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Google overhauls the interface on Smart Displays

A dark mode, multi-account support and more at-a-glance info are part of the ugprade.

Published onOctober 19, 2020

  • Google is rolling out a major Smart Display update.
  • A dark mode, multi-account support and more at-a-glance info are part of the upgrades.
  • Google is simultaneously delivering a unified Assistant interface on phones.

Google is about to make your Smart Display considerably more useful, especially if you’re in a hurry. It’s rolling out a major update (via Android Police) that adds several genuinely practical features, including a few that surprisingly weren’t there before.

The Smart Display update revolves around a visual overhaul that provides more at-a-glance info, according to Google. A new “your morning” page shares must-have info like the news, weather, and upcoming meetings, while “your afternoon” and “your evening” will offer time-appropriate features like relaxing sounds. A media section suggests shows and videos, “discover” recommends things to try, and a “home control” page puts your smart home features in one place.

Read more: How Google is improving Assistant on Smart Displays

This is also an important upgrade if you split attention between home and work. Google-powered Smart Displays now support multiple accounts without having to switch between them. You an ask Assistant to join a meeting knowing that it will use the right account, Google said. This also applies to Assistant-capable devices like phones and smart speakers.

Google’s other updates to smart displays are simpler, but no less practical. Dark themes are easier on your eyes at night. Meet on the Nest Hub Max now auto-frames you as you move around during video chats. And if you prefer gentle wake-ups, a Sunrise Alarm (first shown on the Lenovo Smart Clock) gradually increases the display brightness to mimic nature.

There’s something arriving for phone users at the same time. Android Police has noticed that Google is deploying an updated Assistant interface on Android that unifies the experience between newer Assistant-equipped devices like the Pixel 4 and those previously stuck with the older design. These don’t significantly affect the functionality, but you won’t feel like you’ve been left behind.

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