How to set up a Google Nest Hub Max

You just forked over a cool $230 to get your hands on what’s arguably the best smart display around, so the excitement in owning the Google Nest Hub Max is certainly undeniable. On the surface, it may look like just a larger-sized version of the Nest Hub, but there’s more to it than just size. Yes, it does offer the same core functions, since it’s powered by the Google Assistant, but there are a few things you should do right after you unbox the device.

Before you start placing those video calls, or think about what photos you want to display, or start controlling and accessing all of your connected smart home gadgets, we’ll break down how to set up your Google Nest Hub Max. Let’s get started!

Additional Nest Hub Max Guides

Step 1: Remove it from the box

Before anything else, you’ll have to obviously remove the Google Nest Hub Max from the packaging. There’s an included quick start guide that shows step-by-step instructions on how to connect the power supply to the Nest Hub Max. Then again, you’ll want to think about where you want to place the smart display before connecting its power source. Once you connect the power chord to an outlet, the Nest Hub Max will automatically turn on.

Nest Hub Max front
John Velasco/Digital Trends

Step 2: Download the Google Home app

If you’re an Android user, then chances are your smartphone already has the Google Home app pre-installed. If not, you’ll want to head on over to the Google Play Store to download it. Alternatively, iOS users will need to download the app through the App Store. And oh yeah, it’s a free download!

Besides that, you’ll also want to download the Nest app, since it offers advanced features you can access that aren’t available through the Google Home app — such as viewing the history log, setting up activity zones, recognizing familiar faces, and much more.

Step 3: Connect the Nest Hub Max to Wi-Fi via the app

In order to establish a connection, you will need to connect the Google Nest Hub Max to your home’s Wi-Fi network using the Google Home app. This is accomplished by following the steps below.

  1. Tap on the plus button at the top of the Home screen.
  2. Choose the Set Up Device option.
  3. Select the New Devices option on the next screen because you’re setting it up for the first time
  4. Choose a home for your Nest Hub Max. If you have multiple homes associated to your Google Account, you can specify what home you want it to be a part of. If not, the app will look for nearby Google Nest devices.
  5. Select the Nest Hub Max from the list in the bottom right corner of the Nest Hub Max screen and then click on Next.
  6. You’ll be asked what room the Nest Hub Max will be located in, so choose the correct one from the list.
  7. Choose your home’s Wi-Fi network from the list. Once selected, the Nest Hub Max will attempt to connect to your network — ending this part of the setup process.

Step 4: Enabling a few key features

Once the Nest Hub Max is connected via Wi-Fi, there are some additional recommended features you’ll be asked to enable to get the most out of the smart display. They include the following below.

  • Camera sensing features: With the addition of a built-in camera, the Nest Hub Max can detect faces and gestures to help personalize and control the experience beyond just voice actions. Take for example Face Match, which will recognize faces and display relevant content. There are also Quick Gestures that will pause/play videos by using hand gestures.
  • Duo video calling and messaging: In order to place and accept video calls on the Nest Hub Max, you’ll need to set up a Google Duo account.
  • YouTube TV: With an ample sized screen, the Nest Hub Max is a good distraction for watching videos, like those on YouTube TV. Yes, it requires a subscription, but if you don’t, you can sign up for a free trial!
  • Built-in Nest Cam: The Nest Hub Max doubles as a security system as well, so you’ll see a prompt to set up this optional feature in the Home app. You’ll be able to tap into the live stream at any time and even conduct two-way conversations.
Nest Hub Max Home App
John Velasco/Digital Trends

Step 5: Start using your Nest Hub Max

Don’t be intimidated by all those previous steps because honestly, it’s a straightforward process that takes less than 10 minutes to get the Nest Hub Max up and running. Most people who already own other Google Assistant-powered devices, like the Google Home and Google Home mini, will be familiar with interacting with Google Assistant through voice actions. Want to know what the weather is like outside? Just say, “Hey Google, what’s the weather like?” Or how about your upcoming appointments? Then say, “Hey Google, what’s on my calendar?” It’s that simple.

Nest Hub Max
John Velasco/Digital Trends

There’s so much more that you can do with the Google Nest Hub Max, but you’ll want to get acquainted with the interface before you dive into deeper things. It’s arranged in a fairly simple layout, as tapping on the screen will bring up a variety of cards you can scroll through. Another menu you’ll frequently visit is the Home View panel, which is accessed at any time by swiping down from the top portion of the display. You’ll have access to turning on/off lights, setting up routines, sending a broadcast message to other speakers at home, and much more!

To learn more about some of the Google Nest Hub Max’s various features, we suggest reading some of our tips and tricks guide.

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