Our favorite 10 new things coming to Smart Displays

Every day, people ask Google for help with things like catching up on their favorite shows, turning on their garage lights, filling their homes with relaxing music, playing games and even keeping their family on track. As we expect more of our smart home devices, Smart Displays are increasingly becoming a hub that entertains and connects the whole home and whole family, all day (and night) long. 

Today, we’re introducing a brand new experience that builds on the smarts of Google and visual capabilities of Smart Displays. Here are 10 ways these updates make the whole day go a little more smoothly:

  1. A new visual experience to jumpstart your day.As you begin your day, just tap the new “Your morning” page to get things off to a good start. You’ll see things like a reminder for your first meeting, a run down of the morning news and a glance at the weather ahead. This page evolves throughout the day to reflect “Your afternoon” and “Your evening” so that the recommendations you see changes as your day does. 
  2. Entertainment for the whole family.Whether you want to listen to a podcast while you prepare breakfast in the morning or are looking for a TV show to wind down after a long day, the “Media” page will suggest videos or shows to keep everyone in the house entertained, while also offering suggestions from our music and video platforms like Disney+, Netflix, YouTube TV and Spotify.
  3. Control the whole home in one place.The new visual layout also has a “Home control” page, where you can control the connected devices throughout the house (so you can turn off the lights in the bedroom or take a look at who’s at the front door). 
  4. More tools for staying in touch and staying productive.We recently added more ways to stay in touch with friends, family and coworkers on your Smart Display with Google Meet and Duo—and Zoom is coming to Assistant-enabled Smart Displays later this year. Use the “Communicate” page to start a new meeting, call one of your household contacts or even message your kids in another room using a Broadcast card..
  5. Discover other helpful features.While the new visual experience is catered to help you manage your day, we know everyone likes to have a little fun with the device too. Scroll over to the “Discover” page to explore more of what your smart display can do.
  6. Now available: All of your accounts in one place. If you have separate personal and work accounts, you can now set up multiple accounts on Google Assistant devices to see and interact with all of your upcoming events and meetings in one place—without having to switch between your personal or work account. For example, on your Google Nest Hub Max, you can now quickly tap or ask to join your next meeting (“Hey Google, join my next meeting”), whether it’s a personal yoga class or a conference call.  This is now supported on Assistant-enabled devices where you can access your Calendar, like phones (Android and iOS), shared devices such as smart speakers and Smart Displays, and for Google Workspace users enrolled in the Google Assistant Beta Program
  7. Make sure you’re always in the picture.Meet on Nest Hub Max will now auto-frame to keep the camera centered on you if you move around. You can also customize how Meet looks on your Smart Display so it’s easier to see a specific person or details in a presentation with pinning, four-person grids and pinch and zoom—coming later this year. We’ve also added new menu options to give you the ability to cancel and reschedule Meet meetings right from your Smart Displays, and you can even send a message to let others know if you need to find a new time or if you’re running late.
  8. Dark theme, now on your Smart Display.Dark Theme changes the color scheme of the interface and reduces light emission, so it’s easier on the eyes at night while still providing you with visual and touch access. You can also keep the classic Light Theme or set to “Automatic” so that the display will adjust naturally based on the ambient light or when the sun rises and sets. 
  9. Choose relaxing sounds for drifting off to sleep.The new visual experience also features the “Your evening” page, where you can select from different relaxing sounds to make going to sleep just a little more pleasant. Maybe you prefer tranquil rainfall or the sounds of crickets, or you can ask Google to choose one for you. A sleep timer will fade out the sound, or you can let it play all night—go ahead, you deserve it.
  10. Finally, start the next day with the new Sunrise Alarm.With Sunrise Alarm—coming to Smart Displays soon—the brightness of the screen will gradually increase starting 30 minutes before your alarm goes off, mimicking the sunrise so you wake up naturally. You can also set different alarms for different days of the week and choose different ringtones for them (because who wants to wake up at 7 a.m. on Saturday!?). The best part? When the alarm goes off, you can just say “stop” without having to say “Hey Google.”

Read More

Find voting and ballot drop box locations on Google

This year, searches for “how to vote” in the U.S. are higher than ever before. To make it easier to find information about how and where to vote—regardless of your preferred voting method—we’ve launched election-related features with information from trusted and authoritative organizations in Google Search.  

