Google renames Assistant home devices, debuts $229 Nest Hub Max

Google announces Nest Hub Max, consolidates smart home gadgets under the Nest brand

But size is not the Nest Hub Max's only differentiator. It spearheads the firm's new push to combine its Nest and other smart home products into one brand.

"Our goal is to simplify the smart home, but also evolve the privacy model", said Lionel Guicherd-Callin, head of product for EMEA for Google Nest. Where the Nest Hub Max's hardware differs is in the addition of a camera, a larger 10-inch panel, and beefier speakers.

With the launch of the Hub Max, Google is moving the Home lineup under the Nest brand and that fact has already reflected in the renaming of the original Home Hub to simply the Nest Hub. "The 10" HD smart display aims to be a centerpiece in the home as opposed to its smaller sibling that was geared more towards the more intimate areas of the home by forgoing a camera. When you walk in front of the camera, the Hub Max will display your information and no one else's. Numerous standard Nest features apply, including motion alerts and notifications when the camera detects an unknown person in your home. When it successfully recognizes your face or the face of another person in your household, it will show information like reminders that are unique to your Google profile.

An interesting new feature that Google showed off is the ability of the device to respond to new gestures such as raising your hand to pause music playback. Google claims that video recording and streaming can only be done intentionally, and users can electronically disable the camera and mic by using the physical switch on the back of the Nest Hub Max. This is ideal for those situations where the noise in the room is so loud that Google Assistant can't hear you (this happens to me a TON with my Google Home). Although the bigger display doesn't directly add any new features, it should allow for a better experience when watching YouTube and other videos.

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Google unveiled the Hub Max at today's Google IO keynote outside its headquarters in Mountain View, California, alongside the new Pixel 3a. When it comes down to the Google Nest Hub Max vs Google Home Hub, it all depends on what you're looking for. Google's Rick Osterloh also casually revealed a new YouTube TV feature: an on-screen guide.

Along with Nest integration, the camera will perform all the usual functions like making video calls and leave video messages with Google Duo but that's not all. If you want a cheap kitchen helper the Google Home Hub still makes a lot of sense.

If you want a device that has better entertainment features, camera-based security features, and a bunch of new bells and whistles?

The Nest Hub Max's announcement coincides with a rebranding of the Google Home Hub, which Google is now being called the Nest Hub. Then the Hub Max might be worth the premium, but you'll have to wait until it goes on sale July 15th.

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