Google launched its voice-activated virtual assistant dubbed Google Home at the Google I/O in May. Touted as the Amazon Echo rival, Google Home has come under scrutiny and received flak for merely being a "dressed-up version" of Chromecast.
For the unfamiliar, Chromecast is a media streaming device that can be plugged into the HDMI port of a TV and lets the user cast video content from their mobile device to the television. Google's Chromecast Audio is also a similar device, but connects to a speaker and lets the user cast music from their mobile device to the stereo system.
Now, according to a report from The Information, Google Home is basically a Chromecast equipped with a microphone and speakers! It "will essentially be a microphone, speaker, plastic top with LED lights and a fabric or metal bottom — wrapped around a Chromecast," the publication says.
Moreover, the publication's sources have disclosed that Google Home deploys the same Wi-Fi chip as well as ARM-based microprocessor as the Chromecast.
This makes sense and, frankly, there is no need for an outrage considering Google Home and Chromecast have both been developed by the same person — Mario Queiroz who is the company's VP of Product Management.
The Chromecast technology, which has now been rebranded as Google Cast and is at the heart of Google Home, is a positive for the company. It will essentially enable the device to allocate a particular music track to a certain room in the home. Can the Amazon Echo do that? Not yet, and this gives the Google Home a clear edge.
The fact that Google has more plans for Google Home is evidenced by the AI aspect, as well as the Google Assistant, similar to Amazon's Alexa, that answers queries and becomes familiar with the user patterns with time.
A possible drawback for Google Home, because of sharing the platform with Chromecast, is that creating apps will be challenging for developers in the near future. Developing apps for Android is relatively simpler when compared with the Linux-based operating system used by Google Home. This is because the latter offers less accessibility to third-party developers who are looking to add more functionalities to Google Home.
However, in the context of the company's intention to make Google Home the hub that controls smart home devices such as thermostats, locks, and lights effectively, the importance of creating apps pales.
Since Google Home is set to be the controlling hub for smart devices — a home assistant, if you please — the fact that it deploys the same technology as the Chromecast should not be concerning.