Starting today, when you go to Google Search and Maps for information on where to vote, you’ll find helpful features that show the voting locations closest to you. On Google, search for things like “early voting locations” or “ballot drop boxes near me” and you’ll find details on where you can vote in person or return your mail-in ballot, whether you’re voting early or on Election Day. It will also include helpful reminders, like to bring your ballot completed and sealed. 

Just as easily, you’ll soon be able to ask, “Hey Google, where do I vote?” and Google Assistant will share details on where to vote nearby on your Assistant-enabled phone, smart speaker or Smart Display.

Where to vote.gif

After you’ve selected a voting location or ballot drop box in your area, you can click through from Google Search or Google Assistant to Google Maps for quick information about how far it is, how to get there, and voting hours. Similarly, if you search for your voting location in Google Maps you’ll have easy access to the feature in Search to help you confirm where you can cast your vote. 

The official information in this feature comes from the Voting Information Project, a partnership between Democracy Works, a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization, and state election officials. Through the Voting Information Project, we plan to have more than 200,000 voting locations available across the country. For places where voting locations are not yet available, we’ll surface state and local election websites. As more locations become available, or if there are changes, we’ll continue to update the information provided across Google Search, Assistant and Maps.

Read More

Duplex is getting smarter and making life a little easier

In 2018, we introduced Duplex, our AI technology that uses natural conversation to get things done. Since then, we’ve been exploring how conversational technology can be both easy to interact with and  help people save more time. 

Today, during our Search On event, we shared an update on how Duplex and Google Assistant are helping people in their everyday lives. From providing more accurate business information in products like Google Maps, to booking appointments and reservations on your behalf, to waiting on hold for you, we’re continuing to bring Duplex to new places to make life a little easier.

Keeping local businesses information fresh 

This pandemic has shown us how critical up-to-date local information is, both for people trying to find services nearby and for businesses looking for ways to serve their customers. Whether you’re looking to grab dinner from your favorite restaurant or stop by your neighborhood florist, chances are you’ll check their hours of operation online first, and maybe find out if they offer things like dine-in or curbside pickup. 

To help people find accurate information about local businesses online, Duplex conversational technology is now calling businesses to automatically update business listings on Search and Maps with modified store hours and details like takeout or no-contact delivery. We began using Duplex to automatically update business information and add it to Search and Maps at scale in the U.S. last year. That means business owners don’t have to worry about manually updating these details, and potential customers get access to the most accurate information. When the pandemic started, we expanded business updates to eight countries, and have since made over 3 million updates to businesses like pharmacies, restaurants and grocery stores that have been seen over 20 billion times in Maps and Search. 

A personal assistant to save you time

From restaurant reservations to salon appointments, Duplex powers Google Assistant to help people save time, having completed more than a million bookings since its launch. So whenever you’re ready to dine out again, you can try asking your Assistant to book you a table at your favorite restaurant and let Duplex get it done. 

With Duplex on the web, Google Assistant can also complete tasks on the mobile web that would otherwise take up to 20 steps to complete, like booking a rental car or buying movie tickets. And we’re currently piloting the same experience with things like shopping and food ordering for a faster checkout.

Another way conversational AI helps people save time is with Call Screen, which lets Google Assistant answer unknown calls on Android phones to avoid spam calls. Every month, Call Screen helps save more than 2 million minutes on the phone. And now with Hold for Me, Duplex is powering Google Assistant to wait on hold for you and let you know when someone is on the line. 

More natural conversations

We still have a way to go towards having truly natural-feeling conversations with machines, so it’s exciting to see the great progress across the industry in neural speech recognition and synthesis, and in our own new language understanding models. For Duplex, these and many other advancements translate into significant improvements in quality. In fact, 99 percent of calls made by Duplex today are entirely automated. 

Our ability to interact with technology as naturally as we interact with each other remains a long-standing promise. As Duplex continues to take steps in this direction, we remain committed to developing our conversational technology in a responsible way, upholding the standards outlined in our AI principles and with transparency. For example, we always disclose that you’re speaking with an automated system when making a call. We’re excited by how far we’ve come, and more importantly, by how many people and businesses this technology can help in ways big and small.

