Google’s big event this week brought us not only two new phones, but also a new tablet and a smart speaker with a screen. Interestingly, the Google Home Hub relies on Chromecast software, rather than Android Things OS. We have details below.
All the other Smart Display devices seen so far, the ones with Google Assistant have pretty much the sames software approach. They run on Android Things OS, which is a tailored version of Android for IoT devices. They do that on top of a standardized hardware platform, similar to those offered by MediaTek or Qualcomm. Home Hub is different, as it’s based heavily on Chromecast software.
Diya Jolly, Google VP of product management detailed the idea in an Ars Technica interview. That’s how we learned that the Home Hub uses software that’s based on the Google Cast platform. The internal hardware is also a tad different from other smart displays. Home Hub opted for an Amlogic processor, instead of one of the standard Google certified partners. The other specs aside from the 7 inch HD scree and lack of camera haven’t been detailed.
The Assistant UI does remain the same, but underneath there’s a whole different ball game. Google Home Hub comes with functions like Search, YouTube, Maps, Calendar and Photos, all of them revamped as to offer “glanceable” information and voice control. The Hub also brings a feature called Home View, which is basically a dashboard used to control and manage smart home devices. There’s also Live Albums, a feature that creates albums of photos with certain people in them.