Thanks to Youtuber Jan Boromeusz reporting to Ben Schoon over at 9to5Google, we now have a full look at the Nest Hub Max’s refreshed UI which focuses on placing more useful and personal information in front of the user. There’s also a new dark theme and the long awaited sticky notes feature. Let’s take a look! As you can see in the video below, the UI update is accompanied by a short audio visual tour which has your Assistant covering the new features in three steps. The top of the device now has a navigation menu for your day, home control, media playback, communication and actions discovery.
‘Your Day’ will say ‘your evening’ or ‘your morning’ based on the time of day. The contents of which show under this first tab are also contextual based on the time of day and your habits. In the recent past, Assistant began to suggest actions like turning lights on and off and so on based on your habits, so it’s nice to see this feature make its way to the front page of the smart display. This is basically the same thing as the new ‘Snapshot’ feature that Assistant rolled out on smartphones at the top left of the Discover feed. While I’m a big fan of this concept, I literally never look at it on my phone. It should be more useful on the Hub Max though as it makes more sense to glance at such information from the comfort of your home instead of on the go.
The Home Control section – previously just a swipe down from the top of the screen – is now more visible and accessible. Smart home control is something we do constantly throughout the day and we don’t always want to do so with our voice. The layout of these cards is nice and it may even get me to use Routines for once! The media section shows much of what used to be on the home screen of the device before the update. Youtube video recommendations, Spotify playlists, Google Podcasts, etc. We’re beginning to see some alignment between this and the Media section of the Google Home app. The communicate tab shows your contacts and lets you dial them with one tap. Google Duo, Meet and more are here, along with the ability to broadcast to other devices in your network. Lastly, the discover tab is probably my favorite. Recommendations for how to use the Assistant, Recipes suggestions, and more all make up a seemingly never-ending wall which pulls from the 1 million actions Assistant is capable of.
You can now press and hold cards to dismiss them. Remaining cards expand in size to fill the space. This is a welcome feature. There’s also a new dark theme for the Hub Max which can be activated manually or automatically based on the time of day. Jan sent in another video which shows off the long-awaited sticky notes feature too. Just like you would leave a note on the fridge for your family to see when they return home, sticky notes allow you to leave short thoughts on your home screen for the whole family or just for a specific member. We’re not sure when this update is rolling out to all Nest Max Hub users, and there’s no sign of it rolling out to the smaller Nest Hub yet. I will say that I’m excited to start playing with these new features. The display remains clean and useful, even with the new features. “Hey, Google! Well done!”