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Smart Displays


JBL Link View smart display is just $150 at Verizon ($100 off)

Google's Home Hub and the Lenovo's Smart Display might be the most popular Assistant-based smart displays this Black Friday — we figured the hardest decision people would have was between the two — but they're not the only Assistant-game in town. JBL's Link View is an option for those that prioritize audio over video. And if you want to pick one up for cheap, Verizon has it for just $150 right now. That's $50 less than any other retailer right now, and $100 less than MSRP.

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Lenovo 10-inch Smart Display on sale for $150 ($50 off) at Costco

The Home Hub may be Google's flagship Assistant display, but the Lenovo Smart Display has a few features that might make it a better fit for your home. It's usually a little more expensive, but Costco has it on sale for $50 off, bringing it to the same $150 price point as the Home Hub. You will, of course, need a Costco membership.

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LG's new ThinQ View Smart Display features stereo 20W speakers, priced at $200 ($100 off)

LG is joining the Smart Display game, becoming the fourth company to do so after Lenovo, JBL, and Google itself. The Smart Display, formally dubbed "XBOOM AI ThinQ View WK9" (who comes up with these names?), puts a focus on audio with its dual 20W speakers. LG first announced this all the way back in January at CES, but we hadn't heard anything else until now. It's available now at an introductory price of $199.99, $100 off its MSRP.

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Smart Displays are getting recipe recommendation cards and a personal cookbook

Google's announcements today aren't just about the Assistant. While most of that functionality will also be coming to Smart Displays, they're getting a few unique tidbits of their own in the coming weeks that could come in handy when cooking this Thanksgiving.

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Chromecast and Smart Displays start showing portrait photos side-by-side

If you own a Chromecast, a Home Hub, or a Smart Display, you may soon notice something different when using Google Photos in Ambient mode. Instead of showing up centered, two related pics will display side-by-side.

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YouTube Kids support comes to Google Home, Cast TVs, and Smart Displays

Let's face it: some corners of YouTube are just plain disturbing. To save our children from seeing the dankest of memes before they're ready, YouTube Kids exists — a platform where you can set limits on what sort of content your little one can see, how long they can watch videos, and even whether or not they can use the search bar. Google is now broadening YouTube Kids' reach by expanding support to Google Assistant-enabled Smart Displays, Google Home, and Cast TVs.

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[Update: Lenovo gets it] Smart displays will soon get multi-room audio, Home View, improved device control, and more

Google has just announced a "major" OTA update for all smart displays. Coming at the end of the month, the update will introduce some much-requested changes, such as multi-room audio grouping, as well as features shown off at the recent Made By Google event. That includes the Home View smart home device management; some trickle-over functionality from Digital Wellbeing; tighter Next Hello Doorbell integration; and new/improved control for devices including TVs, set-top boxes, speakers, and smart remotes — including the Logitech Harmony.

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Grab the Lenovo 8" Smart Display for $180 at Best Buy ($20 off)

Move along, smart speakers - smart displays are the next hot item every home must have. If you're in the Google Assistant camp, you can benefit from a small deal on the Lenovo Smart Display with an 8" screen. While it usually retails for $199.99, you can now get it for $179.99 at Best Buy.

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How to set up Live Albums and recent photo highlights on Google Home Hub (and other Smart Displays)

Live Albums were one of the most appealing features announced last week for Google Home Hub and other Smart Displays. They let you create a dynamic album from your Google Photos that automatically updates and contains photos of specific people in your life. The ability to make Live Albums rolled out to the Photos app, but it wasn't until yesterday that the albums started working properly in Ambient Mode on Smart Displays.

In the tutorial below, I'll explain how you can set these up to show on your Lenovo Smart Display, JBL Link View, Google Home Hub, or any other upcoming Assistant speaker with a built-in display.

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Google skips Android Things OS for the Home Hub, uses Chromecast-based software instead

All previous 'smart displays' with Google Assistant are nearly identical under the hood. They all run Android Things OS (a specialized version of Android for IoT devices) on top of a standardized hardware platform (like those from MediaTek and Qualcomm). Most people assumed that Google's own smart display, the recently-announced Home Hub, would use the same software and hardware. However, the Home Hub is something entirely different.

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