Why GE's giant Android screen for the kitchen changed my mind about smart displays

CNET | 6/13/2019 | Molly Price
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Smart displays are getting a lot of attention in the smart home, especially in the kitchen. The Google Nest Hub, Lenovo Smart Display and Amazon Echo Show are all fine-tuned to manage tasks like controlling smart home devices and getting important information quickly. Their focus on voice commands and simple graphics for things like timers and quick questions makes them a good fit for the kitchen.

While that's all well and good, more than once I've asked myself, "Why not just use a tablet?" The answer seemed simple. Smart displays are tailor-made for the smart home. Guided recipes, drop-down smart home controls. Who wouldn't want all that sweet smart home simplicity controlled by the sound of their voice? Then I tested the GE Kitchen Hub.

Bulb - Smart - Displays - Option - Paper

A light bulb suddenly went off. Smart displays might not be the smartest option. Sure, I had known about, at least on paper, the differences between using a smart display and a tablet, but when you mount a 27-inch Android touchscreen above a range, those differences become much more tangible. Here's what I mean.

Most people probably won't get in the weeds about the operating systems running the screens in their home, but it does make a difference. Smart displays and tablets use two different Android systems (there's no Apple smart display yet) and those systems change the entire experience.

Smart - Displays - Home - OS - Android

Smart displays, designed for the smart home specifically, run an OS called Android Things. Good examples of this are the Lenovo Smart Display and the JBL Link View. Whereas a Samsung Galaxy Tab, a Pixel Slate and the GE Kitchen Hub all use an iteration of the standard mobile Android OS that's on your Android phone.

The two systems are remarkably different, especially when it comes to voice control. Android Things began as a simpler version of...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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