Since the start of this year, Assistant Smart Displays haven’t seen too many new capabilities. A small feature addition today does add birthday countdowns to the Nest Hub. 

Like other alerts, the birthday countdown takes the form of a card in the top-right corner of the clock/photo frame. A cute graphic accompanies the “[x] days until [person’s] birthday” text. These reminders appear for:

  • Yourself and any other home members associated with your display.
  • Any home member’s contacts from “Your people” in Assistant who have a birthday set.

Birthdays can be set (or removed) from Assistant settings > You > Your people. Contacts here feature a birthday field. Meanwhile, tapping the countdown lets you hide it until next year after one appears.

Note: You aren’t able to remove your own birthday in the Assistant settings. To prevent your birthday countdown from showing on your display, you can hide it once it appears. 

Google says birthday countdowns on the Nest Hub will “continue to roll out in the coming days.” We first spotted them at the start of this month.

9to5Google’s Take

Smart Displays have been having a quiet 2022 so far in terms of feature additions. There was the ability to tell your Nest Hub to “stop” talking without the “Hey Google” hotword, while the Google Meet team rolled out Companion Mode integration when taking video calls on the Nest Hub Max. 

In terms of regressions, there was third-party devices losing their web browser due to the lack of hardware SafeSearch support and changes to Speaker Groups. There was also the white noise change that was addressed after many complaints.

We reported yesterday that Google was working on a new Nest Hub with a detachable form factor and that could somewhat explain the lack of functionality improvements for existing devices. At a high-level, another factor is how foundational advancements related to voice and natural language understanding remain in the wings.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: