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Google’s 2020 Halloween treats: AR ghosts, spooky ringtones, magic cats

Google’s 2020 Halloween treats: AR ghosts, spooky ringtones, magic cats

Google is one of the companies offering some fun digital treats for Halloween this year, ones that you can enjoy using your phone and, for Nest owners, your smart doorbell. The content includes new AR experiences involving ghosts and skeletons, as well as special spooky doorbell ringtones for Halloween, and even new Google Assistant fun.

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Google commits to supporting Nest Secure, more Nest Detect coming

Google commits to supporting Nest Secure, more Nest Detect coming

Google is notorious for suddenly discontinuing apps and services, even those in wide use. That practice actually applies even to hardware products, much to the disappointment of many customers. The casualty in the latter segment is its Nest-branded smart home security system which suddenly became no longer available last week. To assure customers it isn't pulling the plug, Google now publicly commits to continue supporting the Nest Secure system. It isn't, however, saying anything about updates and new features.

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Google lays out plastic-free packaging goal for 2025

Google lays out plastic-free packaging goal for 2025

Apple's decision to exclude a charger in the iPhone 12 box has unsurprisingly sparked some controversy but it also ignited discussions around sustainability in the mobile world. True to its image as being a trendsetter, there are already speculations that other manufacturers like Samsung will eventually follow suit despite statements to the contrary. Google is conveniently skirting around that question and is instead focusing on its efforts to completely banish plastic from its products by 2025, at least as far as their packaging is concerned.

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Google Nest Hub may use proximity to save you from saying “Hey Google”

Google Nest Hub may use proximity to save you from saying “Hey Google”

Smart, AI-powered, virtual assistants are undoubtedly helpful, at least to those who have actually found uses for them. For better or worse, however, all of them have to be manually "woken up", usually by a trigger phrase. It's a bit of a hassle, especially when you're already standing in front of your smart speaker or smart display. It seems that Google is playing around with a feature that lets a Nest Hub detect your presence and automatically wake up Google Assistant, a convenience that may come at the expense of some privacy.

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Nest Guard discontinued as Google Assistant takeover rolls on

Nest Guard discontinued as Google Assistant takeover rolls on

Back in September of 2017, Google introduced the Nest Guard home alarm, a sleek little pod with buttons on it. This system was part of the Nest Secure home security system, a system that also included the Nest Tag and the Nest Detect. It would appear that Google's decided to move away from this fob-dependent system in favor of a more touchscreen and voice-dependent reality.

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Google’s $129.99 Nest Thermostat adds motion chip and smarter scheduling

Google’s $129.99 Nest Thermostat adds motion chip and smarter scheduling

Nest has a new, entry-level smart thermostat, under $130 but still packing remote app control, a new motion sensor, and a slick mirror-finish. The new Nest Thermostat also introduces a different interface, doing away with the physically-rotating casing of the existing models and replacing them with a touch-sensitive scroll strip on one side.

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Nest Audio vs Sonos One vs IKEA Symfonisk – Speaker Wars

Nest Audio vs Sonos One vs IKEA Symfonisk – Speaker Wars

There's no denying that the Nest Audio fills a sweet-spot in Google's smart speaker range. Long-anticipated replacement to the original Google Home, the new speaker delivers markedly better sound quality than the Nest Mini, but a much more affordable price point - not to mention smaller footprint - than the Google Home Max. No product lives in isolation, though, and the most common question I've been getting is "what about Sonos?"

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Nest Audio Review – Google Assistant gets a sound upgrade

Nest Audio Review – Google Assistant gets a sound upgrade

For a while it seemed like smart displays would be the next big thing for the Google Assistant, but the Nest Audio proves there's still a compelling one-two punch in combining voice control and streaming music. Headed to stores today, the $99.99 smart speaker replaces the old Google Home and gets audio, processing, and style upgrades along the way.

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Nest Audio vs Google Home: It’s an enticing upgrade

Nest Audio vs Google Home: It’s an enticing upgrade

Google has announced its new smart speaker called the Nest Audio, which is a sequel to the original Google Home. The change in prefix name for these devices happened after Google brought them under the Nest brand. How that naming ploy has changed in the past years is a story for another day, today we’ll discuss – through how things fair on paper – how the next-gen smart speaker uplifts the game for Google. And, if it’s time for you to upgrade from the first taste of smart speaker endured with Google Home.

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Nest Audio gives Google Home a musical upgrade

Nest Audio gives Google Home a musical upgrade

While the incoming Pixel devices might be the main draw of Google's reveal event, the company had a number of new products to reveal before the phones. That slate of new products includes the Nest Audio, a new smart home speaker that apparently serves as a replacement to the original Google Home. The new smart speaker can be used in tandem with Nest Mini and the Nest Hub Max to create a "whole-home audio experience."

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Google Nest Audio unboxed early after retailer jumps the gun

Google Nest Audio unboxed early after retailer jumps the gun

Google's new Nest Audio isn't going to get a full unveil until next week, but that hasn't stopped at least one example of the unusually-shaped smart speaker from being inadvertently sold early - and given a full unboxing. The replacement to the Google Home looks set to be one part of a packed "Launch Night In" on September 30, alongside the Pixel 5 and more, but Google just can't seem to keep a secret.

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Nest Audio, Chromecast with Google TV leaks leave little to imagine

Nest Audio, Chromecast with Google TV leaks leave little to imagine

Google has scheduled an event at the end of the month but, by the time it rolls around, everyone may already know everything it has to say. From the Pixel 5 to the pillow-like new Nest speaker, Google's hardware line up has been leaking left and right. While there's still room for some of the finer details, these pair of leaks for a new Nest product and a new Chromecast pretty much confirm at least how Google's upcoming smart home devices will look on shelves or on your drawer.

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