The Nest Hub doesn’t have an app launcher, but it certainly could. And it looks like Google is quietly testing this feature with some Nest Hub Max smart displays. According to one user on Reddit, spotted by 9To5Google, their Nest Hub Max received an update that populated an app launcher feature.
Without this launcher, you can still access the apps on the Nest Hub by voice. But this gives an additional way to access Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, News and more. Assuming you’ve linked those things to the display.
In the video post, which you can see below, you can open the app launcher by dragging up from the bottom of the display on the pill-shaped button. Then, by tapping on the see all button that’s off to the right. This opens a full page launcher like you’d see on your Android device. Which you can then scroll through to find the apps you want to launch.
So far the app launcher may be limited to the Nest Hub Max
Since this is a feature that seems to be in testing, it might be limited to the Nest Hub Max. Comments on the Reddit thread don’t seem to point to anyone getting this feature on the original Nest Hub or the Nest Hub 2nd Gen. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t arrive for those devices.
Especially since this is currently in testing. As Google could roll it out to other smart displays if it ever gets out of a testing phase and moves on to being a feature for all users.
This doesn’t get rid of the card-based interface
Even though the app launcher is in place here, the card-based interface that most uses will see isn’t going anywhere. The user shows that those cards still pop up and can be accessed by swiping to the left like you normally would. Which suggests Google isn’t necessarily trying to swap out the way you access relevant content. But merely give users an additional way to do so.
The question still remains though if this is something that Google will choose to roll out to all users at some point.