Your Google Assistant-powered smart display is all set to get smarter. Google is rolling out a major update to its smart display UI, introducing a host of new features and enhancements. Starting this week, devices such as the Nest Hub Max as well as other Assistant-powered third-party smart displays will be getting this brand new experience.
Part of this big overhaul is the updated UI that was first spotted last month. Dark mode, relaxing sounds, and gentle alarm are some other notable additions.
Google Assistant smart displays are getting a big UI overhaul
As Google says, the new experience builds on the visual capabilities of smart displays. The home screen has been updated to show more information and recommendations based on your habits as well as the time of day. You'll start with a new "Your morning" page that'll show at-a-glance info about upcoming meetings, weather forecasts, and a rundown of the morning news.
As the day progresses, these recommendations will change to provide you contextual information about "Your afternoon" and "Your evening."
Google previously presented information on an endless horizontal list. The latest update now categorizes information in five tabs. On the right of the aforementioned time-based recommendations tab are four other tabs – Home control, Media, Communicate, and Discover – that presents you with information through tappable cards. These cards have varying sizes depending on the importance of the information they contain.
Home control is the hub through which you can remotely control all connected devices in your house. Google now also lets you see and control media playback on other devices in your household. The Media page will let you do this neat trick. This page will also be home to personalized recommendations for music and shows from linked services such as Disney+, Netflix, YouTube TV, and Spotify.
The Communicate tab allows users to make a video call to their friends and families through Google Meet or Duo. Google promises to add Zoom support later this year. Lastly, the Discover tab does what it does in the Google app – show you recommendations based on your browsing history.
Some new features are also part of this update
Along with the UI overhaul, Google is also adding some new features to Assistant-powered smart displays with the latest update. Most notable of them is the support for multiple accounts. You can connect multiple accounts and see all your calendar events and meetings in one place.
Google Meet is now getting the Duo-like auto-framing features so you're always in the center of the picture. The ability to switch between different grid views during a call is also here. Additionally, you can now cancel and reschedule Meet meetings right from your smart displays, as well as send messages to other participants if you're running late.
Assistant-powered smart displays are now getting dark theme support. You can select between the classic light theme and the new dark theme, or set to "Automatic" so the device switches between the two themes based on the ambient light or when the sun rises and sets.
The "Your evening" page brings new relaxing sounds that you can play if you feel like. You can set a sleep timer that will fade out the sound by the time you go to sleep.
Last but not least, your smart display will "soon" get Google's Sunrise Alarm. Once the feature arrives, the brightness of the screen will gradually increase starting 30 minutes before your alarm goes off. This will mimic the sunrise so you wake up naturally. And when the alarm does go off, you can just say "stop" without having to say "Hey Google."
Apart from Sunrise Alarm, all other new features and enhancements are now rolling out. They should reach all eligible units around the world over the next few days or weeks.