The first smart displays to ship with Google Assistant software at their core weren’t made by Google. Both Lenovo and JBL released Google Assistant smart screens in 2018, months before the first Google Home Hub went on sale.

Five years later, Google Assistant seems to be abandoning support for third-party smart displays.

Lenovo Smart display

In an update to a support page for making Google Duo calls on smart speakers and displays, the company notes that “Google no longer provides software updates for these third-party Smart Displays: Lenovo Smart Display (7″, 8″ & 10″), JBL Link View and LG Xboom AI ThinQ WK9 Smart Display” and that “this could impact the quality of video calls and meetings.”

That covers all of the third-party smart displays that shipped with Google Assistant because, as 9to5Google notes, Google ceased major work on the Android-based operating system that powers these devices and no company has released a third-party smart speaker with Google software since 2019.

Google has continued to bring new features to its own smart displays, now sold under the Nest Hub brand. But these devices are running software based on Google’s newer Fuchsia operating system, so it makes sense that the company no longer wants to continue maintaining software for a platform that is no longer shipping on new devices.

Still, it’s just the latest example of the limited lifespan of Internet-of-Things devices. The hardware for these older smart displays is just as functional today as it was when they first hit the market four or five years ago. But without continued software updates and support from Google, they may gradually lose functionality until they effectively become paperweights or e-waste.

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7 replies on “Google Assistant ends support for third-party smart displays”

  1. I have zero inside knowledge, but I suspect this is simply because the original Google smart display software was based on Android. Now the Google Smart displays are running Fuschia. They are just dropping the Android code base and haven’t decided yet to license the Fuschia one.

    1. The software was officially updated by the manufacturers but then Google took over with “silent” updates (they’d download in the middle of the night and none would be none the wiser). This meant they’d be kept up to date much longer and frequently since LG at least took quite a bit to release updates.

      Now it’s a question off when they “stop” working (i.e. when their APIs stop being supported by Google and Disney+)

      My JBL link view was great for calls but I almost never use what was once duo anymore and zoom has a higher resolution for screen sharing than Google meet so it’s better for my work purposes.

      I might get a neat hub eventually. Maybe the tablet based one that’s rumored to come out but only if the battery is really replaceable or has bypass charging (I don’t want to have to worry about planned obsolescence on the battery front AND the software front)

      The ideal situation is that they would get new firmware sorry from the community (they have a normal Qualcomm chip so that should in theory make it easier) but we are unlikely to see that.

  2. More e-waste. Why even bother pretending to “support” the products to begin with? An end of support date should be printed in bold caps on the packaging and advertising of all products. Reduce e-waste.

      1. they are referring to electronic waste, as in electronics which fill up landfills, especially due to planned obsolescence. It’s not a knock on the article.

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