A deep dive into the code of a new version of the Google app by AndroidPolice supports rumors of a potential new Google Home device with a touchscreen. A TechCrunch report from September said Google was working on building a table-top smart-screen device codenamed â€œManhattanâ€ that could be a competitor to Amazonâ€™s Echo Show. The APK teardown of 7.14.15 beta version of the Google app found references to multiple on-display features including notifications, interactive timers, weather forecasts, YouTube video playback, a basic web browser, photo galleries, Google Maps with business listings, a customizable home screen, and more.
The code throughout the app references â€œQuartzâ€ that operates using voice commands. It suggests that Google intends Quartz for kitchen use as the teardown points to a screen that can be used to display recipes and timers. Quartz also has a pair of specific YouTube layouts: a video viewer and a browser. The weather function referenced in Quartz offers 32 different dedicated icons showing everything from a sunny day to blizzards and hurricanes.
AndroidPolice cautions that Quartz could reference a touch screen device, or it could be a software component that interacts with a touch screen device. Earlier this year, Google demonstrated Google Homeâ€™s ability to cast information screens to televisions.
Google already has an array of home devices including smart speakers and its media streaming Chromecast. It makes sense for it to develop a smart screen that competes with the YouTube-less Amazon Echo Show as a visual hub for the home. TechCrunch said that it should arrive by mid-2018 at the latest.