Author Archives: Chris Chan

Use Google Nest to fill your home with holiday music

Once Thanksgiving dinner has been eaten and the dishes are cleared, the holiday season has begun—and for my family, that means you’re officially allowed to start playing Christmas music. A moment too soon, and you’ll have a revolt on your hands, but once the jingle bells start, there’s hardly a silent night...or a silent second, for that matter. 

In the past, I’ve loved going to concerts during the holidays. This year, I don’t want my new baby daughter to miss out on the music, so the show must—and can—go on. Here are a few simple ways that Google can help you host your own in-home holiday concert. You’ll need a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker (like the new Google Nest Audio, or Google Nest Hub Max) and a compatible music streaming service account, like YouTube Music or Spotify). Plus, we’ll include some bonus tips for anyone who has multiple Google-powered smart speakers. 

Step 1. Start by setting up your whole home system so you can fill your whole home with holiday cheer. I have a Nest Hub Max in the kitchen (great for a little background music when I’m cooking), a Google Home Max in the living room (for maximum sound), a Nest Hub in my home office (I like being able to see family photos on the screen), a Nest Audio in the nursery (we try to keep screens out of there, but we love some music for lullabies), a stereo pair of Nest Audios in the master bedroom (great for late night listening) and a Nest Mini in the guest bedroom (which this year, will probably be where we end up wrapping presents). 

Step 2. Set up your music. It's the holidays and I feel nostalgic, so I’m creating a mix of soundtracks from some classic holiday movies. Of course, I will also be making a pop hits playlist, too, because all I want for Christmas get the idea.

Step 3. Stream away. I'll start in the kitchen with a simple command: "Play my holiday playlist.” And with multi-room control, I'll add the living room so my family can enjoy the music while they’re decorating the tree. When it's time for dinner, I'll add every room so the whole home is filled with cheer. 

Step 4. For optimal holiday music magic, use Google Assistant on your Nest device to create a routine: In my house, at 5 p.m. every evening, my classic Christmas playlist turns on in my office and the lights on the tree go on (with a compatible smart switch or lights). It’s a cheery way to log off for the evening. 

Whether you dim the lights and light a fire to enjoy your at-home concert in the living room or using multiple speakers to move music around the house while you do the same, the holiday jams will have never sounded better.

House music: New multi-room audio control from Nest

As a new parent, my Nest home audio system has become a go-to, whether it’s to keep my daughter entertained during bathtime with some music...or keep myself entertained with a podcast while I’m making a bottle at 3 a.m. Controlling the audio throughout my home, no matter who’s listening, has been incredibly helpful. 

Today, we’re expanding that control. You can already manually group Nest devices in order to play the same music on various speakers at the same time, and now we’re launching multi-room control so you can dynamically group multiple cast-enabled Nest devices (speakers, Smart Displays, Chromecasts) in real-time to fill multiple rooms with music. Multi-room control works with your favorite audio apps, including YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora and more. If you have more than one Google Assistant-enabled smart speaker or Smart Display, tap the icon in the bottom left corner of the screen when any audio content is playing, and you’ll easily be able to add or remove your other devices throughout your home.

This update helps Nest devices come together as a whole-home audio system. Here are a few other ways I take advantage of mine:  

  • Move music from one room to another: Stream transfer lets you easily move music, videos, podcasts and more between compatible devices in your home using your voice, the Google Home app or the touchscreen on your Nest smart display.

  • Experience stereo sound: Stereo pair two Nest Mini or Google Home Max devices in the Google Home app for room-filling sound and even more immersive left and right channel separation. 

  • Get new music recommendations: YouTube Music and Spotify Premium subscribers can ask, “Hey Google, recommend some music” and Google Assistant will offer multiple choices from artists and genres that they like, and others like them to choose from.

The multi-room control interface will start rolling out to all Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max and other compatible Assistant-enabled Smart Displays today, and the same functionality will be coming to the Google Home app later this fall. 

Move your music between rooms with stream transfer

Since 2013, we’ve been working to make it easier for people to play music and watch their favorite shows and videos at home.  It started when we first launched Chromecast, which lets people get content from their phones to their TVs through a simple dongle. It continued with Google Home in 2016, which let people stream music effortlessly with a simple command — “OK Google, play music.” And with the newest member of our family, Nest Hub Max, users now have the ultimate smart display for streaming their favorite shows and videos.

