There is the classic question of where Cain's wife came from and who the people he feared would kill him were. One answer to that question is that they were other hominids alive at the time.
Some, like Hugh Ross and his ministry Reasons to Believe (RTB), suggest that God used hominids to prepare the way and help other species adapt and that if he had not done so, homo sapiens would have burst on the scene and wreaked havoc with the ecosystem balance.
Here's a blurb from RTB:
RTB’s biblical creation model views the hominids found in the fossil
record as animals created by God’s direct intervention. These
creatures existed for a time and then went extinct. RTB’s model
considers the hominids to be remarkable creatures that walked erect
and possessed some level of limited intelligence and emotional
capacity. This ability allowed these animals to employ crude tools and
even adopt some level of “culture” much like baboons, gorillas, and
chimpanzees. While the RTB creation model posits that the hominids
were created by God’s divine fiat, they were not spiritual beings made
in His image. The RTB model reserves this status exclusively for
The model treats the hominids as analogous to, but distinct from, the
great apes. Because of this, the RTB model predicts that anatomical,
physiological, biochemical, and genetic similarities will exist among
the hominids and modern humans to varying degrees. But since the
hominids were not made in God’s image, they are expected to be clearly
distinct from modern humans, particularly in their cognitive capacity,
behavior, “technology,” and “culture.”
Their more detailed speculations are in the book Who Was Adam? (I should note I don't buy all of RTB's views about creation, but I'm just reporting what they say.)
Theistic evolutionists typically see God as working in and through the natural world to bring about his desired end, viz. humans who are in his image. Some think God did something new and special with Adam or that Adam crossed some evolutionary threshold that distinguished him from his predecessors, while others think there was no historical Adam at all, often identifying the first eleven chapters of Genesis as mytho-poetic rather than strictly historical. (Biologos.org has readings on both of these views.)
Young Earth Creationists typically see the hominids as not so different from us, or no more different than, say, an Aborigine from New Guinea is from Shaquille O'Neal.