We could see the long-awaited Google Home 2 (or Google Nest Home, as it may be called) very soon, as the company announced that it would be holding a 'Hey Google' smart home event (opens in new tab) on July 8.
The event is in place of the company's annual Google I/O conference, and will take place virtually (opens in new tab), with Google promising "exciting new and upcoming features for smart home developers".
The Google Home 2 is the rumored follow up to the brand's flagship smart speaker, the Google Home, and though the July event is developer-focused, Google has said that it will use the event to "share our recent smart home product initiatives", suggesting that new hardware is on the way.
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The new Google speaker has apparently already been revealed to 9to5Mac (opens in new tab) by ‘sources familiar to the matter’, and it’s poised to sit somewhere in between the Google Home and Google Home Max, the brand’s largest and best-sounding wireless speaker.
What the new Google Assistant speaker will be called officially remains a mystery. A few years ago, Google placed the vast majority of its smart home devices under the Google Nest umbrella, implying that the products were all interconnected and compatible with the Nest series of smart thermostats, alarms, and security cameras.
Devices under this umbrella include the Google Nest Hub Max and the Google Nest Mini – so we wouldn't be entirely surprised if the new smart speaker is called the Google Nest Home, or something similar.
A new Chromecast
July 8 could also be the perfect time for Google to unveil its new Chromecast streaming dongle, which has been the subject of speculation for the last few months.
Rumors of the new Google Chromecast Ultra device with a remote and Android TV built-in were compounded recently, when photos of the dongle were circulated by XDA (opens in new tab) and XDA Recognized Developer deadman96385 (opens in new tab), who found an ‘out-of-box experience’ video for the device (codenamed Sabrina) in a pre-release Chromecast firmware build.
Based on the images, the new Google Chromecast has been given a new oblong shape, but retains many of the same design cues from previous versions.
There's not a huge amount of information on the specs of the new dongle, but XDA did discover that it will be running an Amlogic SoC that can support Dolby Vision playback – and improvement on the Chromecast Ultra's 4K HDR10 capabilities.
Right now, neither the Google Home 2 nor the Google Chromecast Ultra 2 have been confirmed by the tech giant, but we're excited to find out whether July 8 will bring new and improved smart home devices for us to try out.
Via The Verge (opens in new tab)