phones use Google Assistant in the same way.

Google Assistant Smart Displays are basically Google Assistant devices with touchscreens that'll let you watch YouTube videos, view Google Photos and pull up Google Maps. It would certainly be a savvy move on Google's part to turn Pixel phones into temporary Smart Displays while on the Pixel Stand, as it could be especially helpful before going to bed or waking up in the morning. Essentially, a Pixel phone and Stand could be Google's version of the Echo Spot.

This is all just beta code though, and it's possible some features are changed or axed before the Pixel Stand is ready to debut. It's also entirely possible this thing never sees the light of day. Never forget: Apple's slightly similar AirPower wireless charging dock for iPhone was announced last September and still isn't out.

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