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Smart Displays

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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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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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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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[Update: Coming to smart displays] Google Photos Live Albums automatically upload your best photos to your Home Hub

One of the features people love most about Google Photos is the automatic backup of pictures and videos. The Home Hub brings that to the next level with Google Photos Live Albums, which automatically upload your photos to your Home Hub to show you a constantly-changing slideshow.

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'Home View' and redesigned Google Home app will make smart devices easier to access

Smart home devices are an absolute pain to manage, especially if you use products from different companies. To help make the complicated smart home ecosystem a little simpler, Google is introducing a new 'Home View' for Assistant smart displays, and a redesigned Home app.

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Google Home Hub is official, costs just $149

As with everything in today's announcement, the Home Hub has been leaked more than once in recent weeks. Google's own-branded Assistant Smart Display, as expected, resembles a tablet glued onto a fabric speaker base, and it's sadly not removable so it can't be used as a standalone tablet.

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Tip: Google Assistant Smart Displays have accessibility settings for color inversion, captions, TalkBack, and more

Whether your already bought the Lenovo Smart Display or JBL Link View, or you're thinking about getting Google's rumored Home Hub, you may be wondering whether that gadget — like many others in your life — offers any accessibility settings for people with disabilities. The answer is yes.

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[Deal Alert] Grab a JBL Link View smart display for $200 ($50 off)

Assistant smart displays are a fairly new product, but we're already starting to see discounts on some. JBL is knocking $50 off its offering, the Link View, meaning that you only need to fork over $199.95 to get your own smart display.

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JBL Link View review: Great sound from JBL, but Smart Displays still have a long way to go

Smart displays aren't for everyone. They're not exactly tablets, but they look like ones and are both less and more useful, depending on how you look at them. With far superior sound and always listening mics, they act as a smart speaker for your home; but without real apps or a fully functional browser, you hit some roadblocks while using them and wish they could do just a little bit more.

Over the past few months, every time I've read someone compare Smart Displays to crippled tablets, I've had the same reply: I want one because it would work for me.

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