Four years after it first went on sale, the Google Home smart speaker is about to finally get an update.
The news comes just a few weeks after Google stopped selling the speaker without announcing an immediate replacement.
- 2020 Chromecast could bring Google Assistant to your TV
- Okay Google, entertainment me: 10 games and quizzes to play with your smart speaker
- New features arrive on Google Assistant
According to sources of 9to5Google, the new speaker is codenamed Prince and will slot into Google's Nest family of smart home devices, above the compact Nest Mini. The speaker is said to "look unassuming and familiar," and will not have a display, just like the original Google Home. It is also claimed to have the same fabric finish as the Home and Nest Mini.
However, it could be treated to audio enhancements, as it is claimed Google wants to rival the Sonos One, which offers far greater sound quality and volume than the Google Home. Such aspirations could also mean a higher price than the $129 the Home started at. For context, the Sonos One is $199.
The speaker will of course feature the Google Assistant for voice-controlled music playback and smart home control, among hundreds of other functions. We also expect to see new features, like stereo pairing which Google has so far only offered on the high-end Home Max speaker. Stereo pairing is available on the Sonos One and cheaper Amazon Echo.
To put into context just how long the Google Home has gone without an update, it launched at the same time as the first Google Pixel smartphone, now on its fourth generation. Since then, Amazon has updated its Echo speaker several times, and expanded its smart speaker range far beyond that of Google's Nest offerings.
With the mid-range Pixel 4a smartphone seemingly delayed, it looks like Google is holding back on hardware launches until later in the year. As such, we wouldn't be surprised if the Home replacement arrives in the fall, when new Pixel phones are normally announced.
As well as the Pixel 4a and Home, we expect to see Google reveal the Pixel 5 and a new Chromecast with remote and its own Android operating system before the end of 2020.
GearBrain compares the Nest Mini to the Google Home Mini www.youtube.com