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Google is extending Home Control from this week

11 October 2018

Voice assistants have come a long way over the last few years, from an often-confused voice in your smartphone to touch-screen smart displays that can connect you to friends and information in a snap.

You can do lots of other things too. That's one of the selling points here, because as I mentioned above, Lenovo's Smart Displays are larger, which is great if that's what you want. Hopefully this is just the first step in the plan to actually break these controls out into a dedicated shade or panel within Android - a swipe gesture to quickly launch home controls would be a fantastic step forward on the overall assistant/home control ecosystem. Aside from four color options, some unique features and some that will arrive on the competing products soon. The very reasonably priced smart display will act as the central terminal to your smart home, bringing the control of all ... Also, when you buy Google Home Hub, you'll get six months of YouTube Premium on us, so you can enjoy YouTube Music as well as all of YouTube ad-free. We already know that Google's offering features a swipe-down gesture that brings up a "home view" control panel that now isn't found on the third-party devices.

Additionally, Google has brought a tighter integration with Google Photos into the mix. This will be a much easier solution to sharing control of our smart home devices. From the Home app, you can set your Ambient Display to only show random images of particular faces.

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And suggested responses will appear on the display: Tap one and it will be announced to your visitor, so they hear, "Sorry, we're not interested" when a salesperson is trying to hawk their wares. Third parties making smart displays will have to target specific market segments or differentiate with enhanced features (e.g., sound) or content partnerships if they hope to succeed.

No more will I be the only user who controls the thermostat, doorbell, locks, etc.

Separately, the Google Home support page has been updated to support playback speed controls for news and podcasts. Tell Google Home Hub that you'd like to see pictures of a person or people and it will automatically display them as a screensaver that doubles as a digital photo frame.

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The revelation comes by way of Ars Technica's Ron Amadeo. The idea is to remove what Google calls the "billboard effect" where your eyes are drawn to the brightness of the display in a dim room. You see, Google wants this to be a product you place on your nightstand - or some place like that - and still feed comfortable. Sure. But those desires are more for the early smart home adopters and they are still a niche audience.

Google Home Hub is a Google Home-branded speaker with a 7-inch LCD display that floats on a speaker base.

Home Hub beats Echo Show by $80.

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