Just recently, Google removed YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show for violating its terms of service, leaving the smart speaker without access to probably the world's largest video streaming service.
However, as recent reports suggest, this might just be a sly maneuver to gain an advantage — but for what?
Well, Google is reportedly developing a device that'll rival the Echo Show, according to TechCrunch, citing multiple sources.
Google Will Release Its Own Version Of The Echo Show, Codenamed Manhattan
The sources claim Google's device is codenamed "Manhattan" and will sport a 7-inch screen, the same as the Echo Show. One of the sources claims to have directly received the info from a Google employee.
The device will feature YouTube, Google Assistant, Google Photos, and video calling. In addition, it will also act as a smart hub for smart home gadgets such as light bulbs, thermostats, and much more.
One source claims Google had previously been developing devices with large screens that would rival full-sized televisions, but it decided to shift its focus on Manhattan. Google reportedly had plans to release the device in the middle of 2018, but because of the Echo Show, there's internal pressure to get it out before 2017 ends.
Google Manhattan Possible Release Date
That said, Google might still end up releasing it in 2018, the report says, because the company still has a lot on its to-do list, including polishing up smart hub partnerships, and possibly exploring collaborations with Best Buy Geek Squad and Enjoy for home installation services.
Manhattan will run a version of Android, which means developers can easily make apps for it. The device could even support Netflix, although that remains uncertain. Beyond details mentioned above, other key tidbits — what it'll be for, how it'll differ from Echo Show, how much it'll cost, and what it'll look like — remain unknown.
Pulling YouTube off from the Echo Show seems like a hostile move, especially since Amazon said Google had no technical reason to. It, however, makes sense in a business perspective. Google's Manhattan device needs to have an edge over the Echo Show, and YouTube might just be that edge.
For now, it remains unclear what Google's goal is for the Manhattan, but it seems to be rivaling Amazon in the race to put its own digital assistant in as many homes as possible. Amazon has a lot of Alexa-enabled smart speakers in its lineup, many of which were just recently announced. If Google wants to catch up, it has to do it now, if for the fact that there might be another incoming threat: Apple with its HomePod speaker.