Read More

From smart clocks to TVs, new ways to get help from Google

One of the things I love most about Google Assistant is how it can automate mundane tasks like setting up an alarm or playing relaxing music, and how it allows me to control devices using just my voice. As more people discover the helpfulness of a smart home, we continue to work with our partners to bring the best of the Assistant experience to your favorite devices. Over the last few weeks, we’ve worked with some of the most popular brands to introduce new devices with Google Assistant that you can try out today. 

A smarter, affordable alarm clock

Smart devices should be easy to use, and it’s even better when they’re affordable. That’s what we set out to do with the launch of the new Lenovo SmartTM Clock Essential now available at major retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. As a follow-up to the very popular Lenovo Smart Clock, the latest version fits just about anywhere in your home, thanks to its smaller footprint. And its easy-to-read 4-inch LED screen display that simply gives you what you need to know: the time, day of the week and weather. Even though it’s something of a minimalist, you’re still able to enjoy all the features of Google Assistant. 

Whether it ends up on your desk or your nightstand, Lenovo Smart Clock Essential packs solid sound for its size and helps you get things done with just your voice. You can say “Hey Google” to set an alarm to kick off a morning routine, control your compatible smart home devices, set up important reminders, get answers to general questions or ask to play your favorite show on your Chromecast-compatible TV. Bonus feature: It has a built-in nightlight so you can get up at night without stumbling around. Just say “Hey Google, turn on the nightlight.”

Enjoy Assistant on the big screen or on your wrist 

It’s as good a time as any to get cozy with the family and binge your favorite TV and movies. To make it even easier to search what’s available, you’ll now be able to use Google Assistant on Samsung’s latest lineup of Smart TVs, starting in the U.S. and rolling out to more countries soon.

When you press down on your remote control’s mic button, you can use your voice to ask Google to change channels, adjust the volume, control playback, open apps and all sorts of other things. We’ve also made it easier to discover new content, search by mood, genre, actor and get personalized recommendations—for example, you can say, “show me funny movies” to find a comedy. Of course, you can also ask Google to do things like turn on different smart home devices or for information about the weather forecast, and you’ll get answers on your screen.

Samsung_TV copy.png

But you don’t always need this information on the biggest screen in your home. For the moments when you’re looking for quick answers with a flick of your wrist, you can now turn to two new smartwatches. Coming this winter, Google Assistant on the new Fitbit Sense™ and Fitbit Versa 3™ smartwatches brings more convenience to your wrist, making it easy to start a Fitbit Exercise, control your timers, manage your tasks or add something like hand sanitizer to your shopping list–all on-the-go, using just your voice and without having to reach for your phone.  

Music lovers will definitely want to check out the new Nest Audio available on Google Store and other retailers or Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Speaker now available for sale in India, both of which offer rich sound. And for the home theater, you can try the Bose Smart Soundbar 300, which comes with all the helpful voice capabilities from Google. And there’s more in the works as we’ll continue partnering with high quality speaker brands to bring Google into more and more homes.

Read More

6 ways your Android is getting more helpful this fall

 

It was only a few weeks ago that we released Android 11, the latest version of the operating system. Today, we’re highlighting six of the latest Google features for Android—available even on older versions—that make your life a little easier and more enjoyable this fall.

1. Do even more with Google Assistant and your favorite apps

AFS_Assistant_v001.png

Click on the image above to see the video of Google Assistant working with Android apps

Your Android phone comes with Google Assistant, and now you can ask it to open or search across Android apps. Try saying “Hey Google, send snap with Cartoon Lens” or “Hey Google, log a berry smoothie on MyFitnessPal.” We’ve partnered with many of the top apps on Google Play including Walmart, Mint, Spotify, Etsy, and Discord, to do specific tasks unique to those individual apps. Get started by saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts.”

2. New ways to connect with Google Duo

AFS_Comms_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of screen sharing in Google Duo

When your friends and family video call you with Google Duo, you can now share your screen to browse photos or plan activities together while on the call. If they aren’t catching you at a good time, they can leave a video message, which has automatic captions to help if you have hearing loss or are in a spot where you can’t play audio. Download Google Duo on Google Play.

3. Say goodbye to spam calls with Google’s Phone app

With Google’s Phone app, your Android device will stop spam callers for good and it’ll tell you who’s calling and why. We’ve been working to bring the app to more people, and it’s now available to download for the first time on most Android devices running Android 9 or above. Download Phone by Google on Google Play to get spam protection and other helpful features, and easily connect with friends and family no matter what type of devices they use. 

