Hands on with Google's Home Hub: The smart speaker for everything

While Google has not explained the reason of not embedding dedicated IoT solutions like its partners have, one of the reasons could be that the company wants it to be a very simple device. So we will see. Today, Google published a laundry list of all the various Google Assistant updates coming to various pieces of Google hardware.

The Pixel 3 and 3 XL have been unveiled as part of the Made by Google event in NY and London. Catch up in four minutes with this video!

And suggested responses will appear on the display: Tap one and it will be announced to your visitor, so they hear, "Sorry, we're not interested" when a salesperson is trying to hawk their wares. Google's is a bit smaller though, with a seven-inch display where Lenovo's comes in eight and 10 inches. In other words, you can now control different types of devices from different hardware makers in a central location, much as you might from a "real" hardware hub such as Wink Hub or the Amazon Echo Plus, which provides a built-in Zigbee hub.

There's also better integration with Google's Nest products. You see, while Lenovo, JBL and LG's smart displays are all powered by Qualcomm's Home Hub architecture and Google's Android Things platform, the Home Hub features an Amlogic chip (typically found in smart TVs and other smart accessories) and runs a full-featured version of Google's Cast platform.

Instead of hiding the controls deep in the Google Home app, a simple swipe down from the top of the screen brings up a dashboard with all your smart devices in a quick-access fashion, allowing you to control your connected stuff easily.

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Google's recently announced/upcoming Home Hub should have all these features at launch while existing smart displays will see an OTA land "over the next few weeks". Keep in mind though, that both of those devices have larger screens than the 7-inch display on the Google Home Hub.

The main highlight is a new Home View, which you can see by swiping down on the display at any time.

The Pixel 3 line also incorporates front-firing speakers, which, as the Made by Google presenters claimed, have a 40% improvement in terms of sound depth and quality.

Google, during the Pixel launch event, mentioned that the Home Hub does not feature cameras to make it comfortable to use in private places. No more app switching! Like in Digital Wellbeing, there's also a Wind Down setting coming that transitions the screen into a dimmed grayscale mode based on a schedule you set. It's hard to believe we're already at the third anniversary of Google's emergence as a true ...

After days weeks months of rumors, leaks, and a whole lot of hype, the Pixel 3 is finally here.

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