Google Updates Its Nest Hub Max to Assist and Support Calling Groups

Google is making it easier to use its Nest Hub Max video display device to connect with more people on video calls and meetings.

The Nest Hub Max ($229), launched around 10 months ago, acted as Google’s entry in the battle for smart video displays with Amazon’s Echo Show and Facebook’s Portal. An update now, with the Google Duo app, allows you to make group calls of up to 32 – and up to 100 in the Google Meet app.

Initially, using Google Pair, the Nest Platform Max get-togethers maxed out from person to person calls. In the Google Duo app (available for Android and iOS) you build your groups, and then tell the Hub Max, “Hey, Google, make a group call.” Then just pick the group you want to call.

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Google is now rolling out a community video that calls in a new update to Google Meet. You can say “Hey, Google, join a meeting,” then enter the meeting code, or ask the Google Assistant, “Hey, google, join my next meeting,” and it’ll connect to what’s on your Google Calendar.

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In May, Google began making Google Meet (on Android and iOS) a paid videoconferencing service primarily for businesses and schools, available for free to give everyone another way to connect during stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders.

“During this pandemic, we have seen a need for people to have connections in larger group settings, work meetings or new habitual check-ins with family or happy hour nights with friends,” said Lilian Rincon, senior director of product management for Google Assistant. “People will now be able to easily connect with multiple people at once.”

You can also add important and frequent contacts on a speed dial feature. Once you have set this up, you can say, “Hey Google, call (the name)” or by tap on the name on your new household contacts list.

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