One of the headline features of the Nest Hub Max is the built-in camera. With it, the Nest Hub can recognize who you are and surface specific information for your day. Naturally, you can also use it to make Google Duo or Meet video calls, but until now, it was a one-on-one affair only. Now Google is rolling out group calls to the Nest Hub Max.
Group calling is more important than ever, as more and more people work remotely while the Covid-19 pandemic continues. But thanks to everyone suddenly needing to join video conferences, webcams quickly went out of stock everywhere.
You can turn your Wyze Cam, DSLR, or even your tablet into a webcam, but it’s always nice to have even more options. And that’s where Google is stepping in. It’s rolling out group call features for both Google Duo and Google Meet to the Nest Hub Max.
If you use Google Duo, you’ll need to set up a group meeting first in the Duo mobile app. Once you have that set, you can say “Hey Google, make a group call” and tap the group meeting you want to join.
Google Meet is a little bit easier, just say “Hey Google, start a meeting” to start a new meeting, or say “Hey Google, join a meeting” to pick an existing call to join.
Much like Facebook Portal hardware, or the Xbox Kinect with Skype, Google’s software will automatically change framing to keep you in the center as you move around a room. The feature works within reason, it’s a fixed camera after all and will crop the room, but as long as you’re somewhere in the camera’s view, you’ll be visible to everyone else.
Google is also rolling out household contacts to make calling individuals easier. Going forward, once you have added contacts, you’ll be able to say “Hey Google, call Babysitter,” and it will call the specific person you have listed as “Babysitter” in your contacts.
Google says the features are already rolling out and should show up on your devices in the coming weeks. Other smart screens will follow, including those made by LG, JBL, and Lenovo.