Jan Boromeusz Google is testing a new UI on the Nest Hub Max with tabs, contextual panels, and a dark mode

Google is testing a new UI on the Nest Hub Max with tabs, contextual panels, and a dark mode

Google appears to be testing a revamped user interface for the Nest Hub Max. A video showcasing the changes (via AndroidPolice) reveals the UI will feature a touch-centric experience with contextual panels for smart home control, tabs, and much more. There also appears to be a dark mode in the works.

The tabs allow users to quickly access different settings. The default tab appears to be “Your morning,” which shows things like weather and contextual panels for smart home control. This section will also presumably feature what’s on your calendar, too. There are other tabs for things like “Home control,” “Media” and “Communicate,” the last of which will allow you to quickly make a phone call, make a Google Duo call, or broadcast to a room. You’ll also see a panel for contacts so you can easily start a call with friends or family.

It’s quite a big chance for Google’s smart displays, which have largely prioritized an interface that can be navigated by voice. Adding in a more touch-friendly interface makes devices like the Nest Hub Max more accessible; sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to navigate the smart display’s UI, both through voice and touch, so this is a welcome change.

As for the dark mode, it’s pretty self-explanatory. Instead of a stark white background, turning on dark mode will allow users to choose a UI appearance that’s friendlier to low light environments. While you can manually toggle dark mode, it appears there’s also an auto option, which will likely turn on dark mode when the sun goes down.

Finally, speaking of touch controls, it looks like the revamped UI will support a new tap-and-hold gesture. When you tap-and-hold on a card, for example, a menu will come up to open that card or dismiss it.

It’s unclear how widely Google is testing the new UI for the Next Hub Max, but the company has been working on making changes for a few months. Hopefully, it’ll roll out to more Nest Hub smart displays soon — and other Google Assistant-equipped smart displays for that matter. For what it’s worth, the new UI appears to be available in software version v32.24.0 for the tipster.

    Nest Hub Max
    The Nest Hub Max is the do-everything smart display. It's great for controlling your smart home, but also makes for a terrific photo frame. And it's awesome for viewing recipes and making video calls.

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Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.