Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Tech | By

Google Opts Against Android Things For Home Hub Smart Display

Google Opts Against Android Things For Home Hub Smart Display

The Home Hub is also the only Google smart display with a temperature changing display, thanks to both the high-quality display and the brightness sensor that can pick up the ambient light color.

At the MadeByGoogle event in NYC on Tuesday, I spent some time with the new hub.

Google on Tuesday launched a new version of its connected speaker with a touchscreen display created to be a hub for smart home devices but without a camera for privacy reasons. I was downright surprised at how small Google's hub is: You can literally hold it in one hand. All they need is to have the new Google Home app installed and you can all live the convenient, smart home lifestyle. The Google Home Hub comes in a green "Aqua" and a pink "Sand", as well as black and gray. For me, I could tell it to find my wife and two kids and, returning home from an event where we took some new pics, fully expect to see those latest images on the screen. It brings a basic yet powerful set of controls for your smart home devices. To get started, you only need a bulb, a Google Home or Google Home Mini device, and the Google Home app. It'll then provide you a transcript of what's being said in real-time.

In addition to unified view for devices, the Google Home app now also lets you check in on your home, or your devices rather, even when you're not at home. (But remember, you can turn the Echo Show's camera off).

There's also better integration with Google's Nest products. See who's at the front door via the Ring video doorbell, an Amazon-owned product. At the show, I had a quick chat with Diya Jolly, Google's VP of product management, and learned that Google's Home Hub doesn't run Android Things-it's actually built on Google's Cast platform, so it's closer to a souped-up Chromecast than a stripped-down Android phone. Smart Display or a smart speaker users will soon get the new feature.

The new feature makes Google's recently-announced £69 Pixel Stand more compelling: together with the phone, they'll make a decent stand-in for a smart display or Google Home.

The Google Home Hub is better for you if you have a limited amount of space, or if you're looking for something you can carry around. The new multi-user support which has been rolled out through the update will allow multiple users under the same roof to control all smart devices at once.

Along with the launch of new Google hardware this week, there are many Google Assistant updates on the way.

Like this: