Google Assistant smart displays Stories May 17

Google removes bandwidth-saving measures on Chromecast, Smart Display Ambient mode

In April of 2020, Google lowered the quality of Ambient mode on Chromecast and Assistant Smart Displays to save bandwidth in response to COVID-19’s work from home (WFH) surge, and these changes are now being reverted.

Google Assistant smart displays Stories May 11

At I/O 2022, Google is giving a surprising amount of attention to the Assistant Smart Display that it announced three years ago on the very same stage. “Look and Talk” will let you activate Assistant by just gazing at your Nest Hub Max, while Quick Phrases is also coming to give you another way to skip “Hey Google.”

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories May 2

At the moment, Google Assistant’s health integrations are limited to asking about sleep. Moving forward, you’ll be able to see steps, calories burned, and other activity metrics from Fitbit or Google Fit on the Nest Hub.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories April 13

Last May, the original Nest Hub and Hub Max received an adorable new Photo Frame option. Google has now finally made the Weather Frog clock face available on the 2nd-gen Nest Hub.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories April 12

In October of 2020, one Nest Hub Max user managed to get an early look at “Blue Steel.” This capability lets you just gaze at your compatible Smart Display to trigger Google Assistant, and a launch under the name “Look and Talk” might be coming soon.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories February 10

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.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories January 25

At I/O 2019, Google introduced the ability to cancel alarms by just saying “stop,” while the Pixel 6 picked up “Quick Phrases” last year. You can now tell Google Assistant on Smart Displays and speakers to “stop” talking without having to first preface that command with “Hey Google.”

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories January 6

Following the US ITC ruling in favor of Sonos, Google this afternoon announced a series of changes to how Speaker Groups and its Assistant devices work.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories October 31, 2021

Google Home app gets redesigned ‘Photo Frame’ settings menu that adds a preview

In addition to readying a new “Google Weather Frog” option for clock faces, the Home companion app now has a redesigned UI when choosing albums for your Nest Hub Photo Frame.

In May, the Weather Frog clock face rolled out to the first-generation Nest Hub and Hub Max, and Google now appears to be combining the adorable character, weather, and photos into one clock face.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories October 21, 2021

In October 2020, a big Smart Display redesign that brought more interactivity, as well as a dark theme, widely rolled out. Google is now introducing an “app” – though it’s more akin to shortcuts – launcher on the Nest Hub Max.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories October 11, 2021

Google Photos ‘Memories’ coming directly to Nest Hub ‘Your day’ tab

Google Photos and Assistant Smart Displays are the perfect combination of hardware and software. That requires setting the appropriate clock today, but the Google Photos integration is getting deeper, with Memories soon set to appear in the Nest Hub “Your day” tab. 

Google Assistant smart displays Stories September 6, 2021

Last month, Google announced that the Nest Hub would start showing Air Quality (AQI) information in the US. Many are now seeing a new setting in the Google Home app, though the actual reading is not yet widely rolled out on Smart Displays.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories September 3, 2021

Earlier this year, the “Weather Frog” became available on Assistant Smart Displays as a delightful new Photo Frame background. Google testing has now inadvertently revealed that “Character” Nest Hub clocks are in development. 

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories August 22, 2021

Back in June, the built-in browser found on Assistant Smart Display became more feature-rich. Another update to the Nest Hub browser will read articles aloud to you (TTS), just like on Android, while it’s now easier to open websites. 

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories August 11, 2021

Smart Displays are very useful for checking the weather at a glance and Google is now showing air quality index (AQI) on the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max directly in the Photo Frame/”Ambient screen.” 

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories June 27, 2021

The smallest-ever Assistant Smart Display was announced by Lenovo in 2019, and it’s now getting a successor with the Smart Clock 2 that adds an optional wireless charging dock. 

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories June 6, 2021

For some users, Assistant has a tendency to pick up “Hey Google” and answer on the wrong Smart Display/speaker. Google is now soliciting feedback when the wrong Home activates with a “Which device did you expect to respond?” notification.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories May 27, 2021

Assistant Smart Displays can either display a clock or photos when they are not actively used. Google is now offering a new background “Photo Frame” that brings the Weather Frog from mobile Search to Nest Hubs.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories April 14, 2021

Back in October, Smart Displays saw a big UI and navigation redesign. Google is now tweaking the order of tabs for some Nest Hub users to put an unfortunately large emphasis on Assistant games, though this results in a bug on a second-gen model that sees “Wellness” disappear.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories March 8, 2021

Back in October, Google rolled out a big revamp for Assistant Smart Displays that organized key functions in dedicated tabs and added a dark theme. While an improvement over the previous design in most ways, the old Nest Hub UI had one advantage in regards to quickly accessing Home control.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories March 6, 2021

Following yesterday’s premature appearance, Google has released three new clock faces for the Nest Hub and Hub Max. These additions join the existing eight Fullscreen clock background for those who don’t want to set a photo album.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories February 25, 2021

When not actively in use, many have their Smart Displays cycle through a carousel of pictures. These Assistant devices are closely integrated with Google Photos, but an “Experimental” option to use third-party services has long existed. Nest Hub owners this evening report that the Facebook and Flickr Photo Frame sources are no longer appearing.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories February 9, 2021

The Google Nest Hub and Hub Max are picking up a handful of new features with Cast firmware version 1.52. This release has been in the Preview Program for the last few weeks, and is now widely rolling out to all other users.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories January 25, 2021

In announcing the big UI revamp for Assistant Smart Displays last October, Google also teased the addition of Sunrise Alarms. That Android feature is now beginning to roll out as part of a new alarms experience for the Nest Hub.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories January 13, 2021

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. 

