smart displays

Google Nest Hub might have its very own app launcher

Google Nest Hub might have its very own app launcher

Although they look like stationary tablets, smart displays like the Nest Hub or Echo Show are specifically designed to remove that misconception. The software, in particular, has an interface that isn't exactly conducive for physical interaction and is more geared towards voice commands with audiovisual feedback. It seems, however, that Google is taking things in a different direction with an experiment that brings a familiar app drawer to the Nest Hub.

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Google Nest Hub adds morning checklist to help kids get ready for school

Google Nest Hub adds morning checklist to help kids get ready for school

Last year, Google announced a then-new feature called Family Bell that enabled users to set up bell reminders. The idea was that parents could set up these reminders to announce when tasks needed to be done, such as reminding their child to get ready for an online class. The company is back with an update to the feature that ties in its Nest Hub smart display.

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How to switch to Amazon Alexa’s new Echo voice

How to switch to Amazon Alexa’s new Echo voice

Amazon's Alexa has a new voice option, and if you've wanted something new in your conversations, switching to a different sounding assistant could do the trick. The company quietly rolled out the new Alexa voice earlier this month, and changing over is straightforward.

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This Verizon Smart Display has LTE inside to get you outage answers

This Verizon Smart Display has LTE inside to get you outage answers

Verizon has revealed its own Smart Display, an Alexa-powered screen that packs its own LTE connection as well as WiFi. Built in collaboration with Amazon, it's the first example of a smart home product made with the Amazon Custom Assistant, meaning Verizon Fios customers will be able to ask for specific account details and get service support.

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Amazon eyes Soli-style radar sensors for sleep tracking and smart home

Amazon eyes Soli-style radar sensors for sleep tracking and smart home

Amazon is working on radar tech that could be used for sleep tracking, gesture control, and more, potentially paving the way to a new Echo smart device that might offer similar features to Google's latest Nest Hub. Currently, select Amazon Echo smart display models use camera-based person tracking, in order to keep the user centered for video calls. However this new system could be far more precise in its tracking.

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Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021) Review: Alexa’s best display yet

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2nd Gen, 2021) Review: Alexa’s best display yet

The pandemic has made clear that low-resolution webcams are only the tip of the video calling iceberg: in an ideal world we'd all have our own cameraperson to make sure the angles were perfect. That's what Amazon's Echo Show 8 (2nd Generation) promises, turning Alexa into your personal videographer but - to keep the new smart display to $130 - with no moving parts involved.

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Nest smart displays to get Google Duplex support, Guest Mode upgrade

Nest smart displays to get Google Duplex support, Guest Mode upgrade

Google Assistant has always revolved around voice interactions but Google was able to give it a face in the form of smart displays. Now falling under the Nest smart home brand, Google has provided some visual feedback to augment Google Assistant's capabilities in your house. Not all smart Assistant features are available yet on those smart displays, however, and one upcoming addition will make booking tables at restaurants a breeze. At least when Google Duplex does finally arrive on the Nest Hub Max and its kin.

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Amazon Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 get a 2021 camera upgrade

Amazon Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 get a 2021 camera upgrade

Amazon has revealed two new smart displays, and while the 2021 updates to the Echo Show 8 and Echo Show 5 may not have an auto-swiveling screen like the Echo Show 10, they're also a lot more affordable. Both get upgraded cameras, with the Echo Show 8 adding digital panning and zooming for video calls to help keep you centered int the frame as you move around.

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The Google Assistant is adding new ways to corral your family

The Google Assistant is adding new ways to corral your family

Google is adding new Assistant features and tweaking some existing ones to make them more user-friendly, including expanding its Broadcast system. The new Family Broadcast takes the existing functionality - where you can pipe your voice through multiple Google smart speakers and smart displays in the house, useful for announcing meals are ready or reminding people it's time to leave - and enhances it for smartphones and replies.

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Google Home won’t ring you anymore if your phone isn’t home

Google Home won’t ring you anymore if your phone isn’t home

We call some products "smart" mostly due to the abilities they have that sometimes go beyond our own skills, at least when it comes to getting information from the Internet. There are times, however, when smart assistants and smart devices don't actually behave that smartly, like things we take for granted because of human behavior or common sense. It is only recently, for example, that these smart speakers and displays have started to adjust their behavior depending on whether there's anyone around in the first place, like ringing them only when you're around to actually answer a call.

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Echo Show 10 deal makes rotating Alexa display far more appealing

Echo Show 10 deal makes rotating Alexa display far more appealing

Amazon's Echo Show 10 has seen a big price cut, with a new deal on the motorized smart display making it a much easier sell for your kitchen counter or desk. Announced late last year, the third generation of the Alexa-powered smart display mounts its 10-inch screen on a twisting speaker body.

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Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) face-tracking Zoom calls now supported

Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) face-tracking Zoom calls now supported

Amazon's Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) has added support for Zoom and Amazon Chime, with the face-tracking smart display getting a lot more useful in the process. Launched earlier this year, the newest - and so far largest - Echo Show has a motorized base that can rotate its 10-inch display so that it's always facing you.

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