4. New tools for hearing loss with Sound Notifications

AFS_Access_v001 (1).png

Click on the image above to see the video of Sound Notifications

Sound Notifications flags important, inconvenient, or alarming noises around you when you have hearing loss or are even wearing headphones. Set up Sound Notifications in the Live Transcribe app, and your phone will flash, vibrate, and provide push notifications when it detects a fire alarm, a door knocking, household appliance beeps, and more. You can also set up your Android Wear watch to vibrate and send a push notification, as well. Download Live Transcribe on Google Play.

5. Communicate with Action Blocks when you don’t use your voice

Action Blocks - select speaking block.png

Caption: Action Blocks makes communication more accessible

Built for people with cognitive disabilities and age-related conditions, Action Blocks can now be used to communicate short phrases. It acts as an artificial voice for people with cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, aphasia, and other speech related disabilities. In addition, Action Blocks now incorporates thousands of Picture Communication Symbols from Tobii Dynavox, making it easier to use the Android app alongside existing speech therapy and special education materials. It also now supports Japanese, French, German, and Italian. Download Action Blocks on Google Play.

6. Enjoy the entertainment you love, with a little help from Google

GTV.png

Click on the image above to see a video of the Google TV app on Android

Your TV isn’t the only place for finding and watching entertainment. Starting on Android phones in the U.S., the Google Play Movies & TV app is being updated to Google TV. Google TV helps you discover what to watch with recommendations for movies and shows from across your streaming apps. And with the Google TV app, your recommendations, Library, and Watchlist go with you wherever you are, whether it’s out the front door or just to the other room. Learn more on Google Play

Read More

‘Hey Google’ now works with your Android apps

Google Assistant helps people get things done every day—and for people using Android phones, mobile apps are often the best way to help with tasks. So today, we’re extending the convenience of simple Assistant voice commands to work with your favorite Android apps.

Opening and searching within Android apps using “Hey Google” is now available to all Assistant-enabled Android phones. This makes everyday tasks within an app much easier thanks to voice. For example, you can now say, “Hey Google, search cozy blankets on Etsy” and get right to what you’re looking for. Or if you’re looking for something (or someone) specific within an app, just say, “Hey Google, open Selena Gomez on Snapchat.” 

But people do a lot more with their apps beyond simply opening and searching within apps, and we want to enable voice commands to those frequent tasks, too. Now you can do things like playing music, starting a run, posting on social media, ordering food, paying back a friend, hailing a ride—the list goes on and on—all with just your voice. Starting today, you can try doing more using your voice with more than 30 of the top apps on Google Play available in english globally, with more apps coming. 

Here are a few things you can try today: 

Assistant-Partners_App-Actions.gif

And for your most common tasks, you can create custom shortcut phrases. So instead of saying “Hey Google, tighten my shoes with Nike Adapt,” you can create a shortcut to just say, “Hey Google, lace it.” You can explore suggested shortcuts or create your own by simply saying, “Hey Google, show my shortcuts” to get to the settings screen. 

Whether you want a hands-free way to use your apps or shortcuts to complete common tasks, we want to make Android and your apps even more useful and convenient—and to give you time back to enjoy what matters most.

Read More

New updates make Google Assistant even more accessible

Becky Tyler is a young adult with cerebral palsy. She cannot speak on her own and has difficulties controlling her muscle movements. But this hasn’t stopped her from doing what she loves. Becky is an avid gamer, she runs her own YouTube channel and loves acting and dancing. She’s also an advocate for equality and inclusion. With the support of assistive technologies for communication from companies like Tobii Dynavox, she’s able to express her creative voice and pursue her dreams.

For International Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Awareness Month, we’re bringing Google Assistant to Tobii Dynavox’s applications and services that will help people like Becky gain even more independence and empower them to do things like control smart devices and appliances around their homes.  

Tobii Dynavox Snap Core First software—available on Tobii Dynavox’s dedicated tablets and mobile apps—has a preconfigured set of tiles for users to communicate about everyday things and is accessible through touch, eye gaze and scanning. By integrating Google Assistant with Tobii Dynavox’s technology, Becky can now easily assign a tile to a Google Assistant action, allowing her to control compatible smart home devices and appliances, like lights, thermostats, TVs and more, that have been set up in the Google Home app. Tiles can also be configured to get answers from Google Assistant to questions like “What’s the weather?” or “What’s on the calendar for today?”

