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Google Smart Displays Get Revamped Interface, New Homescreen

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Google has made some adjustments to the Smart Display interface. The homescreen, for starters, is now not always stark-white, and several icons are gone for a cleaner, more streamlined look.  ( Google )

At its just-wrapped up I/O developer conference, Google announced a number of features headed to Smart Displays. Over the past few days, these devices have received new clocks and a new Routines shortcut. Now, though, Google is upping the ante by rolling out a new Smart Display user interface entirely, complete with an overhauled homescreen.

Nest Hub Max devices were the first to receive this new homescreen, but regular Next Hub units are also apparently now getting it as well.

Revamped Smart Display Interface

9to5Google first noticed the rollout. The default or rest state of these Smart Displays is still the Ambient Mode or Photo Frame mode, so things remain unchanged on that part. However, when home owners tap to interact with their device, they'll be greeted by a new homescreen brimmed with cards for YouTube, Google News, audio controls, and a handful of other apps or services. Previously, the background was white, with a time and date stamp on the left-hand site in addition to a three-day weather forecast.

Now, though, the new Smart Display interface removes the ultra-bright wallpaper and features instead whatever is on the user's Ambient Mode. On first tap, this photo will be blurred as the cards show up on top. At which point, users can shuffle through the cards and get to where they need to get to. Get deeper into the carousel and the white backdrop returns.

Google has removed the dedicated weather forecast. It made the time and date stamp larger, though, and moved it to the bottom-left corner. There's still a weather widget, but it's now just an icon with a temperature, high, and low. Users can tap this to get a more detailed forecast.

Face Match

Overall, this revamped interface makes Smart Displays much more intuitive to look at and interact with. It also future-proofs devices and prepares for the Nest Hub Max, where Google plans to use Face Match, a feature that shows information such as reminders and messages specific to who's looking at the screen.

According to 9to5Google, the new layout has been rolled out to several Nest Hub device it checked, but not all of them. It's likely tied to the latest firmware, which is version 1.39154941, released Monday. To be clear, third-party Smart Displays are getting this update, including devices from Lenovo and JBL.

Has your Smart Display received this revamped layout yet? As always, if you have anything to share, feel free to sound them off in the comments section below!

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