Using The Nest Hub Max Camera
One of the biggest changes brought by the Nest Hub Max is the addition of a front-facing camera. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea (you can cover it up with tape if you like), it brings a couple of new options to getting more out of your smart display.
The two most noteworthy features with the camera are the ability to make video calls and control the device with hand gestures. Though phone calls can be made on all of Google’s smart speakers, this is the first time video calls have been possible, and it’s also the first time that a Google smart speaker has featured gesture control.
Making Video Calls With Nest Hub Max
Making video calls with the Nest Hub Max is pretty simple (like everything else this device does) but it does require setting up a Google Duo account first. Duo is Google’s phone and video call service; you can set it up using your existing Google Account.
First, open the Google Home app on your mobile device and click Account in the bottom right corner of the screen. Scroll down and select Settings, then More settings, Services, Voice and video calls, and Video and voice apps. Here you should see a Google Duo option – tap it and set up your Duo account.
Once you’ve done this, all you’ll need to do to make a video call is say, “Ok Google, video call <John>.” To end the call, just say, “End call,” at any point.
The Nest Hub Max Gestures
The Nest Hub Max camera also allows you to control your device using gestures. This feature is still pretty simple for now (there’s only one gesture) but we’re hoping to see it become more useful as time goes on.
First, you’ll need Camera Sensing enabled. To do this, tap your Nest Hub Max in the Google Home app, tap the Settings icon, scroll down and select Recognition & Personalization, and make sure that the Camera Sensing option is in the On position.
Once you’ve done that, you can play or pause media that’s playing on the Max by looking at the camera and raising your hand with a flat palm. It’s not 100% reliable and requires you to be within about 10 ft. of the device, but it’s pretty slick when it works.
Use Face Match For A Personal Touch
Finally, another neat feature of the Nest Hub Max’s camera is Face Match. This feature detects who is using the Max using the camera and a handful of facial recognition algorithms. The Max then displays relevant information to the user, like calendar events and reminders.
Once again, we’re going to go into the Nest Hub Max’s Settings on the Google Home app, choose Recognition & Personalization, scroll to the bottom and tap Face Match. On the next page, click the “+” symbol, make sure your Nest Hub Max is selected, and tap Continue. From there, follow the prompts to finish setting up Face Match.
Though not for everyone, family and roommates that share a Nest Hub Max should be able to get some extra use and personalization out of this feature.
Using The Big Screen
Aside from the camera, the second most significant change is the screen size of the Nest Hub Max. The 10″ screen is just as big as an iPad, while the screen on the standard Nest Hub is just a little bigger than the average phone screen.
You can get the most out of this screen by displaying it in the kitchen or living room and using it to watch shows, make video calls, check your security camera feeds, and cast media from your other devices.
Set Up Photo Frame
One of the best ways to make use of the Nest Hub Max’s screen is through Photo Frame. This is one of the simplest features on the device, but surprisingly one of the best. Photo Frame allows you to turn your Google display into a digital picture frame using your Google Photos account.
To get started, make sure that your Google Photos account and Google Home account are one and the same. If they are, create an album on Google Photos of the pictures you’d like to use with your Nest Hub Max.
Once you’ve done that, open the Google Home app, select your Nest Hub Max, tap Settings in the top right, scroll down about halfway until you see Photo Frame, and tap it. On the next screen, choose Google Photos at the top of the page, choose the album you just created, and you’re good to go.
You can adjust settings like Slideshow speed and how portrait photos are displayed, but even as is, you should now see an album of your photos displayed on the Max’s large screen.
New Device, Same Great Assistant
Alongside all of these new features comes the enduring reliability of the Google Assistant, which remains one of the best smart assistants available. The Nest Hub Max is a beautiful device with a lot to offer, so start exploring it for yourself and using it to its full potential.