SCF_GA_Turn-up-volume (1).jpg

We’ve also worked closely with Tobii Dynavox to make this experience easy to set up. First, create a Google account and set up a smart speaker or smart display in the Google Home app on Android or iOS. After providing access to the Snap Core First app, you can then configure tiles by selecting a button in edit mode, tapping on “Add action” and then tapping on “Send Google Assistant command.”

Becky and others looking to use this technology can also benefit from Action Blocks, which rolled out last May. Action Blocks make it easier for people who have a cognitive disability to use Android phones and tablets with the help of Google Assistant by introducing customizable buttons on their home screens that can complete actions like calling a parent, turning on the lights, or watching a favorite show with one tap. Starting today, Tobii Dynavox’s library of tens of thousands of Picture Communication Symbols can now be used to create Action Blocks buttons, so that people who might be accustomed to assistive technology for communication can use a familiar interface on their Android phones and tablets. 

Google Assistant has always been designed with accessibility in mind and to help everyone be more independent at home. You can find our series of how-to videos with visual and audible directions created for the accessibility community to get the most out of Google Assistant. 

Read More

The Nest team let us in on their at-home sound setups

No two homes are alike: The things, people and routines that fill them are totally unique. That’s why the Nest team is so focused on creating flexible, customizable products and tools that can help everyone—and every home—function more smoothly, and more joyfully. 

Personally, my recipe for Nest-enabled home happiness starts in the kitchen with my Google Nest Hub Max, which I consider my personal sous chef. There’s a Google Nest Wifi point (which doubles as a smart speaker) in the guest room-turned-makeshift-home-office and an original Google Home in the dining room (turned-second-makeshift-home-office). A Google Nest Hub sits on my nightstand, and a Google Nest Mini lives in the entryway. Then, I have our newest product, two Google Nest Audios, stereo-paired in the living room for premium sound. That might sound like a lot of devices for a two-bedroom apartment, but my husband and I have found that having them throughout our place helps us make the most of all the time we’re spending here, whether it’s setting the mood with our favorite music or getting helpful information from Google Assistant. 

Today, you can buy Nest Audio online at the Google Store and at other retailers including Target, Best Buy and more. So, to celebrate, I asked around the Nest team to see what my colleagues’ at-home setups look like, too. 

Indu Ancha, Product Design Engineering Lead

My husband and I have a Nest Hub Max in our kitchen, which opens directly into our living room, so it essentially sits in both. We also use it to look in on the house when we aren’t home…or to catch the dog sneaking onto the couch! Of course we most often rely on it for features like setting cooking timers. And we actually use it as the main control for our TV since we paired it with the latest Chromecast with Google TV. We use the Nest Audio in the office—it’s perfect for WFH jam sessions, and to play music that helps us focus. And then there’s a Nest Mini upstairs in the guest room. We regularly use the broadcast function, too, especially if one of us is upstairs and the other is downstairs. And because we have Nest Wifi points around the house, everything works super reliably. 

Jesper Ramsgaard, Audio User Experience Researcher 

Because of COVID-19, like many people my wife and I have been staying home more this year…which I think our two cats appreciate. The time at home has definitely led us to make plenty of use of our Nest speaker system: We have a Nest Hub Max in the kitchen, two Nest Audios in the living room and a Nest Mini in the bedroom. The Nest Hub Max in the kitchen is great for finding recipes and setting cooking timers, but we also use it to watch Netflix or YouTube and to video call our family. And we have our Nest Audios in stereo setup in the living room, which really fills the house with music if we want it to. It’s been encouraging to listen to more music and really enjoy it more on a daily basis. 

Gabe Slotnick, Audio Engineering Lead

I live with my wife and dog, and we have a Nest Hub Max in the kitchen, a Google Home Max in the living room, and a stereo pair of Nest Audios in the bedroom. Oh, and I also have the new Chromecast with Google TV paired with our living room TV and a Chromecast Audio for my old traditional stereo system. I’ve found that mixing smart displays and speakers throughout our home creates an amazing combination of fantastic sound quality and contextual reminders throughout the day. I love the flexibility of how the devices can interact with each other and how I can access different features and services as I move around my house.


