Google Home v2.6 brings huge redesign, in-app smart home controls

Google Home Hub - Google Assistant With A Display

Google also teased an upcoming smart display from LG, though apart from its planned existence, we know nothing (yet).

Google opted to leave off the camera for this one, and I'm not sure how to feel about it.

It comes in four colors: Charcoal, Aqua, Chalk, and Sand. It carries on the Google Home aesthetic and doesn't take up much room at all, but pumps out a very impressive amount of volume from its diminutive size.

We've seen similar Google Assistant devices from Lenovo and JBL, but Google is trying to offer up something slightly more streamline with the Home Hub. It brings a basic yet powerful set of controls for your smart home devices. Of course, you can still use voice controls as well.

Whenever you say "Hey Google, good morning" to Google Home Hub, it will immediately serve up a personalised, visual overview of your family's activities from Google Calendar, your commute from Google Maps, your latest reminders, the weather forecast, etc, according to Google.

Google is doing a couple nifty things with Google Home's software, however, and that makes this whole initiative make a lot of sense. We've been covering all of them on the website, but if you're looking for a quick roundup, here's one ... And unlike other smart displays, Home Hub doesn't even come with a camera, so video calls are impossible. So things like receipts or screenshots that were uploaded to your Google Photos won't be mixed in with portraits or landscapes, and blurry or duplicate photos won't make the cut.

What I don't believe they'll get is the new Live Albums which merges Google's smart search with Google Photos. Google Assistant has seen some progress with smart displays from third parties, like the JBL Link View and Lenovo Smart Display, but we haven't seen a Google-made device with a touch screen until now.

Those of you who already pre-ordered your Google Pixel 3 or Google Home Hub should check out the list below as it will give you an idea of all the cool new tricks you'll have access to. Hopefully this is just the first step in the plan to actually break these controls out into a dedicated shade or panel within Android - a swipe gesture to quickly launch home controls would be a fantastic step forward on the overall assistant/home control ecosystem.

Otherwise, all the familiar features are still available in the updated Home app, albeit in slightly different places. This will be a much easier solution to sharing control of our smart home devices.

Google Home Hub measures 67mm (D) x 178.5 (W) x 118 (H) and weighs 480g.

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