Google seems to finally be getting serious about Nest Hub apps
At their core, Google’s smart displays are permanently-docked tablets designed to stay in a single location in your home. Despite featuring screen sizes large enough to run full-blown Android, they’re using special software perfect for glanceable information like cards and slideshows. However, a new video showing a fresh app UI for the Nest Hub series could be a preview of more functionality coming soon.
This early build was shown off in a video on the Google Home subreddit today by Reddit user linardni. Their Nest Hub features a full app tray accessible from the bottom of the device when swiping up. Although it’s limited to a grid of six app icons to start, tapping on a “See All” button gives complete access to an app drawer-esque menu. From there, the entire list of installed services on the Hub is available, listed alphabetically just as on Android.
Outside of the usual system apps like Weather, Timer, and Assistant, some of the included app icons include Netflix and Zoom. It seems as though it’s still early in testing, as the actual act of pulling up the app tray looks difficult and buggy.
Technically, Google’s smart displays don’t even have apps at the moment — they have “Actions,” which function like simplified programs. If this becomes official, it will mark a major shift for the Nest Hub series, becoming more tablet-like than ever before. It also comes on the heels of a recent upgrade to Fuchsia, as smart hubs became the first consumer device to run Google’s latest operating system. Whether this change in menu navigation is related remains to be seen, but regardless, it seems like the Nest Hub series is in the midst of another significant software renovation.