Arianna Clem, Beta Programs Manager

I have two Nest Audios set up using the speaker pair in my room, to give me full surround sound while I get into the zone—which is so helpful when I’m working from home. Of course, it’s also great for dance breaks! I use my Nest Mini while I’m getting ready for the day to go over my schedule and start off the morning with some news and good tunes. Once I’m ready, I use stream transfer to move whatever I’m listening to my other Nest Mini in my work space. 

Erick Low, Senior Product Marketing Manager

My family of four—my wife, myself and our two daughters—love to listen to music in our house, especially while we’re cooking or throwing mini dance parties in the family room. While sheltering in place, we’ve spent a lot more time at home and music makes everything more fun. Most of the time, we use a speaker group to listen to music on all our devices throughout the house. And since we have several Nest Minis, a Nest Audio, a Nest Hub Max, a Nest Hub and Google Home speakers, we can really jam out when we want to! My daughters really enjoy using Disney Read Along on our Nest Hub Max in the family room, and my wife and I like to listen to background music on our Nest Hub Max in our office while we’re working.

Read More

Say goodbye to hold music

Sometimes, a phone call is the best way to get something done. We call retailers to locate missing packages, utilities to adjust our internet speeds, airlines to change our travel itineraries…the list goes on. But more often than not, we need to wait on hold during these calls—listening closely to hold music and repetitive messages—before we reach a customer support representative who can help. In fact, people in the United States spent over 10 million hours on hold with businesses last week.

Save time with Hold for Me

Hold for Me, our latest Phone app feature, helps you get that time back, starting with an early preview on Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a (5G) in the U.S. Now, when you call a toll-free number and a business puts you on hold, Google Assistant can wait on the line for you. You can go back to your day, and Google Assistant will notify you with sound, vibration and a prompt on your screen once someone is on the line and ready to talk. That means you’ll spend more time doing what’s important to you, and less time listening to hold music.

Hold for me call

Tap “Hold for me” in Google’s Phone app after you’re placed on hold by a business.

Hold for Me is our latest effort to make phone calls better and save you time. Last year, we introduced an update to Call Screen that helps you avoid interruptions from spam calls once and for all, and last month, we launched Verified Calls to help you know why a business is calling before you answer. Hold for Me is now another way we’re making it simpler to say hello.

Powered by Google AI

Every business’s hold loop is different and simple algorithms can’t accurately detect when a customer support representative comes onto the call. Hold for Me is powered by Google’s Duplex technology, which not only recognizes hold music but also understands the difference between a recorded message (like “Hello, thank you for waiting”) and a representative on the line. Once a representative is identified, Google Assistant will notify you that someone’s ready to talk and ask the representative to hold for a moment while you return to the call. We gathered feedback from a number of companies, including Dell and United, as well as from studies with customer support representatives, to help us design these interactions and make the feature as helpful as possible to the people on both sides of the call.

While Google Assistant waits on hold for you, Google’s natural language understanding also keeps you informed. Your call will be muted to let you focus on something else, but at any time, you can check real-time captions on your screen to know what’s happening on the call.

Keeping your data safe

Hold for Me is an optional feature you can enable in settings and choose to activate during each call to a toll-free number. To determine when a representative is on the line, audio is processed entirely on your device and does not require a Wi-Fi or data connection. This makes the experience fast and also protects your privacy—no audio from the call will be shared with Google or saved to your Google account unless you explicitly decide to share it and help improve the feature. When you return to the call after Google Assistant was on hold for you, audio stops being processed altogether.

We’re excited to bring an early preview of Hold for Me to our latest Pixel devices and continue making the experience better over time. Your feedback will help us bring the feature to more people over the coming months, so they too can say goodbye to hold music and say hello to more free time.

Read More

Made for music, the new Nest Audio is here

This year, we’ve all spent a lot of time exploring things to do at home. Some of us gardened, and others baked. We tried at-home workouts, or took up art projects. But one thing that many—maybe all of us—did? Enjoyed a lot of music at home. I’ve spent so much more time listening to music during quarantine—bossa nova is my go-to soundtrack for doing the dishes and Lil Baby has become one of my favorite artists. 

