Google Smart Displays update brings new alarm, cooking and Nest features

Waking up just got easier

Smart Displays get a bunch more features

Google just beefed up Smart Displays with a handful of good new features before Black Friday, but now it's going back for seconds with another round of updates to make them more useful.

The big update here is a new control strip that you can view with a quick swipe up. You'll get sliders for volume and brightness, and there are also a number of other options. The best one is a new alarm shortcut that'll allow you to either create or manage an alarm with a couple taps.

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Other than using your voice, this is now the quickest way to create an alarm on a Smart Display. This is especially useful for when your spouse is sleeping and you don't want to wake them up by talking to Google Assistant.

Another big improvement is My Cookbook, which will save your recommended and favorite recipes. Some smaller improvements include the ability to use two-way talk by touch if you've got a Nest Hello. And you can also do some photo management, favoriting and removing photos from your albums.

Google has also put in some nips and tucks, like timing out faster to Dark Screen when in low light, support for "Turn off the screen", and a bigger dark screen clock face.

There is, unfortunately, a bit of a catch here: the update is only rolling out for a couple of displays. If you've got a Lenovo Smart Display, you're in luck. If you're also a member of Google's Preview Program, you'll get the update on your Google Home Hub. Otherwise, you're going to have to wait longer for the update to arrive.

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