Google has made several updates to its lineup of smart home products, including the new Google Pixel Tablet that can be used as a smart home controller, a redesigned Google Home app, a new home panel on Pixel devices, a new script editor for home automations and enhanced image quality on Nest Cam and Doorbell devices.
Google’s recent announcements, made over the course of the last two months, come as the tech giant aims to make its smart home technology easier to use.
Google Pixel Tablet
Google calls its new Google Pixel Tablet a premium tablet built for entertainment needs. The tablet comes paired with the Charging Speaker Dock that transforms the tablet into a smart home controller with speakers four times the bass than the Pixel Tablet alone.
In Hub Mode, the tablet turns into a helpful home device that can be used hands-free to control smart home systems.
Users need to only tap the Google Home icon to access compatible smart home devices, allowing users to access their video doorbell feed, adjust the thermostat or control lights.
In addition, Chromecast is built into the device, so users can cast videos or music from their phone when the Pixel Tablet is in Hub Mode.
In addition, users can create a speaker group with their Charging Speaker Dock and other speakers or displays, and then cast to the group to fill the entire home with music.
Learn more here.
Google Home Updates
Google has also announced a range of new updates for its Google Home app, including faster response times for accessing camera feeds and clips, the ability to reorder favorites, a more helpful Activity tab, a new Inbox, a streamline section for notification preferences and enhanced scrubbing of camera events.
In addition, Google is expanding its support for Matter in the Home app to iOS, allowing users to set up and control Matter devices in the Google Home app on iOS devices.
Google also says users of the Home app will soon be able to begin transferring some of the company’s original Nest cameras to the new camera experience in the Home app, starting with first generation Nest Cam Indoor and Next Cam Outdoor.
The company also rolled out new or improve Home app controllers for more than 60 types of Matter devices and Works wit Google Home devices.
For the new Pixel Tablet, Google rolled out a more optimized version of the Google Home app for tablets to make it easier for user to navigate their smart home while eon their tablet. This includes support for navigating a camera’s timeline view and event list while in landscape mode.
In a bid to make the smart home “as fast, simple and reliable as the light switch on your wall,” Google also introduced a new Google Home integration for Android called the home panel.
According to Google, this give users one-tap access to Google Home directly from the Android lock screen or quick settings. This is designed to make it faster and easier to control smart home devices, automations and actions used most often, such as turning off lights, adjusting the temperature or viewing a camera.
However, more sensitive device controls like cameras or locks require a user to fully unlock the device.
When docked and in Hub Mode, the new Pixel Tablet can be accessed communally from the screensaver. The screen will show the doorbell camera feed when someone rings the doorbell along with options to talk or quickly respond.
Learn more here.
In addition, to these updates, Google says users can now access a script editor via a public preview to control home automations. The company says the tool gives users a new way to create and edit home automations using YAML.
According to Google, users an build powerful automations with nearly 100 starters, conditions and actions for Google Home and third-party devices, including many Matter devices.
For example, homeowners can use the script editor to use Home/Away as s starter and condtion to change the lights upon leaving or returning, vacuum while the home is empty, and control the camera based on household presence.
The script editor can also be used to use sensors to start automations, including motion-triggered lights with Matter occupancy sensors or turning on air purifiers when indoor air quality is poor.
Learn more here.
Nest Cam and Doorbell Updates
Google also announced an automatic software update that brtings HDR improvements and other image quality enhancements to battery-pwoered Nest Cams and Nest Doorbells.
According to Google, the update improves HDR performance with a more advanced auto exposure control (AEC) algorithm and additional software optimizations to more accurately calculate the multiple exposures based on the environment. This helps avoid over- or under-exposure for each video frame.
In addition, the company further optimized the software so finer texture and detail can be better seen when zooming in to particular areas.
Learn more here.
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