We worked with Kelton Research and found that over the past five months, Americans increased the amount of time they spend listening to music at home by 61 percent, and many people nearly doubled the amount of time they spend jamming out at home. So, given we’re all listening to more music than ever, we’re especially excited to introduce Nest Audio, our latest smart speaker made for music lovers.

A music machine

Nest Audio is 75 percent louder and has 50 percent stronger bass than the original Google Home—measurements of both devices were taken in an anechoic chamber at maximum volume, on-axis. With a 19mm tweeter for consistent high frequency coverage and clear vocals and a 75mm mid-woofer that really brings the bass, this smart speaker is a music lover’s dream. 

Nest Audio’s sound is full, clear and natural. We completed more than 500 hours of tuning to ensure balanced lows, mids and highs so  nothing is lacking or overbearing. The bass is significant and the vocals have depth, which makes Nest Audio sound great across genres: classical, R&B, pop and more. The custom-designed tweeter allows each musical detail to come through, and we optimized the grill, fabric and materials so that you can enjoy the audio without distortion. 

Our goal was to ensure that Nest Audio stayed faithful to what the artist intended when they were in the recording studio. We minimized the use of compressors to preserve dynamic range, so the auditory contrast in the original production is preserved—the quiet parts are delicate and subtle, and the loud ones are more dramatic and powerful. 

Nest Audio also adapts to your home. Our Media EQ feature enables Nest Audio to automatically tune itself to whatever you’re listening to: music, podcasts, audiobooks or even a response from Google Assistant. And Ambient IQ lets Nest Audio also adjust the volume of Assistant, news, podcasts and audiobooks based on the background noise in your home, so you can hear the weather forecast over a noisy dishwasher. 

Whole home audio

If you have a Google Home, Nest Mini or even a Nest Hub, you can easily make Nest Audio the center of your whole home sound system. In my living room, I’ve connected two Nest Audio speakers as a stereo pair for left and right channel separation. I also have a Nest Hub Max in my kitchen, a Nest Mini in my bedroom and a Nest Hub in the entryway. These devices are grouped so that I can blast the same song on all of them when I have my daily dance party. 

With our stream transfer feature, I can move music from one device to the other with just my voice. I can even transfer music or podcasts from my phone when I walk in the door. Just last month, we launched multi-room control, which allows you to dynamically group multiple cast-enabled Nest devices in real time. 

An even faster Assistant

When we launched Nest Mini last year, we embedded a dedicated machine learning chip with up to one TeraOPS of processing power, which let us move some Google Assistant experiences from our data centers directly onto the device. We’ve leveraged the same ML chip in Nest Audio, and in the U.S., Google Assistant on Nest Audio learns your most common music commands and responds two times faster than the original Google Home. 

Google Assistant helps you tackle your day, enjoy your entertainment and control compatible smart home brands like Philips Hue, TP-Link|KASA and more. In fact, people have already set up more than 100 million devices to work with Google Assistant. Plus, if you’re a YouTube Music or Spotify Premium subscriber, you can say, “Hey Google, recommend some music” and Google Assistant will offer a variety of choices from artists and genres that you like as well as others that are similar.

Differentiated by design

Typically, a bigger speaker equals bigger sound, but Nest Audio has a really slim profile—so it  fits anywhere in the home. In order to maximize audio output, we custom-designed quality drivers and housed them in an enclosure that helps it squeeze out every bit of sound possible. 

Nest Audio comes in five colors: Chalk, Charcoal, Sand, Sky and the all-new Sage, an earth tone inspired by our ongoing responsibility to protect the environment. Its soft, rounded edges blend in with your home’s decor, and its minimal footprint doesn’t take up too much space on your shelf or countertop. 

We’re continuing our commitment to sustainability with Nest Audio. It’s covered in the same sustainable fabric that we first introduced with Nest Mini last year, and the enclosure (meaning the fabric, housing, foot, and a few smaller parts) is made from 70 percent recycled plastic. 

Nest Audio is available for $99.99 online at the Google Store and other retailers in the U.S., Canada and India starting Oct. 5. You can find it on shelves at retail stores including Target, Best Buy and more in 21 countries starting Oct. 15. 

More from this Collection

Our newest lineup of helpful devices

Our newest products bring together the best of Google’s hardware, software and AI to deliver helpful experiences built around you.

View all 5 articles

Read More