Thursday, June 17
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Zoom calls are beginning to arrive on the Google Nest Hub Max – The Verge

Google is starting to roll out Zoom support for the Nest Hub Max smart display as an early preview for users in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, the company announced today.

People who are using a Google or Nest Wi-Fi system may see some improvements to video calls, Google also announced. It’s updating the devices to automatically be able to detect and prioritize video call traffic for Google Meet and Zoom, which may help if your video calls have been a little choppy.

As the holidays approach, it’s the perfect time for this update, as more and more people are going to be making video calls to friends and family. Zoom has been an especially popular service this year as social distancing measures and shutdowns have forced people to celebrate together remotely. The Nest Hub Max is getting Zoom after Facebook added the service to its Portal devices back in September, but before Amazon rolls it out to its Echo Show devices.

This kind of smart display is popular with people who want the functionality of a smart speaker, but want to do more than the audio-only devices allow — and that includes video calls. Facebook offers their range of Portal devices with four sizes to choose from (ranging from 8 inches to literally your TV), but you’ll have to contend with their not so privacy-friendly reputation. The Nest Hub Max, at $229, is pricier, but just plain does more, which is reflected in our review score.

Amazon’s Echo Show also reviews well for its good display, sound, and Alexa support, but doesn’t yet have support for Zoom, and it’s not clear when that’ll be coming.

Two people showing off a gingerbread house using their Google Nest Hub Max

Even Google knows that these devices are best for flexing your culinary creations.
Image: Google

If you choose to pick up the Google device, or if you already have one, you can try out the Zoom feature by linking your Zoom and Google accounts. Once you do, you can control the feature with your voice, using commands like “Hey Google, join my next meeting” or “Hey Google, start a Zoom call.”

The hands-free commands will be useful, since these devices are popular in the kitchen, so you won’t have to get dough on the display to flex your awesome Christmas cookies thanks to a year of pandemic baking.

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