That could be beneficial for some users, as it could mean the device is capable of streaming videos from the likes of Netflix and BBC iPlayer, something the third-party smart displays are incapable of. Created to handle weather and recipe requests (& more) and pull up photo/video content, the Google Home Hub notably has no camera - something the company say came about due to privacy concerns among consumers.
Google Assistant is getting several new features across its lineup of smart displays and smartphones. You obviously can't transmit video without a camera in the Home Hub, but you can however still see video from users making a video call. See who's at the door on the screen via the Nest video doorbell, a Google-owned product. As expected, a number of these are having to do with Smart Displays, but there are some changes coming to Google Assistant on your phone as well.
Diya Jolly, Google's VP of product management, told Ars Technica that the Home Hub uses software based on the Google Cast platform - not Android Things OS. And with its built-in smart-home hub and camera for video calling and Skype, it's really shaping up to be an all-purpose device for smart-home owners. In our Assistant Showdown, Google Assistant edged out Alexa, but just barely.
The $149 device is available for pre-order online from the Google store, and will go on sale at Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other retailers starting on October 22. Bring them up using Google Photos. If you want to video chat, get the Echo Show - but if you find the idea of a webcam in your bedroom creepy, get the Home Hub.
The Home Hub will be exponentially more useful to those with lots of other smart home gadgets like heating and lighting. You will be able to opt for it in the phone's Assistant settings. (But remember, you can turn the Echo Show's camera off).
Moving on, Google is also introducing some new features for Smart Displays to make the overall experience of owning one much more pleasurable.
You can view the full-resolution versions of the images right here, but you probably don't need to because the results couldn't be more clear.