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Google Home Hub - Google Assistant With A Display

11 October, 2018, 19:25 | Author: Rafael Roberts
  • New Google Home App

Most people assumed that Google's own smart display, the recently-announced Home Hub, would use the same software and hardware. Now, Google has one.

Whether Google needs a "real" smart home hub is debatable.

This is a major update to the usability of the Home app that up until now had little operational use aside from managing your Assistant account and paired devices. I was told that at this time, the focus is simply YouTube Premium.

Let's see how these first-party smart displays compare. Keep in mind though, that both of those devices have larger screens than the 7-inch display on the Google Home Hub.

Starting with the Google Home app, the redesign brings all compatible smart devices in one place, and enables controlling them more easily, without having to go to each device's app separately.


The internal hardware is also different than other smart displays. That's a plus from a privacy perspective, although Lenovo and JBL do provide a physical camera cover. The Lenovo Smart Display is $199 and $249 for 8- and 10-inch models, so it's appropriate for the size.

It comes in four colors: Charcoal, Aqua, Chalk, and Sand. Asking for the weather will give you a full forecast, and you can follow up and ask to see more.

The new Home tab is what you'll see upon open the app, and here you've got quick controls for toggling your smart lights on/off, playing music on any speakers or audio groups, broadcasting a message, adding an item to your home, or diving into the settings. You know, in that it is a software-based smart home hub. Of course, you can still use voice controls as well. If someone walks up and rings your Nest doorbell, for example, the live video will automatically appear on the Google Home Hub. It's not. It's just a Google-branded smart display.

What I don't believe they'll get is the new Live Albums which merges Google's smart search with Google Photos.

Separately, the Google Home support page has been updated to support playback speed controls for news and podcasts. The idea is to remove what Google calls the "billboard effect" where your eyes are drawn to the brightness of the display in a dim room. Furthermore, Google Home users are getting the ability to increase or decrease playback speed of news and podcasts, a feature that was only available for audiobooks previously. Sure. But those desires are more for the early smart home adopters and they are still a niche audience.

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