Google Nest Hub, smart displays get new features

Joanna Estrada
January 19, 2021

That feature is apparently now working on not just native Google displays like the Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max, but also on Lenovo Smart Display with Google Assistant inside, according to Android Police.

Some new features that this big update is bringing were teased for several months.

Google has added a new alarm interface for smart displays. If you wish to create a new alarm, simply tap on "set an alarm' after which the traditional scrollable time setter appears, select the time of your alarm and then select from the following options; to determine whether the alarm repeats, for instance, if you wish to set a daily alarm only for when you have workdays, you can do so by selecting Repeat Monday to Friday".

Moreover, the sunrise alarm setting when enabled will mimic a sunrise.

Until now, you could choose between three different ambient backgrounds for your display: Google Photos, Google's curated art pieces, and different fullscreen clock designs. The weather frog should be the fourth option there.

The note stays on the main screen - which means of course anyone can see them, which might be helpful if you're reminding someone to feed the dog, or pick up a little sister from school. You can set the Google weather frog as your background of choice by going to Settings Photo frame. If you have smart lights connected with your nest Hub device, you can also toggle the option on where the selected lights in your room will also brighten along with the screen to wake you from your good night sleep. This ambient wallpaper changes with the time of the day and shows the weather for the next two days at the bottom left.

Nest Hubs are getting sunrise alarms, family sticky notes, and the Google weather frog wallpaper Other smart displays too, but some of these are server-side changes
Google Nest Hub gets Family Sticky Notes, Sunrise Alarms, more in latest update - MSPoweruser

All of your notes, reminders, calendar events, and other notifications will show up on the right side of the smart display.

Unfortunately, there's now no equivalent feature on Amazon's touchscreen-enabled Alexa devices, like the Alexa Show 5, which could leave them feeling a little groggier than their Google-equipped counterparts. The feature rolled out in limited capacity to some users, but remained unavailable to most.

The Google Nest update with Sunrise is slowly rolling out now, so keep checking your bedside click to find out whether you've got the latest features.

The sticky notes feature allows users to add sticky notes on their smart display's screen for other members to see. Otherwise, Google will create a regular note.

Setting up an alarm with the touchscreen will present options like alarm volume, tone, snooze length, as well as "gestures to snooze", which will presumably use the ultrasound sensing already available in Google-branded smart home kit to let you dismiss an alarm by wave your hand ...or making rude gestures from bed. The Family tab also features access to Family Bells, Life360 tracking, and activities for kids.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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