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Google Home Max discontinuation marks the end of a pre-Nest era

Google Home Max discontinuation marks the end of a pre-Nest era

It might be hard to believe but smart speakers have been in the market for more than half a decade now. Amazon launched the Echo, which was then seen as an oddity, in late 2014 and Google followed it up with the Home speaker two years later. Google would eventually expand that into a new line of "Home" branded smart speakers but now that will just be a footnote of history as the last of its kind, the Google Home Max, as officially sold out and has been discontinued.

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Nest Hub Max smart display finally gets Zoom support

Nest Hub Max smart display finally gets Zoom support

As previously promised, Google has added support for Zoom on its Nest Hub Max smart display, enabling users to fire up video calls with a single voice message. The new support joins video calling with Meet and Duo, expanding the number of people you can contact using the product. The addition has arrived in time for the holidays.

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Apple Music on Google Home smart speakers brings Assistant and Nest to the party

Apple Music on Google Home smart speakers brings Assistant and Nest to the party

Google has added Apple Music support to its smart home system, meaning subscribers can now ask the Google Assistant to play tracks on their Nest Audio and other smart speakers. The new integration further bridges the divide between Apple and Google's media and smart home platforms, which can at times prove a headache for those trying to make the most of all their content subscriptions across all their devices.

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Nest WiFi routers get a key feature for working from home

Nest WiFi routers get a key feature for working from home

If you've spent this year working from home, there's a good chance you use video conferencing software like Zoom. As tends to be the case in a home full of people, there's also a good chance that someone, at some point, has streamed movies or downloaded games at the same time, causing the video conference quality to drop drastically. Nest WiFi router owners now have a direct solution to this problem.

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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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