Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Tech | By

Google Home Hub's best feature is not having a camera

Google Home Hub's best feature is not having a camera

For one thing, the pill found on the Pixel 3 launcher's app drawer once again contains the Google Assistant icon on the right side. Plus, you can just say to Home Hub, "Hey Google, show my pictures from LA", and voila!

Amazon may have had the advantage of being first but Google has caught up with it. I was told that at this time, the focus is simply YouTube Premium. For $149, this may be a compelling purchase for those who were considering similar, but more expensive, products such as the Smart Displays from Lenovo and JBL. Because what better than a new Pixel 3 or Pixel 3 XL phone to run the updated Google Home app that will put you in touch with over 10,000 connected devices in your home.

Google made a decision to not include a camera on Google Home Hub, so you feel comfortable placing it your home, like the bedroom.

Google's Home Hub is running on the cast platform instead of Android Things like other Smart Displays. That's a plus from a privacy perspective, although Lenovo and JBL do provide a physical camera cover.


Other lights, like Sengled's smart bulbs and those from Philips Hue require you to use their own Hub to connect the lights to, and then you connect that to your other smart home gear like the Home Mini or Echo Dot. Aside from four color options, some unique features and some that will arrive on the competing products soon. As Ars puts it, by making this change, the Home Hub might look and act nearly identical to third-party Smart Displays, but it's more like a more-powerful Chromecast than anything else. It brings a basic yet powerful set of controls for your smart home devices.

Google Home Hub lets you browse millions of recipes and start cooking, all hands-free. Updated to make the Smart Home lifestyle easier, the app now shows all your compatible smart home devices in a single view. When configured, the Hub knows which room you're in and provides information on temperature and lighting as well.

Instead of hiding the controls deep in the Google Home app, a simple swipe down from the top of the screen brings up a dashboard with all your smart devices in a quick-access fashion, allowing you to control your connected stuff easily.

Additionally, Google has brought a tighter integration with Google Photos into the mix. The Home Hub may not be the solution, but it's a step in the right direction.

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