Google Nest Hub experiments its own app launcher

The experiment is still in its early stages

Google Nest Hub experiments its own app launcher

The smart displays on the Nest Hub and Echo Show make them look like stationary tablets. But they are designed in such a way to remove that misconception. The software installed is mainly suited for voice commands with audiovisual feedback more than physical interaction. But Google is experimenting with a familiar app drawer in the Nest Hub now. 

The Nest Hub platform doesn’t have apps. Actions complete the role of apps, but they are more like simplified versions of apps. The design structure does not provide direct access to the Actions. That is to say, they cannot be accessed like launching apps on Android. But Google is planning to provide such direct access to the Actions on Nest Hub. 

A recent post on Reddit confirms the above speculation. It featured a Nest Hub Max with a new app drawer. It was similar to the stock Android or Pixel experience. A short swipe up will reveal some “Suggestions” initially and then the user can swipe to display the full grid. The “Apps” are arranged in alphabetical order similar to that in other app launchers. 

Once you tap the icons, then the Nest Hub will launch the Actions associated with it. This Actions can include viewing YouTube or making a Duo call. In the Nest Hub, these Actions are normally launched with voice commands but Google had added recommended Cards. These cards are also still accessible with a left swipe. 

With the look of it, the experiment has only just begun. The gesture recognition still needs work to be done. We don’t know whether it will become a new feature or when it will come on the Nest Hub but if added, it could change the way users look up to smart displays.