Now that millions of users have multiple TVs, smart speakers and smart displays (some in every room!) we wanted to make it easy for people to control their media as they moved from room to room.

Stream transfer is a new feature that lets you easily move music, videos, podcasts and more between compatible devices in your home using your voice, the Google Home app or the touchscreen on your Nest smart display.

Here’s how you can give it a try: 

  • Move your music with the Google Assistant: Start playing music on the Google Home Mini in your kitchen, and keep the vibe going in the living room. Just say, “Hey Google, move the music to the living room speaker.”
  • Control your entertainment with the Google Home app: Tap the cast button to see all the devices in your home, then choose which device or group you’d like to move your podcast or music to. 
  • Move YouTube videos between your Nest smart display and Chromecast-enabled TV: Browse for your favorite YouTube videos on Nest Hub Max, and tap the cast control on the screen to move it to your Chromecast-connected TV. Or, say “Hey Google, play it on living room TV.”
  • Fill your home with music: If you have more than one Google Home and Nest smart speaker or display, you can set up a speaker group in the Home App. Transfer music from a single speaker to the speaker group to fill your whole home with music. 

Stream transfer is compatible with your favorite audio apps, including YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. For video, you can enjoy the millions of videos available on YouTube. Stream transfer starts rolling out across all Chromecasts and Google Home and Nest smart speakers and displays today. 

Brains, beauty and beats: Google Home Max is here

Just in time for the holidays, Google Home Max is now available online from Best Buy, the Google Store, Verizon and Walmart. Max brings together the convenience of controlling your music with your voice, with premium, high quality audio.

Google Home Max sounds pretty amazing right out of the box because it’s our first speaker with Smart Sound. Powered by Google’s artificial intelligence (AI), Smart Sound means Max can automatically adapt itself based on where it's placed in the room. There’s no extra setup or testing required. Even if you move Max from one spot to another, it’ll continuously tune itself to the room, so your music will sound one step closer to the studio.

Google Home Max | Introducing Smart Sound

We thought through each detail to make sure that every audio-obsessed music-junkie you know will love Google Home Max. Here’s why:

  1. Built for premium sound: Google Home Max has two 4.5-inch high-excursion woofers that’ll deliver deep, powerful bass. And Max is loud…really loud. It’s 20 times more powerful than Google Home, so it will fill any room in your home with amazing audio.

  2. More music: Max allows you to use your voice to control popular services like Spotify Free and Premium, YouTube Music, Google Play Music or Pandora, and with Chromecast built in, you can cast from your phone from many more services. For all of your other music and devices, Max has support for both Bluetooth® and aux-in. Plug in your record player and dust off your vinyl.

  3. Your very own DJ: With the Google Assistant built in, Max is always ready to start your favorite song, pause or turn it up, all with just your voice. Can’t quite remember that name of that famous holiday favorite? Your Assistant can find it with just a few small details. Just ask, “Hey Google, play that song that goes, ‘Chestnuts roasting...’” Or too early for Christmas tunes? Just ask, “Ok Google, play ‘Discover Weekly’ from Spotify’” (for some playlists, you might need a subscription).

  4. Designed for your home: Google Home Max was designed to be versatile and seamlessly blend in with your home’s decor. You can stand it up vertically or place it horizontally to fit in your space. It’s available in two colors, Chalk and Charcoal, and was made with beautiful yet durable fabric, developed from scratch to allow your music to be heard without distortion.

  5. Turn it up: With Max’s integrated far-field microphones and speech recognition technology, it can hear you from across the room, even when your music is blasting.

  6. Multi-room: Group all of your Google Home devices through the Google Home app and get your favorite holiday playlist going in every room. You can even wirelessly pair two Maxes together for stereo sound.

  7. Control your smart home: Make premium sound the center of your smart home. Google Home Max works with more than 150 home automation brands and more than 1,000 devices—including Nest, Belkin Wemo and Philips Hue. Plus, Google Home Max can complete two tasks at once. If you have a compatible smart plug, try saying, “Hey Google, turn on the Christmas tree and play Jingle Bells.”

Check out Google Home Max in person at select Verizon retail locations and at the Made by Google pop-up stores in New York City and Los Angeles. This holiday season, Google Home Max is the perfect gift for music lovers on your holiday list. Or maybe it’s the perfect gift from you, to you. We won’t judge.