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories December 25, 2020

Nest Hub food timers set today are getting themed for Christmas

Just before Thanksgiving this year, Google updated named food timers on Smart Displays so that they would be accompanied by a whimsical illustration of what you’re waiting for. Some Nest Hub timers today are automatically getting additional Christmas cheer.

Over the past week, a small subset of users have not been able to access Google Assistant on any of their devices. This Assistant glitch appears to be occurring at the Google Account level, with Smart Displays and speakers being the most severely impacted devices.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories December 16, 2020

Google Assistant Smart Displays getting more games and new ‘lobby’ to showcase

Back in July, Google made a push for fun interactive experiences on Assistant devices. In the midst of the holiday season, more games are coming, along with a redesigned lobby on Smart Displays that better curates what is available. 

Google Assistant smart displays Stories November 18, 2020

As Smart Displays have matured, they’ve increasingly taken on shared and family use cases. Google is now adding a handful of new features for the Nest Hub Max and other devices, starting with sticky Family Notes.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories November 6, 2020

The Google Home app in recent months has seen a flurry of new features from a dark theme to full Wifi controls and Home/Away Routines just last week. Google is now testing a very welcome redesign of Nest Hub, Home, and other device settings.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories October 27, 2020

The battle for control of your smart-home tech has been fierce for years, but it’s about to heat up even further as Google rolls out a redesign of the classic Smart Display UI — which could change the way you interact with your Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, or other Smart Display hardware.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories October 21, 2020

On Monday, Google announced and started rolling out a major visual overhaul of the Smart Display UI. That redesign leaked out early, and the same source is back with a new capability. The Nest Hub Max is testing a ‘Blue Steel’ feature that obviates the need for saying the “Hey Google” hotword.

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As previewed last month, Google is redesigning the interface of Smart Displays. This includes a dark theme, support for personal and work accounts, productivity actions, and much more.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories October 8, 2020

At I/O 2019, Google announced the Interactive Canvas framework to bring full-screen visuals and animations to what were previously voice-only Actions. After making a big push for games on Smart Displays, Google is now letting developers build interactive education and storytelling apps.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories August 26, 2020

The convenience and utility of Smart Displays can extend beyond the home. Google is now working to put a Nest Hub in every hotel room and extolling the contactless benefits of voice commands aided by onscreen visuals.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories August 25, 2020

In addition to the Home app seeing a rather big update today, Google announced today that photo galleries on Nest Hubs and other Smart Displays, as well as Chromecasts, will soon include date and location information.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories August 19, 2020

Back in June, Google brought Duo and Meet group calls to the Nest Hub Max. Now Zoom will soon be available on Google Assistant Smart Displays later this year.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories August 18, 2020

Given the affordability of smart speakers, having a device in every room is now a common occurrence. Google is now making it easy to dynamically create speaker groups directly on Nest Hubs and Smart Displays.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories August 4, 2020

With distance learning in effect for the upcoming school season, at least in the US, Google Assistant is adding a handful of features to ease the transition. This includes Family Bell, precise Broadcasting, and other whimsical features aimed at kids.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories July 30, 2020

From smart home controls to setting reminders and asking questions, you’re mostly interacting with Google when using a Nest Hub. That said, third-party apps do exist, and Google is making a big push for Smart Display games this year.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories July 27, 2020

The interface for Nest Hubs and other Assistant Smart Displays have remained mostly unchanged since launching in 2018. Google is now rolling out a tweak to the Nest Hub Max where system elements switch from a dark theme to a light one. 

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories July 9, 2020

Smart Displays and Android TV sets double as fantastic picture frames when not actively being used. Both platforms are now in the process of picking up a new “Captured on Pixel” background collection.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories June 25, 2020

Video calls are booming in 2020, and dedicated home devices are particularly suited for casual conversations. Smart Displays, including the Nest Hub Max, are now adding support for Google Duo and Google Meet group calling.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories June 17, 2020

Like Android, Google Assistant is also a platform for third-party developers creating apps. Google today is making it easier to build Assistant Actions with new development tools and core platform features, like Continuous Match Mode.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories May 18, 2020

Google Assistant is a powerful tool that makes the company’s Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart displays so great. Now, though, Google is testing out new smart displays designed to be “easy” for customers who aren’t as tech-savvy.

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Google Assistant smart displays Stories April 29, 2020

Google Home for iOS tests separate volume for Assistant responses

Audio adjustments on Google’s smart speakers and Smart Displays are quite straightforward. The company is now testing the ability to set a separate Google Assistant volume level in the Home companion app.

Google Assistant smart displays Stories January 24, 2020

Assistant Smart Displays provide an easy way to control all the connected devices in your home. Google is today improving the entertainment experience with a new Media View for Nest Hubs.

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