Google Assistant smart displays are getting a brand new UI with dark mode and multi-account support
Several years ago, it used to be that Google software could only, or mostly, be found on your PC or on your smartphone. Fast forward to 2020, though, and you can have Google help you out on almost every corner of your house. Whether it’s a smart speaker or a smart display, you can just ask the Google Assistant for answers to your burning questions wherever you are. Smart displays are a really interesting case as they serve as hubs that connect your whole home, and you don’t need to necessarily use them with your voice. They also allow for light media consumption as well as video calls.
Google offers its own self-branded Assistant smart displays in the form of the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, though there are other Assistant-enabled smart displays from other brands. Starting today, Google is introducing a new, more interactive UI to these Assistant-powered smart displays. In an official blog post, Google detailed this new “visual experience” rolling out to smart displays, though we already caught a glimpse of the new design a few weeks back.
The new UI is touch-centric, with tabs and contextual panels as well as a central “Your Morning” home screen that sums up relevant information about your day, such as the weather, calendar events, and frequently used smart home shortcuts. There’s a “Media” tab that will give you suggestions for new movies and shows to watch from services like Disney+ and Netflix. The “Home control” page lets you control any Assistant-enabled smart home devices you’ve added to your account.
On the “Communicate” page, you’ll be able to start a meeting, call a contact, or broadcast to another Assistant device. Speaking of meetings, Zoom is coming to these smart displays, giving you more options to communicate with friends, co-workers, and acquaintances. Google Meet on the Nest Hub Max will automatically keep you in-frame, and on other smart displays, you’ll be able to pin specific persons, change to a four-person grid, cancel and reschedule meetings, send messages, and later this year, pinch-and-zoom.
The new “Your evening” page (available with the redesign) and Sunrise alarm (coming soon) help you get to bed with relaxing sounds and calming visuals. Lastly, you can check out the “Discover” page to learn more about the features of your smart display.
Next, Google Assistant smart displays are gaining a dark mode with this redesign, a feature that has already rolled out to Android on smartphones and other Google products and services. The classic Light theme will still be there, but there will also be an “automatic” setting that will let the display adjust the screen naturally based on the ambient light or sun cycle. Last but not least, there’s multi-account support for having a more personalized experience for all users. This is especially helpful if you have a separate personal and work account, so you can access your calendar details without switching profiles. Google says multi-account support is available on all Assistant-enabled devices, including your phone, smart speakers, and now smart displays.
This update is expected to make it to most Google Assistant smart displays in the coming weeks, though you’ll likely see it first on the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max.