Google Assistant Gets New Updates, Including Activation From Your Lockscreen

Ruben Fields
October 12, 2018

And much like Android Pie, Smart Displays are getting their own version of Digital Wellbeing with Downtime that will limit when users can interact with the device.

Google recently launched the new Google Home Hub at an event held in New York City.

Aside from slight software or feature differences between the Google Hub and now available smart displays, the real star is the single, cohesive interface Google is bringing to the smart home here. The 5.5-inch Pixel 3 will sell from $799 and the 6.3-inch Pixel 3 XL from $899.

The Google Home Hub is one of the niftiest little gadgets set to hit the market, but a criticism of the Google branded Smart Display is that without a camera it's a little lacking next to its cousins from Lenovo and JBL. And that's exactly what the Google Home Hub is all about.

You can control the Hub with your voice, like with other Home products, but the screen adds touch. The rep at Google's London event said it sits between the Mini and regular Home for audio quality but we're not so sure. Platform for smart display provides the ability to install apps, it's just a wrapper for Google Assistant. If I had to guess, I think the primary "experience" Google wanted to get across with the Home Hub was "low price".

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One of the primary obstacles that prevents people from immersing themselves in smart home technology is the idea of a hard setup.

After discovering just how much one can achieve though Smart Speakers, Google is now working with other manufacturers to produce more Smart Displays that will bring more and better features to Smart Speaker users.

Instead it runs a visual representation of the Google Assistant along with it's very own user interface elements. But integration with Google's first-party apps is its biggest advantage over the Echo Show. With Google's new Live Albums feature, also available on Home Hub, you can "enjoy a constantly updating stream of photos of the people and pets you care about and skip blurry ones and duplicates", Bonner wrote.

Photos: Stream photos and videos from the Google Photos app, and use as a photo frame. You will be able to opt for it in the phone's Assistant settings. "In today's growing smart home space, easy, seamless connections are more important than ever", says Jeff Patton of GM Connected Home Product Management. But it seems Google's Home Hub is camera-free. But even without a camera, it can still be used for voice calls.

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