Huge Google smart display update brings fight to new Amazon Echo Show
Google has announced a pretty substantial interface revamp for its Assistant-powered smart displays, which includes a dark mode and multi-account support.
The update, which will arrive this week on Google-branded and third-party smart displays, offers a brand new home screen featuring different information depending on your routine and the time of day.
The new “Your morning” page, for example, shows the first meeting on the calendar, the weather for the day ahead and some of the morning news headlines. There are similar screens for the afternoon and evening.
There’s also a new Media page, surfacing content from the likes of Spotify, Disney Plus, Netflix, and YouTube TV. The idea is to offer a little something for everyone in the household.
Google is also debuting a new Home Control page for easy touch controls of connected smart home devices, and a Communicate tab for access to Zoom and Google Meet/Duo calls. The Google Broadcast intercom-style feature is also available from this screen.
Speaking of those calls, Nest Hub Max users will benefit from an auto-frame camera update that keeps you centred in the frame if you’re roaming around the room. Finally, the company says a new Discover page provides tips on getting more from the device.
As we mentioned in the intro, one of the more intriguing new features is support for multiple accounts for people who have a work and personal Google account, for example.
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In a blog post on Monday, Google explains: “If you have separate personal and work accounts, you can now set up multiple accounts on Google Assistant devices to see and interact with all of your upcoming events and meetings in one place—without having to switch between your personal or work account. For example, on your Google Nest Hub Max, you can now quickly tap or ask to join your next meeting (“Hey Google, join my next meeting”), whether it’s a personal yoga class or a conference call.”
Along with the new Dark Mode, Google is also promising a new Sunrise Alarm is coming soon, gradually increasing the display brightness during the half-an-hour prior to your scheduled awakening.