16 fun and useful things you can do with the Google Nest Hub

Google’s Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max are all-in-one smart displays that combine a smart speaker and touchscreen. They use the Google Assistant voice assistant to work with voice commands and can do everything the Google Nest smart speaker does and more.

Whether you’re the proud new owner of a Google Nest Hub or thinking about getting one, you want to know exactly what you can do with it. There’s a lot you can do with the Google Nest Hub, as you’ll soon learn.

1. Get a daily news briefing

Want to get a quick update on current news and events? Google Nest Hub can read and display news summaries on its screen. Just “Hey Google, what’s up?” say and you will hear and see the latest headlines and news on the screen. You can even customize your news feed from Google Home’s Android and iOS apps.

2. View weather conditions and forecasts

Interested in the weather? “Hey Google, what’s the weather like?” say and the Google Nest Hub will read you the current weather and forecast and display the upcoming forecast on the screen. Swipe the screen from right to left to view the next week’s forecast.

3. Turn on your smart home devices


Google Nest Hub controls smart home devices
Image credit: Google

Google Nest Hub is a smart home hub that can control other smart home devices. Connect your smart bulbs, smart plugs, smart doorbells, and smart thermostats, then use the Google Nest Hub to control them all via voice commands or the screen.

4. Play your favorite music


Google Nest Hub plays music
Image credit: Google

The Google Nest Hub does a great job of streaming your favorite music. You can use the smart speaker to stream music from your favorite streaming music services, including Apple Music, Deezer, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube Music.

All you need to do is sync your Google account with your music account in the Google Home app, then you can tell Google to play a specific playlist, channel, album, artist or song. Details of the currently playing track are displayed on the screen along with playback controls that allow you to pause the music or skip forward or rewind the track.

5. Listen to podcasts

Just like you can listen to music on the Google Nest Hub, you can also listen to your favorite podcasts. Just log into your favorite podcast or streaming service, call up the podcast you want, and sit back to listen. You can also use the Nest Hub to listen to audiobooks.

6. Watch videos


Google Nest Hub Watch the video
Image credit: Google

There’s something else you can do on the Google Nest Hub, not on the Google Nest smart speaker: watch videos. Yes, there’s a reason for that big screen. Use the Google Home app on your smartphone to connect to a number of video streaming accounts, and then you can call up your favorite videos to the Nest Hub with a simple voice command.

Google lets you watch videos from Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, Sling TV, and of course Google’s YouTube and YouTube TV. Say “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix” or something similar to your smart speaker and your hub will open that service and start playing.

However, you can also queue up videos on the Nest Hub. For example, you can say “Hey Google, show me some soccer videos” — sit back, relax, and enjoy related videos to keep you entertained all day. If you have a Nest Hub Max, the device will be able to recognize different voices and faces of people in your home. So if you like football but other members don’t, their video recommendations will be different.

7. Broadcast Content

In addition to being able to watch videos on Google’s Nest Hub, you can stream content there via the Google Home app. Indeed, the Nest Hub is also a Chromecast device once it’s added to the Google Home app.

Plex, YouTube, etc. use your phone to select a video from sites like , then select the broadcast icon on your phone to stream it to the Nest Hub.

8. Convert to a digital photo frame

What does the Google Nest Hub do when it’s sitting there waiting for your next command? This large display can act as a digital photo frame, taking photos from your Google Photos account and displaying them for everyone to see. Your Hub will randomly scroll through your photos and can even automatically create interesting photo montages and combinations.

9. Participate in Zoom and Google video chats


Video calling from Google Nest Hub
Image credit: Google

If you have a Google Nest Hub Max, you can use your device to participate in video chats and video meetings. Indeed, the Hub Max has an integrated webcam. The regular Google Nest Hub doesn’t have this and can’t crack video.

For now, the Hub Max supports video calls via Google Duo, Google Meet, and Zoom.

To get the most out of Google’s chat service, read our tips for improving the Google Meet experience.

You need to connect your account to your Google account through the Google Home smartphone app, then you can start a meeting by saying “Hey Google, start a meeting.”

You are then prompted to tap the Meet or Zoom card on the screen. Follow the on-screen instructions to invite others and start a meeting.

For one-on-one Google Duo calls to other Duo users, say “Hey Google, call John Smith” using the name of the person you’re calling.

If you have other Google Nest devices with or without screens in your home, you can connect them to create a high-tech intercom system. Say “Ok Google, broadcast,” then start talking and your message will be heard on all the Google Nest devices in your home.

11. Answer your doorbell


The Google Nest Hub is the answer to the Nest doorbell camera
Image credit: Google

If you have a Google Nest doorbell, you can see who is ringing the doorbell on the Google Nest Hub screen. You can then speak directly to the person who shows up at your door. You can even activate a live cam to watch what’s happening at your door.

12. Help you cook

Google Nest Hub with Gumbo Recipe

Put the Google Nest Hub in your kitchen and you can use it to cook. Find and view your favorite recipes, then review them on screen, often with step-by-step video instructions. You can even use the Hub’s voice-activated alarms and timers to make sure your cooking is as accurate as possible.

13. Track your sleep


Sleep tracking with Google Nest Hub
Image credit: Google

If you have a second-generation Google Nest Hub (not the Hub Max), you can use its smart display to monitor your sleep. Nest Hub features Soli sleep sensor technology to track your movements while you sleep. Built-in sensors detect changes in light and temperature, changes in your breathing, snoring and other noises, and other sleep disturbances without any annoying sleep monitoring equipment attached to your body.

Do this for a few nights and the Google Nest Hub will learn your sleep patterns. This allows him to make personalized recommendations to help you get a better night’s sleep. It also generates a daily report detailing the data it collects. If you have trouble sleeping, this could be a game changer.

14. Translate foreign languages

Need a little help learning key phrases in another language or easily translating text? Because the Nest Hub is powered by Google Assistant, you can translate words and phrases with Google in real time. Just say “Hey Google, be my French translator” (or any other language) and you’ll be prompted to say what you want to translate.

While translation is useful, the Nest Hub takes it a step further and displays the translation as it’s being read.

15. Hand gesture control

With Nest Hub Max or Nest Hub (2nd generation), you can control your smart display with simple hand gestures. Simply raise your hand (Nest Hub Max) or touch the air in front of the screen (Nest Hub 2nd generation) to pause what’s playing on the screen. Raise your hand again (Nest Hub Max) or tap the air again (Nest Hub) to continue reading. This feature is especially useful for people who have their Nest Hub in the kitchen and don’t want to touch it after cooking.

In addition to controlling media, you can use the same gestures to stop Google Assistant from speaking or stop timers.

16. Voice Match and Face Match


Nest Hub Max voice and face matching
Image credit: Google

If you have Nest Hub Max, Google Assistant can improve your experience by recognizing you by your voice and face. Voice Match must be enabled to use Face Match. It’s like, “Hey Google, what are the upcoming events on my calendar?” will allow Google Assistant to recognize you when you ask questions like This is especially useful in households with many people.

With Face Match enabled, Nest Hub Max can proactively show you personalized content without your request. Instead, it will show calendar events or tasks on the screen when it recognizes your face.

Google Nest Hub: More than just a smart speaker with a screen

These are just a few of the many things you can do with the Google Nest Hub. The possibilities are almost endless – if you’re not sure if there’s a hub, just say “Hey Google” and ask.

This touchscreen makes the Nest Hub more functional than a regular smart speaker.

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