The clock face offerings on Google's Nest Hub devices have always been a little underwhelming, and it recently even dropped support for showing photos from Facebook and Flickr. Google is finally expanding its collection with three new clock faces for the Nest Hub and the Nest Hub Max, one of which shows both the time and weather concurrently.
Google's Nest Hub smart displays use voice commands for most functions, which means they are usually easier to use than smartphones or PCs. However, the (general) lack of a graphical user interface means discovering features can be difficult. Google does show tips and tricks on the Hub's home screen, but they don't cover every possible option and feature.
In this guide, we'll go over some helpful features in Google's line of smart displays in particular: the Nest Hub (formerly named the Home Hub) and Nest Hub Max.
Smart displays with Google Assistant have a few different options for what appears when not in use. They can show a full-screen clock, images from Google Photos, or an art gallery. Google also included experimental support for showing images from Facebook or Flickr accounts, but this has now been removed.
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. The changes first started showing up several weeks ago, but are now rolling out to a wider audience. You can now (well, if the features have reached 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.