It was an unexpected move from Google.
Update, August 19 (12:30 pm ET): Zoom is coming to the Amazon Echo Show and Facebook Portal as well.
What you need to know
- Google will add Zoom support to the Nest Hub and other Assistant-enabled smart displays.
- Buyers will be able to use them as easily as they can Google Meet or Duo.
- Google says to expect the update by the end of the year.
While you can use either Google Meet or Duo to make video calls on Nest Hub smart displays, in the future, Google will be adding support for a competing service, Zoom.
Google announced on Wednesday:
Zoom is coming to Assistant-enabled Smart Displays, including Nest Hub Max, by the end of the year. […]Anyone with a Zoom account—whether it’s free or paid—will be able to join a video call from their Hub Max or other Assistant-enabled Smart Display. With Meet or Zoom, you can easily move from one call to the next.
While Google Duo and Meet were expected on the platform, Zoom comes as a bit of a surprise. On the other hand, Google has never shied away from supporting competitors where it made sense in a way certain rival companies would not. Zoom, for its part, is used widely enough that an addition to the Nest Hub is probably worth more to Google and their customers than keeping it locked down to Meet and Duo, even as Google’s plans for that duo (ahem) are uncertain.
Lilian Rincon, Senior Director of Product Management, Google Assistant said as much:
One of the most popular ways people use Assistant-enabled smart displays is for video calling, and we want people to be able to use the video calling service of their choice to keep in touch with friends and family. Nest Hub Max and Google Assistant offer a number of ways to stay connected, and we are excited to bring even more options for our users.
You’ll have to wait a little bit for Zoom though, Google says the update is coming at the end of the year.
Update, August 19 (12:30 pm ET) — Zoom is coming to the Amazon Echo Show and Facebook Portal too
Zoom also announced that it would be coming to other smart home devices including the Amazon Echo Show and the Facebook Portal. Zoom will land on the Portal Mini, Portal and Portal+ from September. It will add support for Portal TV in the future. Zoom will start rolling out on the Echo Show 8 in the U.S. at an unspecified time later in the year. It will come to other Echo Show devices later.
Oded Gal, Chief Product Officer at Zoom said:
We’re excited to bring Zoom to these popular devices. It’s more apparent than ever that people are looking for easy-to-use displays for their video communications needs, both professionally and personally.”
Google Nest Hub Max
The Google Nest Hub Max, with a large roomy display, is a perfect video-calling machine. We found the sound quality acceptable as well in our review.