Google is testing a simpler UI for its Nest Hub smart displays

Google is testing a simpler UI for its Nest Hub smart displays

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Google recently rolled out a new firmware update for its Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart displays. The update (v1.46) introduced a number of interface and usability changes, including a few minor tweaks to the System Settings, new display settings, lighting controls, and more. Now, according to a recent blog post, the company has started testing a new simpler UI designed for the less tech-savvy users.

The new UI aims to make setting up a new Nest Hub even easier for elderly users and it includes a pre-loaded shortlist of contacts that’s aimed at making video calling a simpler process. The UI also includes new “What can you do?” cards that act as shortcuts for showing weather reports, setting alarms, or playing relaxing sounds, allowing users to make the most out of their Nest Hubs with minimal effort.

The easy-to-use UI is part of a new initiative under which Google is giving nearly 1,000 Nest Hub Max displays to residents in seven Merrill Gardens retirement communities in Washington State. The initiative is expected to help the residents easily connect with their friends and family during the COVID-19 induced lockdown. The blog post also notes that the new UI has been designed in a way that preserves privacy for residents, with all the devices managed on Nest’s fleet management system and running in a “signed out” mode, in which no audio is stored and all activity is anonymous. As of now, the company has released no information about a broader rollout for the new Nest Hub UI.