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Smart Displays

20

Google gives Assistant smart displays improved multi-room media controls

Assistant-powered smart displays got a little bit smarter recently, as Google has just announced a brand new media view for its Nest Hub displays. In our testing, the feature is also live for at least some other non-Nest smart displays already, bringing you a clear view of which devices in which rooms are playing media, plus granular speaker controls, a global pause button, and fully remote media control.

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54

A year and a half later Netflix still doesn't work on smart displays, and that's ridiculous

Assistant-powered smart displays aren't exactly "new" anymore. Back in early 2018, when we got our first glance at CES, they were fresh and exciting. And yet, almost two years since they were first revealed and a year and a half since they went on sale, they still have one glaring omission — and, surprisingly, it isn't Google's fault. Although you can stream Hulu, YouTube TV, Twitch, and Disney+ to your Nest Hub or Lenovo Smart Display, it's nearly 2020 and you still can't stream Netflix.

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16

Lenovo Smart Display 7 review: Not dethroning the Nest Hub any time soon

If you haven't already bought a smart display and you aren't skipping out over privacy concerns, you really should pick one up. They're a lot more than just a "digital photo frame," providing all the same utility as a smart speaker, plus piles of extra interaction from a touchscreen. But you might want to be careful about which smart display you buy. Lenovo's newest Smart Display 7 might have an attractive design, but it's got piles of little problems that might make the identically-priced (and often discounted) Nest Hub a better choice. Sadly, it doesn't quite live up to the high standards set by Lenovo's previous models, either.

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13

Nest Hubs let you easily hide, star, and share slideshow photos

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.

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31

Google Assistant now follows your dietary restrictions when recommending recipes

For anyone that loves cooking and spending time mixing and matching things in the kitchen, online recipe sites are a godsend. You type in a few ingredients and get dozens if not hundreds of recipe suggestions. But if you have a dietary restriction and don't want to waste your time sifting through the results looking for the ones that fit your preference, you can now tick a couple of boxes and Google will remember that for you. At least it will do so in Assistant on smart displays.

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10

Google and Nest go big for this Black Friday sale with discounts on cameras, alarms, locks, thermostats, smart speakers

When I set up my smart home infrastructure, I waited until Black Friday discounts to pay a little less for all my intelligent devices. Whether you're starting from scratch or want to add new products to your existing smart home configuration, you'll be able to benefit from exciting markdowns on a wide array of Nest products. These include security cameras, alarms, locks, thermostats, smart speakers, connected displays, and Wi-Fi routers. The markdowns will be available from November 28 until December 4, which will give you plenty of time to shop.

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2

Sling adds support for voice control and Google Assistant smart displays

Cutting the cord is a difficult decision, but Sling makes it easier. Its service offers live TV so there's no need to give up on football, your local stations, or the 24-hour news cycle. Sling has supported Chromecast for some time now, and today the company is adding voice control options as well as the ability to stream on your Google Assistant smart displays.

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63

Google smart speaker sales plummeted 40% last quarter as others saw big growth

Although smartphones are almost a necessity in the modern world, smart speakers and smart displays don't enjoy the same kind of perception despite their much lower cost. Case in point, Samsung alone shipped 78.9 million phones in Q3 2019, while all the smart speaker manufacturers in the world combined shipped less than 30 million units in the same time period. Smart speakers with displays take up an even smaller share. Regardless, both the smart speaker and smart display markets continue to be hotly contested, and most companies experienced healthy year-over-year growth in Q3 2019. The major exception was Google, whose market share dropped like a rock.

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8

Google smart displays finally start showing dates on slideshow photos

You might remember a decade ago when everyone wanted a digital photo frame, but those devices were all junk. In the era of smart displays, we finally have good digital photo frames powered by Google Photos that happen to do a lot of other things, too. The experience is getting a bit better today with the addition of dates in the photo slideshow. However, they only appear on some photos.

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4

Assistant on Smart Displays can now listen for and speak Italian

Until recently, you could only officially talk to Google Assistant on your Smart Display in nine languages. With the addition of Italian, we're now at ten.

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