Google is working on upgrading its Nest Audio smart speaker to run on the company’s own Fuchsia operating system.

For the last few years, Google has been steadily working on switching its Nest Hub smart displays from running on “Cast OS” to the company’s in-house OS, Fuchsia. The original Nest Hub was the first to make the jump in 2021, and the Nest Hub Max made a similar move earlier this year. In all likelihood, the Nest Hub 2nd Gen should get its Fuchsia update soon too.

Back in October, we exclusively reported on how smart speakers are Google’s next step for Fuchsia, including signs of multiple new Nest speakers in development. At the time, we found evidence to speculate that in addition to supporting the newest Nest hardware, Google would also upgrade some existing speakers to Fuchsia.

This week, we can now confirm that Google’s Fuchsia team is working on support for the Nest Audio speaker. Internally, Google refers to the Nest Audio as “Prince,” following a long tradition of naming Google Home/Nest speakers after iconic musicians. In a new Fuchsia code change, a Googler mentions testing the change “on Prince.”

Code change indicating that Fuchsia is being tested on Nest Audio, aka "Prince"

The current top of Google’s smart speaker lineup, Nest Audio offers a rich, inviting sound and the series’ signature fabric cover, designed to blend in as home decor. We found it to be the perfect “Goldilocks pick,” offering significantly better audio than the Nest Mini without commanding the massive price increase of the Google Home Max.

With previous device upgrades to Fuchsia, Google’s goal was to ensure a seamless switchover, such that most people would not even notice that anything had changed. Whether they met that goal is a matter of debate, but for the majority of device owners, the upgrade went smoothly.

Considering there’s no screen on Google’s Nest speakers, with the only visual component being the LEDs beneath the fabric, it’s even less likely that one would notice if the Nest Audio switched to running Fuchsia one day. If all goes well, everything should run the same as it did before, accepting voice commands, Casts from apps, and more.

As Google’s renewed work on upgrading smart speakers has only been active since July, we likely have at least a year of waiting to do before Nest Audio gets a full update to Fuchsia. All the same, it’s exciting to see these projects making continued progress.

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About the Author

Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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