A big update is rolling out to Nest Hubs and third-party Google Assistant smart displays with lots of cool new features, many of which have been promised or teased/leaked for several months. You can now (well, if the features have rolled out to your unit) use your display as a sunrise alarm, put the Google weather frog as a background, leave sticky notes for your family to read, and more.
Earlier this week, we learned that Google is preparing a new smart home device for a possible release this year. FCC documents showed it has a display screen, uses a 14V power supply, and comes equipped with the same Soli motion-sensing technology used by the Pixel 4 and Nest Thermostat. Now a new report claims that the sensor could be used to power a surprising new inclusion: sleep tracking.
Despite the potential consequences, many of us tend to join preview programs fairly often. Sometimes the early software releases give us new features and improvements well ahead of other users, but from time to time, they have some unfortunate side effects. If you're using a Google Nest Hub Max to provide connectivity to a Nest Detect or Next x Yale Lock, and you've received a recent firmware update as part of the preview program, there's a good chance those security devices have lost internet connectivity. But the good news: There's a simple fix.
Smart displays are good for lots of useful things, but what about when you just want to unwind and relax? Google brought touch-enabled games to smart displays earlier this year, and now the company is releasing an update that's focused on getting more people playing with a newly revamped gaming screen and a selection of new titles.
For a year defined by videoconferencing, our smart displays have not been able to keep up as a worthy companion — mostly because the apps either aren't there or aren't very good. But there's a giant improvement due for the cross-section of Nest Hub Max owners and Google Meet users and even bigger news for those on Zoom.
Google gave smart display owners a little Thanksgiving surprise when it shared that you'd get a cute animation and noise by setting a "turkey timer," but that's not the only fun Easter egg the company has added. Depending on what label you give your timer, Google smart displays will show you a fitting animation and noise, and we've collected a few of our favorite ones.
Following its English to turkey translations in Search, Google has introduced some more fun Thanksgiving Easter eggs. On smart speakers and displays, the company has added a small audible and visual surprise when you tell the Assistant to set a turkey timer, and there is a new turkey filter in Duo that you can use for some laughs with your family while socially distancing.
This story was originally published and last updated .
We're fast approaching Black Friday, every major retailer's favorite day of the year. There are sure to be savings of all sorts popping up on the big day, but we've got the list of deals you can get on Google products starting today right here — and there are some deals you can't afford to miss.
Google's latest smart displays come with ultrasound sensing, a neat tech that uses ultrasonic waves to measure distance to nearby objects and adapt the UI depending on how near of far you are. Timers, weather reports, media controls, and other elements grow larger when you step away, to make it easier for you to spot them at a distance, then return to their regular size when you come close. This same technology appears to be at the heart of a new feature Google is working on, which proactively triggers Assistant the moment you come near without you having to say "Hey Google" first.
A couple of weeks ago, a new interface appeared for one of our tipsters on his Nest Hub Max. He showed us the tabbed UI, with more on-device controls and actionable cards, in a short video that had revealed it all — or so we thought at the time. What we're discovering now is that there's a new dark mode coming to the Hub Max (and possibly other smart displays?) and a new tap-and-hold gesture as well.