Stop me if you think you've heard this one before. You set up a cooking timer on your Nest speaker or display in the kitchen, then go chill in the living room or the bedroom. When the timer rings, it just doesn't stop until you move your ass over to the kitchen and talk to that particular speaker, because yelling "stop" to the other Assistant units littered around your house doesn't do anything. We've complained about this for years, but the problem should finally be far behind us as Google is rolling out timer and alarm control across the entire house.
Wake-up calls and extra towels are things you'd traditionally call the hotel lobby to request, but Google wants to change it up a bit. The company already added Interpreter Mode for smart displays in hotel lobbies early last year, but it's now adding some hotel room-specific features to its Nest Hubs. A few hotels in the US and UK have already added Nest Hubs to their rooms.
Google has officially introduced a neat nagging new feature for its Assistant speakers and smart displays called Family Bell, starting to roll out today. If you're the kind of person who often forgets to eat or sleep on time, who procrastinates a lot, works for hours and forgets to stretch their legs, or otherwise misses the regular time cues of a normal day, you'll be able to rely on Assistant to remind you of all of them. Consider it a virtual parent or nanny living inside your speakers and always looking out for your best interest.
Smart Displays are handy devices, whether you place them in your kitchen to assist you while cooking, next to your bed to have a quick glance at the weather in the morning, or in your kid's room to watch YouTube videos while you change their diapers. Unfortunately, until now, they weren't able to play your favorite Netflix shows, but this wrong has now been righted, and you'll get to enjoy watching Netflix content right from your Nest Hub and Hub Max.
Launched late last year, the Nest Hub Max packs a lot into a single device. It's a Google Assistant smart speaker with a 10" HD display, and now it even supports group video calling via Duo and Meet. As part of the Google Store's new daily specials event, you can pick up a Nest Hub Max 2-pack for $383 ($75 off).
Along with its announcement of group Duo and Meet video calling on the Nest Hub Max and select other smart displays, Google yesterday mentioned that it was beginning to roll out the household contacts feature, which had been promised since January, to Assistant speakers and displays. Today, the option showed up on our Lenovo Smart Displays and Google Nest Hubs, and appears to be making its way to more and more users.
When Google introduced the Nest Hub Max, it came with a built-in camera and microphone that allowed for two-way video calling. Sadly, it was only possible to have one-to-one sessions until now, meaning you couldn't join conferences from your smart display. The company is now expanding the device's capabilities by enabling you to join group calls straight from your Hub Max.
Google's smart speakers and displays are brimming with features, some of which unknown. Many of you likely never noticed that they can ask their smart displays to star, share, or hide a pic when it comes up, but that feature has been available for a year. Google is now making it more visible by bringing the icons to the screen.
This story was originally published and last updated .
While smart speakers have rapidly become ubiquitous in many of our homes, there are practical things about them—like initiating a factory reset when you sell them—that just aren't intuitive without a bit of Googling. And since the Assistant (fortunately) won't abide your voice request to initiate one, that means this is one smart speaker and display feature that requires going hands-on. Fortunately, it's pretty easy in most cases for devices like Google Home, Nest Home, and Nest Hub.
Google's Nest Hubs and third-party Assistant Smart Displays have been receiving an update that vastly improves their smart home controls. Among the changes we spotted are live light status and scenes for Philips Hue and Lifx, new Shield controls, the ability to unlock your smart lock, plus controls for blinds, air fresheners, and vacuums. Other product categories may be updated too, but we don't have everything on hand to test with.