Google and Amazon have apparently found themselves in a little bit of a spat, as reported by The Verge, with the former pulling its fledgling video service (YouTube) off the latter's latest connected device (Echo Show).
Or to put it another way: The Echo Show just lost one of the only good things going for it.https://twitter.com/mdrndad/status/913012693161926659
Let's rewind for a second and recall this line from my Echo Show Review:
It is an imperfect device that simultaneously excites and occasionally infuriates. It's yet another example of Amazon beating everyone else to market, but with a product that in a number of ways still feels incomplete.
So in the Echo Show we have a device with tons of potential. The ability to serve as an always-on home hub. Only it doesn't actually do that yet. And the ability to serve as an always-available, cross-platform communications device with far-field microphones and video. Only nobody's really using that yet.
And there's the potential to show any virtually any video at any time — because when it comes to on-demand viewing, YouTube is the only service that really matters — thanks to the 7-inch display. Only now, not so much.
Losing access to YouTube video is a still-smoking wound to a product that was struggling for purpose in the first place.
The reasons behind Google not allowing YouTube on the Echo Show don't really matter to me. (Though I do find it interesting that there apparently was enough warning for Amazon to update the Echo Show response to "Currently, Google is not supporting YouTube on Echo Show.") Perhaps it's something technical. Perhaps it's in retaliation for Amazon not selling Chromecast (which very much competes with Amazon's own Fire TV Stick).
But the result is a still-smoking chest wound in an Echo Show that remains, at best, promising. And that absolutely matters. Maybe not to Google — at least not yet. And not really to you or me, unless you're one of the few who actually owns an Echo Show and relied on it for your YouTube fix.
But if you're Amazon, you just lost one of the key ways to market the Echo Show to new customers. If you're one of those potential customers, you just lost a key reason to buy an Echo Show.
And if you're a proponent of the Internet, you know, actually working, you just got another reason to question Google's real intentions.
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