Starting in January, Google disabled the ability for third-party Smart Displays from Lenovo and JBL to browse the web. The company has now revealed that this is due to those devices not featuring hardware support for SafeSearch.

This removal first emerged at the start of the year with users of non-Nest Hub Smart Displays getting a “Can’t be shown” error page that notes how “Websites are turned off for this device” and a link to g.co/assistant/web-filter. 

Google recently fixed/resolved the link, and explains how this browser removal is part of its work to “prevent mature content from surfacing on shared devices.” 

Since results on Smart Displays can be seen or heard by anyone, we recently applied SafeSearch technology to the web browser on all hardware compatible devices. For unsupported hardware, we ensure a safer web experience by providing an option to send the link to the device owner’s phone using the ‘Send Link’ button.

The company now explicitly states that, as of 2022, “access to the web is only supported on Smart Displays with hardware that runs SafeSearch technology on its web browser.” Most known from Google Search, the tech works to filter out explicit content. Support today is just for the first and second generation Nest Hub, as well as the Nest Hub Max. 

The workaround Google is providing to third-party devices is sending the link to your phone, though this only works for the account owner of the Smart Display.

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About the Author

Abner Li

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