To boost privacy on Smart Displays and speakers, Google is introducing a Guest Mode. It’s rolling out today for Nest Hubs and other first-party Google devices. 

When Guest Mode is enabled, Google Assistant interactions are not saved to your account and audio recordings from voice commands will be deleted automatically.

Asking questions, controlling smart home devices, setting timers, and playing music will continue to work. Additionally, Broadcast and Family Bell still functions, along with the household contacts speed dial. If a Photo frame is set in the background, images will keep cycling.

Meanwhile, personal results, like calendar events and contacts, are automatically disabled. That said, services like Google Maps, YouTube, and smart home services will continue to save activity in Guest Mode.

“Hey Google, turn on Guest Mode” initiates with a “special chime” playing and a blank profile icon appearing throughout the interface. You can confirm “Is Guest Mode on?” at any time, with the feature staying active until it’s disabled. Anybody, including those not part of your home, can say “turn off Guest Mode.”

Google imagines Guest Mode being useful when you have people over. It joins the ability to tune hotword sensitivity and doubles as an Incognito mode of sorts:

Recently, I was looking up new recipes to surprise my family with a nice New Year’s Eve dinner, but didn’t want those suggestions to appear on our Smart Display and spoil my plans. By turning on Guest Mode I could ask Google for recipes suggestions knowing that research wouldn’t show up in my history, and without having to manually go through my settings or toggle other controls on and off. 

Guest Mode on the Nest Hub and other first-party Home devices is rolling out today in English. It will be available in more languages and devices over coming months.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com