Sci-tech

Google Home Hub is all about simplifying the smart home experience

Google Home Hub is all about simplifying the smart home experience”

One swipe shows touchable controls and status of lights - both power and dimming - cameras, thermostats, sensors and any other compatible smart home devices you have.

Yes, the Google Home Hub does have some unique features-its ambient EQ display is interesting, for example-but then that's true of most hardware devices. The geeks over at Stacey on IoT feel free strongly about this topic, but I think Google's strategy is correct: It has put its hub functionality in the cloud, tied to your Google account, so that it's now available from the Google Home app on mobile, or on the Google Home Hub and, soon, other smart displays. But the Google Home Hub isn't the hub I wanted.

The internal hardware is also different than other smart displays. The Lenovo Smart Display is $199 and $249 for 8- and 10-inch models, so it's appropriate for the size. When configured, the Hub knows which room you're in and provides information on temperature and lighting as well. Google Assistant doesn't get confused by wording as easily as Alexa, so you can speak more naturally and not have to worry as much about phrasing your command properly. As you can see from the image above, you can use it to guide you through cooking something. I love this integration because today I have to tap my phone or ask Google to show my front door in order to see who's ringing my doorbell. It's not. It's just a Google-branded smart display.

Separately, the Google Home support page has been updated to support playback speed controls for news and podcasts. Furthermore, Google Home users are getting the ability to increase or decrease playback speed of news and podcasts, a feature that was only available for audiobooks previously. You can't use Google Home Hub in portrait mode, as you can with the Lenovo. Did I want to see a Google hub with Zigbee and/or Z-Wave radios?



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