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Google Home: Next-Gen Smart Speaker May Also Work As Wi-Fi Extender

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The Google Home smart speaker possesses several interesting features, which have led to the device finding favor with consumers. However, the Google Home's popularity is continuously challenged by the superior Alexa-equipped Amazon Echo speaker.

According to a new report, Google is ready to throw the gauntlet to Amazon and is working on the second iteration of its smart speaker.

To outpace Amazon in the superior smart home speaker race, the company will reportedly include a Wi-Fi router in the second-gen Google Home.

Second-Gen Google Home Coming Soon?

The news regarding this impending feature comes from The Information. The publication cites a source who has "knowledge of the project." It reveals that the upcoming Google Home smart speaker would house a Wi-Fi router with mesh networking.

This suggests that users of the second-gen Google Home will not have to shell out extra money for a Wi-Fi router, since this speaker would purportedly come with an in-built one. It is being speculated that all other devices would be able to connect to this network as well.

For people who already own a Wi-Fi router, the in-built one in the second-gen Google Home would ensure that the network signal is strong even in weak coverage areas.

"The idea is that each speaker would act as a repeater for your home Wi-Fi network and help to extend coverage to dead zones," revealed the source.

The source also shared that the company intended to include a microphone, speaker, and the Assistant on the original Google Wi-Fi routers, but decided against it to avoid confusion. If what the source reveals is true, then these routers were initially planned to have Home-style interactions with users.

According to the report, this microphone- and speaker-based Google Wi-Fi router version may hit the market after all. However, there seem to be no concrete plans for the same.

Second-Gen Google Home: Price And Release Date

The report does not mention when the company intends to launch the updated model of the Google Home smart speaker. It does not shed light on what the device's pricing will be when it eventually hits the shelves.

Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see whether the company would be able to match the $180 price of the Amazon Echo.

If pricing wise, the second-gen Google Home is on equal footing with Amazon's speaker, then users may be encouraged to opt for the former because of the Wi-Fi feature. On the other hand, if the second-gen Google Home sports a higher price tag, people may gravitate toward Amazon Echo.

Similar Plans From Amazon?

Amazon invested roughly $12.5 million on a mesh networking system called Luma in April 2016. This suggests that the company may be thinking along the same lines as Google.

However, for now, users will just have to wait and watch what the next iterations of these smart speakers bring.

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