With Amazon launching the updated Echo Show and Facebook introducing its new Portal System, Google has joined the fad of the smart displays by launching its Home Hub, which, in a manner of speaking, is Google Assistant with a smart screen.
Other than the Home Hub, Google has also launched an updated Chromecast. Both developments have their own unique features.
The Home Hub is pretty much similar to Lenovo’s Smart Display and Amazon Echo Show, except that it does not have a camera.
This missing feature is intentional, as the company claims to keep things simpler. The idea is to have “a more helpful, thoughtful home,” as the gadget enables you to control the smart home devices.
With Home Hub, you can see the Assistant’s responses rather than just hearing them. Google has added visual information and sound controls to services like Maps, YouTube, Search, Photos, and Calendar.
You may not be able to video chat with your friends or family, but on the plus side, you won’t have to worry about someone watching or recording you 24/7 as is the case with Facebook Portal or the Echo Show.
Google Home Hub has a 7-inch HD display, flanked by rather large bezels. It has a proximity sensor and two microphones at the top. Its soft corners make it suitable to fit on every surface.
The screen also has an Ambient EQ light sensor that automatically adjusts the screen to room’s lighting. The screen is touch-sensitive and bright.
It has a mesh-covered speaker that looks like Google Home Mini. The speaker has a variable range and enough volume to enable the user to hear a recipe or podcast in a medium-sized room.
There’s a single physical microphone mute toggle on the back. It is available in four colors i.e. charcoal, aqua, sand, and chalk.
It runs Android Things (based on IoT) and completely depends on Google Assistant for visual context. You can ask it for a recipe and get systematic instructions. It also lets you set reminders about your daily chores and shares information about activities of your family.
Keep Up with Your Morning Routine
All you have to say is ‘Hey Google, Good Morning’ and you will get a visual information about your commute to work from Google Maps, your reminders, your family’s activities from Google Calendar, and the weather forecast.
Get Hands-free Help While Cooking
You can also get the recipes without having to use your hands. This hands-free approach comes quite handy when you are cooking by following a recipe on YouTube, as nobody likes smudges over the screen. All you have to say is, ‘Hey Google, how do you make scrambled eggs?’, for example.
Control Your Connected Home with a Single Dashboard
It also intends to make your life easier handling your connected home. If you have a few connected IoT appliances in your home, switching between them and remembering so many passwords can be a hassle. With the Home Hub, you can control your home or let anybody handle it through a single dashboard or control center.
Updating Photo Frame
With Google Photos, Home Hub also acts as a photo frame that keeps refreshing itself automatically. You can also find your required photo without scrolling, as all you have to do is to command it to show the specific pictures.
You can also listen to your favorite songs on YouTube music and use YouTube without ads as you get six months of YouTube Premium for free when you buy the Home Hub.
Furthermore, when you hop into the bed, you just have to say ‘Hey Google, Good Night’, and it will set the alarm, turn off the TVs and lights and play soothing music (if you want) to help you fall asleep.
You can by Google Home Hub for $149 and can also pre-order it from the Google Store. It will be available in the international market from October 22.
Redesigned Third Generation Chromecast
Google has also introduced its redesigned, third generation Chromecast dongle for media streaming. The update has come after three years after Chromecast 2. The updated tried-and-true dongle manifests minor changes in design and features.
As the company claims, the updated Chromecast is faster by exactly 15 percent.
It supports for 60 frames per second (fps) streaming at 1080p. However, the updated device still remains behind Chromecast ultra which supports 4K resolution.
The new device also supports Chromecast Audio functionality. This enables the user to play music in sync with other speakers connected to Google’s devices. However, this feature will come out later this year.
Moreover, rumors have it that the new Chromecast will have Bluetooth support and stronger Wi-Fi. But the spec sheet didn’t mention anything of the sort.
Stay tuned for more updates on Chromecast 3 and Google Home Hub.
Via The Verge