Technology

Is Apple working on a Google Nest Hub-like smart display?


KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 ― Apple quietly announced a flurry of new devices this week, including the MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and HomePod. And it’s not done yet — the company is apparently looking to expand its range of smart devices beyond the HomePod and HomePod Mini, taking aim at similar products from Google and Amazon.

The first of these products, according to Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman, is a smart display that will compete against the Google Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max and Amazon Echo Show. It will essentially be a dumbed-down iPad with the Home app that can control lights and other smart home devices, play videos and handle FaceTime video calls.

Unlike the Nest Hub, which is attached to a speaker at the bottom and is designed to be placed on a horizontal surface, Apple’s version can reportedly be mounted on a wall or elsewhere using magnetic fasteners. Cupertino is also said to be entertaining the possibility of making larger displays, as well as a stand for iPads meant to be used at home.

Other new products include a revamped Apple TV, which was last updated in October. Set to be released in the first half of 2024, it will come with a faster chip but is still unlikely to support 8K streaming. Unfortunately, it will still have the same design as before and will probably be just as expensive— exactly the same issues Dzamira pointed out in her review of the latest model.

An upgraded version of the Apple TV — one that apparently incorporates a speaker and a FaceTime camera — is still in development. However, the project has run into issues that has delayed its release, originally slated for later this year. The same is true with the smart displays, which won’t be launched until next year at the earliest.

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Having a range of smart devices is great and all, but it doesn’t address Apple’s biggest flaw in this space, and that is Siri, which still lags behind the Google Assistant in terms of voice recognition and the implementation of certain functions. Thankfully, there are changes coming, but there are no details as to what will be improved, nor a timeline for their introduction. ― SoyaCincau



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