Google Home Hub is Google’s smart home controller meant to be an all-in-one device for the modern, connected home. It was announced and released in October 2018.
What Is Google Home Hub?
Google Home Hub is primarily a display center that allows you to see and control your smart connected home. It’s 7.02 inches wide by 4.65 inches high and features a 7-inch touch display used to show off relevant information; the display’s resolution has not been disclosed.
It includes integration with over 10,000 connected home devices, with native support for its first-party Nest thermostat and cameras. If you use Nest’s Hello video doorbell, for example, a live video will appear on the Google Home Hub screen when the doorbell button is pressed; an easier way to see who’s there than pulling out your phone.
At its core, though, the Home Hub is still primarily a Home product driven by Google’s Voice Assistant and is primarily designed to provide multiple users with access to lights, cameras, speakers, and other smart products throughout the home.
Google Home Hub Features and Benefits
- Google Photos: Home Hub can become a Google Photos connected photo frame that automatically picks photos to display in a room.
- Ambient EQ: The smart light sensor adjusts the screen’s look to match the color tone and brightness in the room.
- Google Assistant: The Home Hub is fully supported by Google Assistant, just like any other Google Home product.
- Music: Home Hub supports YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, and iHeartRadio.
- Nest Cameras: Nest’s Hello video doorbell is a featured product and will prompt the Home Hub to display a video feed when the doorbell is pressed.
- Speaker and Microphone: Google Home Hub features a speaker that’s been described as “full range,” and a 2 microphone array to hear voice commands over background noises.
- Productivity: Google services like Google Calendar, Google Maps, and Google Search are present, as expected.
- Wireless Connectivity: The Home Hub uses Bluetooth (version 5) and Wi-Fi for its connectivity.
What Can Google Home Hub Do?
Unlike a standard Android device with rows of app icons, Google Home Hub is driven by actions. It has an always available, swipe-down menu called Home View dashboard, which provides access to connected lights, speakers, cameras, locks, thermostats, and more.
The Home Hub can highlight routine tasks around morning commutes and evening cooking; it offers a voice-controllable way to look up recipes and use them hands-free.
Using Google Photos’ live albums, the Home Hub can act as a connected photo frame, always displaying the pictures you want to see. The photos displayed come from the Google account connected to the Home Hub and can be curated and selective.
Google Photos’ live albums feature is available across multiple platforms, not just Home Hub, giving you multiple places to pull photos from. Google Photos also lets you select individual people, so when new photos of them are taken, they’re automatically added to the album.
Because Home Hub is another Google Home device, it supports existing multi-room audio and can be grouped with other Home devices like the Home Mini and Home Max.
If you place the Home Hub in the kitchen, it acts as a central control for the home, allowing you to see and use any other Home devices you’ve set up and connected to the same network.
If it’s placed in the bedroom on a nightstand, it can act as an alarm, a morning calendar, and even an agenda.
While connected home devices are helpful, most are largely tied to a phone and not easily accessible by a house’s occupants. The Home Hub is trying to expand the convenience of these devices with glanceable information and controls for an entire house — not just a single user.