Google Nest Smart Displays Now Stream Netflix
Netflix is now streaming on Google’s Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max smart displays. People with a subscription can link their Netflix account to their Google Assistant or Google Home account to access the streaming service. The watcher can scroll on the touchscreen for what they want to watch or ask Google Assistant to open the app or start playing a specific show with a verbal command.
Netflix on Google Nest displays operates basically the same as it would on television, with some additional functions. For one thing, along with the touch and verbal commands, users can control Netflix on the Nest Hub Max with gestures thanks to the camera in the smart display. Watchers can pause or play the video by looking at the screen and holding up a hand as one example. Netflix is also compatible with Google Case, meaning that a video playing on a smartphone can be transferred from the Netflix app to a television.
Scoring Netflix is a big win for Google, one rumored to be in the works for many years now, even as its smart speakers and smart displays continue competing against other options like the Amazon EchoShow and Facebook Portal. That’s not to say other brands of smart displays won’t support Netflix eventually, but for now, Google is a step ahead. The Netflix news also comes as Google is running a major sale on a lot of Nest devices, with short, daily commercials featuring Fred Armisen and his many characters. The company is pitching the streaming service as an additional entertainment source for where people put frequently set up their smart displays, the kitchen.
“The kitchen is a popular place for smart displays in many homes, and for good reason,” Google explained in its announcement. “Whether you’re listening to music, getting the news or catching up on a popular TV show, your Nest Hub or Next Hub Max keep you entertained while you’re prepping dinner or doing the dishes. It’s also the ultimate cooking companion, with access to tons of YouTube videos ranging from cooking clips to how-to videos. And now, for the first time on any smart display, you can add watching Netflix to your list of kitchen activities.”
Streaming Smart Home
The competition over smart displays is part of the bigger smart home competition between Google and its rivals. That includes every potential connected device, including the Android TV streaming dongle and expected new Nest smart speaker, both of which had details leak early. More importantly, Netflix helps Google sell its Google Assistant-powered smart home future, as featured at the company’s Smart Home Virtual Summit. In terms of entertainment, that includes expanding the Smart Home for Entertainment Device (SHED) API to any developer who wants to integrate Google Assistant into a smart TV, video game console, or set-top box. Netflix is a headline-grabber, but as Google Assistant fits more kinds and more brands of smart home devices under its umbrella, like native support for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, it becomes easier for consumers to join and stay within the Google Assistant ecosystem.