Published: Thu, May 09, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

Google Nest Hub Max vs Google Home Hub - here’s what’s new

Google Nest Hub Max vs Google Home Hub - here’s what’s new

What the leak didn't tell us was what the device looked like. Google tried to highlight ways in which it cares about your privacy but convenience ultimately comes at a price.

Functionally, the I/O demo makes it seem like the Nest Hub Max can do everything the regular Hub can. It has a digital photo frame powered by Google Photos and the home view dashboard, which gives you full control of your connected device.

Along with Nest integration, the camera will perform all the usual functions like making video calls and leave video messages with Google Duo but that's not all. The main difference with the Portal is that the Hub Max will let you chat with contacts on different platforms, like iOS, Android, or on a browser.

One cool feature that is possible because of the camera is that if you're playing music, instead of yelling "Hey, Google!" you can simply hold your palm up to the camera and the music should pause. The Hub Max does have a camera, and it lives up to the Nest branding. Of course you get all the benefits of Google Assistant as well. This larger device is akin to a device released before, by Google, albeit without the camera. Once that's done, the display will only show information relevant to the person it detects in front of it.


The Home Hub was notable at launch because it lacked a camera. This is flawless for those situations where the noise in the room is so loud that Google Assistant can't hear you (this happens to me a TON with my Google Home). You can then check out the live feed from your smartphone. It also offered a different option in the smart display space-most other options, like the Lenovo Smart Display and second generation Amazon Echo Show, had cameras.

Google IO is supposedly a conference for developers, but in recent years Google has taken to launching all kinds of apps, services and hardware devices at the event - and this year we got a bumper crop of new products to talk about, which we'll outline for you here. Still, it's rather unsettling. Google claims that video recording and streaming can only be done intentionally, and users can electronically disable the camera and mic by using the physical switch on the back of the Nest Hub Max. Google knows that, and it's why it just published a blog on its "privacy commitments".

To that end, the company said it will continue to sell its Home Hub, now calling it the Nest Hub, and announced that an entirely new smart screen device called the Nest Hub Max is on the way. That newfound closeness is coming at a cost, though: Nest accounts are migrating to Google accounts, and the company is retiring the Works with Nest API, consequently breaking direct IFTTT integration with Nest products.

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