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Articles Tagged:

ambient mode

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Ambient Mode on smart devices can now be told to stop being so picky, include 'objectively bad photos'

Ambient Mode is a feature on Google smart displays and Chromecast that features rotating images — artwork, news items, or your own Google Photos, depending on your preference. Previously, if you chose to display your own photos, Google's algorithms would evaluate your pics before displaying them, filtering out the crummy ones. Now, you have the option to include your less-than-ideal shots — if you want to do that for some reason.

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Google Chromecast ambient mode UI changes are rolling out to more users

This won't be the most important thing you'll read all day, but we're getting so many tips about it that we had to write a post. Back in April 2018, Google was spotted testing changes to the Chromecast ambient mode/home screen, and the new UI is now rolling out more widely.

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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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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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Chromecast's Backdrop becomes Ambient Mode, adds low-bandwidth mode, temporarily removes the News source

Last week, Cody spotted a change in the Google Home app for Chromecasts: the Backdrop feature was renamed to Ambient Mode. However, at the time, there was nothing functionally different. That is changing now, as the completely overhauled Ambient Mode settings have started to show up for some of us.

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Google Home v1.30 rebrands Backdrops to Ambient Mode, continues work on Google Assistant for Households, and more [APK Teardown]

Google Home v1.30 is rolling out today with a minor feature rebranding and some internal changes that show continued development on Google for Households, possibly with support for multiple homes. There are also more features for the smart home remote control, and Smart Displays will use the Google Home app to set up Duo calling. As always, download links are at the bottom.

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Tip: Flip The Moto 360 Face Down When Not In Use To Save Battery Life In Ambient Mode

The Moto 360 isn't a perfect device, but it's still probably the king of Android Wear smart watches for the time being. One of the cool things about the 360 is the smarter way it makes use of ambient mode (not the ambient light sensor, that's different). The screen will stay on so you can see it without the full wrist-flip gesture, but you can make use of ambient mode to save power when you're not wearing the watch—just lay it face down.

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