Google Home Hub is all about simplifying the smart home experience

Donna Miller
October 11, 2018

As of today, the tech giant is boasting that there are over 10,000 smart devices from more than a thousand brands that work with Google Assistant, of course through the Google Home app. Make that 10,000 and one with the addition of the Home Hub today. In fact, if you have the most recent version of the Google Home mobile app, you can see this for yourself because the interface is cohesive between phones, tablets, and the Google Home Hub.

I didn't hear as much low end as the Google Home delivers, but the sound was full and loud.

Google showed off a few use cases for screen-based assistants at its Tuesday event. "It also generates quick actions for important features across your home with immediate access to key experiences like turning on and off smart lights, viewing your cameras, and broadcasting messages to your other Google Home devices, Google notes on its blog".

Google launched the new Google Home Hub at the event in NY yesterday, and now the company is rolling out a redesigned Google Home app for its Android and iOS users both. I was downright surprised at how small Google's hub is: You can literally hold it in one hand. The very reasonably priced smart display will act as the central terminal to your smart home, bringing the control of all ... While the third-party devices are all running the Snapdragon 624 and are a part of Qualcomm's "Home Hub" platform, Google's hardware is actually running on an Amlogic CPU.

Additionally, Google has brought a tighter integration with Google Photos into the mix.

Google Home Hub measures 67mm (D) x 178.5 (W) x 118 (H) and weighs 480g. When configured, the Hub knows which room you're in and provides information on temperature and lighting as well.

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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. This will be a much easier solution to sharing control of our smart home devices. Like everything else on offer by Google lately, this piece of hardware is different not only because of how it is built, but also because of the software experience within.

No more will I be the only user who controls the thermostat, doorbell, locks, etc.

Separately, the Google Home support page has been updated to support playback speed controls for news and podcasts.

Google is also touting "Ambient EQ" for its own Home Hub: The light sensor is tuned to adjust the display brightness better than on the Lenovo and JBL products. It can pull up photos and features your best shots with a new feature called Live albums. You see, Google wants this to be a product you place on your nightstand - or some place like that - and still feed comfortable.

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. Sure. But those desires are more for the early smart home adopters and they are still a niche audience. It means customers can put the Home Hub anywhere, like a bedside table, without worrying about a security flaw exposing that room to the world.

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