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Google Nest Hub Max gains group video conferencing support

Group calling is a popular feature on many devices, especially in today’s socially-distanced world. However, until today, Google’s Nest Hub Max could not make group calls — unlike its competitor, the Amazon Echo Show, the Nest Hub Max could only make one-on-one calls.

Today, Google introduced a new feature: “Hey Google, make a group call.” The new feature supports up to 32 people on a single Google Duo call. All users have to do is use the Google Duo app to create groups. When you give Google the command to make a voice call, you tap the group you want to call. Nest Hub Max group calls utilize the device’s auto-framing capabilities to keep you in the picture.

Group calls are not solely limited to casual use, either. With so many people now working from home, tools like Google Meet have seen increased use between companies for meetings. Rather than relying on a webcam, the group call feature allows users to continue to use their computer and conduct meetings through the Nest Hub Max. This feature with Google Meet isn’t fully implemented yet; Google says Beta support is rolling out for G Suite accounts.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

The main advantage of group calling using Google Meet is that you’ll be able to connect with up to 100 people for everything from fitness classes to book clubs. This feature could be used for educational purposes, as well; for example, teachers could use it to teach classes remotely. To use this feature, all you have to say is “Hey Google, start a meeting.” You can also say “Hey Google, join a meeting.”

If you have another call lined up on your Google calendar, you can say “Hey Google, join my next meeting” to be automatically connected to the call.

In addition to the Nest Hub Max, Duo group calling will also be available on other Google-compatible smart displays like the LG XBOOM Smart Display, the JBL Link View, and Lenovo’s 8- and 10-inch displays. However, Google Meet group calling is launching exclusively first on the Nest Hub Max. Either way, you can leverage Google’s mighty smart display for collaborations.

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Patrick Hearn
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