20 November 2018
As speculated in many rumors, Google has officially announced its first-ever smart display device named Google Home Hub. It is the newest member of the Google Home family and is basically a smart speaker with a display. It is something Google worked with various other device makers but it is for the first time that we are seeing it coming from Google's stable.
The Google Home Hub is powered by Google Assistant for obvious reasons. It is aimed not only speaking out a response loud but also to show relevant content on the display. It is said to have different Google services like Search, Photos, and Maps optimized for the device to improve the user experience. While it does look like a tablet, it does not have a camera which Google omitted deliberately so that users don't have to worry about their privacy getting violated.
There is support for Voice Match functionality which means the device will be able to recognize the user by listening to the voice. It will then offer relevant and personalized content, calendar events, suggestions. This is something which comes in really handy whenever there are multiple users in the house.
It comes with a new feature called Home View which is basically a dashboard for all your connected smart home devices. It gives an overview of all such devices while also mentioning which of them are currently powered on. If there is any device which you would like to disable or enable, you can do that from there as well. It is essentially aimed at removing the hassle of looking for and then opening particular apps for controlling a particular device. There is also a new Home app which lets you do that same from your smartphone.
The Home Hub features deep integration with Nest products including security cameras and thermostats. If there is someone at your door, you can see the Nest camera feed directly from the device. For those who would be using the device in their kitchens, it has an optimized "how to recipe" feature comprising of step-by-step instructions for different types of recipes. Other features include Ambient EQ (ambient display brightness) and setting Google Photos photos as wallpaper or live wallpapers.
The Google Home Hub has been priced at $149 with pre-orders starting today via the online Google Store. If you are someone who would like to get it via offline stores, you will have to wait until October 12th. Each of the units will come with a free subscription to YouTube Premium for a period of six months.