Google Home Tipped to Sport Cast Integration, Be Compatible With Samsung’s SmartThings Platform
Google is set to host its all important Pixel event this week, and among other things, the tech giant is also expected to launch the Google Home smart speaker as well. Google’s answer to Amazon Echo was unveiled at I/O earlier this year, and now the company is expected to finally launch it on Tuesday. Running up to the launch, a leak hints at the integration of the Chromecast dongles, and the new Google Home device into a new single app called Google Home. Another leak states that Google Home will be compatible with Samsung’s SmartThings, and following the Google Home launch, the tech giant intends to offer Google Assistant to power third-party smart speakers as well.
As we already know, Google Home will be powered by the Assistant voice-based virtual assistant, allowing it to perform tasks like set reminders, turn on TV, play music, and control all home automated devices. Now a leak states that the Google Cast app will be rebranded to Google Home app, and this new app will control all the Chromecast dongles, and the new Google Home single-handedly. This merger was first seen by Chrome Story, and indicates the death of the Google Cast app that was used to control Chromecast and Chromecast Audio.
A separate leak from Variety also hints that Google intends to open up its software to third parties for more Google Home-like smart speakers to hit the market soon. The report claims that Google met with 50 audio companies in June to begin the talks of these Assistant-powered speakers, some of which are expected to hit the market as soon as early summer 2017. However, Google has blatantly asked these partners to steer clear of Amazon Echo’s digital solutions, making them choose between the two. The publication reports that this demand even forced one manufacturer to back out from the talks with Google.
Furthermore, Android Police is reporting that Google Home will also be compatible with SmartThings, a Samsung-owned platform for home automation products, out-of-the-box. While home automation is still nascent in many countries, Samsung being a popular Android device among users gives Google a nice kick-start in adoption rate.
While Google is set to bring tough competition to Amazon Echo with the Google Home launch, the company intends to announce a lot more at the event tomorrow. The Mountain View company is expected to announce the two Pixel smartphones – Pixel and Pixel XL – and the new 4K Chromecast Ultra dongle. The new Daydream VR headset, the Google Wi-Fi router, and possibly the unveiling of the Google Andromeda OS may also be on the cards.