Google really made some news this week. Whether it’s madebyGoogle or product development, Google announced a bunch of new features in the last few weeks. Some of them surprised me. Like new features added to Google Duo, or adding new Google Assistant features for developers to make awesome smart home devices, to confirming and revealing new smart home products like the Nest Speaker. Let’s talk about it.
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Well, we’ll start with the most recent news. Google inadvertently revealed the new Nest Smart Speaker. We had seen evidence of this through revelations of the codename Prince project in Google-land. However, yesterday, Google filed a new smart speaker device with the FCC. We found out that the New Nest Speaker will be another pedestal – a rounded rectangular pedestal with Google-Esque cloth wrapping and a rubber bottom. Google had told the public that they had been working on the new Nest Speaker from their homes. I think it suffices to say, that we will soon experience the fruits of their labor!
Google hosted a Summit for its esteemed developers this week. They were focused on creating new experiences with the Works with ‘Hey Google’ (rebranded from works with Google Assistant) Smart Home Summit. The new features include increased connectivity and capabilities for Smart Home Entertainment Devices (SHED), including changing HDMI inputs, accessing gaming consoles, and smart TVs. They also upgrade Nest device access by allowing developers to connect to Nest devices such as the Nest Cam, Nest Doorbell. This would allow security monitoring systems to use Nest Cam footage or Nest devices to enhance home monitoring.
Google also talked about improved latency to improve device connection times (for example you can now turn your lights on in less than 300ms).
There was an announcement that developers could now improve health by triggering devices based on Home/Away times and ensuring devices responded to Awake and Sleep periods.
And of course, Google also reminded developers of their involvement in the Connected Home over IP (CHIP) collaboration with the Zigbee Alliance. The new Open Standard protocol will give developers the opportunity to create one device and allow users to choose between which Smart Home interface (Google Assistant, Alexa, Bixby, SmartLife) they would like to use. They would all communicate over the same wireless protocol.
Yes, Google Duo got a major upgrade. You can now make Group calls on the Nest Hub Max, and Google announced that they are unleashing the call capacity up to 32 callers at one time on all platforms soon. That’s huge.
Android 11 OS Coming September 8, 2020
Android 11 OS will be launching on September 8, 2020. With the latest news on new features, Google said that they will integrate the Smart Home Device Controls into the actual OS with widget-like cards integrated into the mobile Android 11 Operating System. Imagine using sliders and toggling lights right within your home screen. Consider your new mobile device as the command center for your Smart Home.