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How To Use Your Google Home Hub as a Digital Picture Frame



  Google Home Hub displays a city at night.
Josh Hendrickson

The Google Home Hub is great for controlling smarthomes, checking weather and news, and setting alerts or timers. However, if you have not set your environment display to show your photos, you're missing out on one of the best features.

The Google Home Hub is more than a voice assistant

You may be using voice commands with your Google Home Hub, but the main feature that separates the hub from other Google Home devices is the ad. On the Home Hub's display, you can see the weather, play news with videos, step-by-step instructions on the recipe, control your smart lights, and even play YouTube videos. However, the ambient display mode of the Home Hub only appears if you are not using the hub.

With the Home Hub, Google has introduced the "Ambient EQ" light sensor to change the device Brightness and color temperature work best with the current environment. Basically, the hub should look good no matter where you place it. It's hard to overestimate how well that works, but you'll almost swear that you're looking at a printed photograph instead of a screen.

So, when you're not working with the Google Home Hub (which is probably most of the time). Why do not you show your photos? Imagine these digital picture frames a decade ago ̵

1; only in this case, the end product is not so bad.

If you have more than one Home Hub, you can even view the same photos without adding them. You can transfer them one by one to any device-your photos just need to be saved to Google Photos. You can even choose which people and pets appear on your hub.

Upload your images to Google Photos

To view your photos on your Home Hub, you must upload them to Google Photos. If you just want to see some beautiful artwork, you can turn on ambient mode on your Google Home Hub right away.

If you have not already done so, upload your images to Google Photos first. It's possible that all the photos you're interested in already exist, especially if you're using an Android phone to take pictures. If it does not, go to Google Photos and sign in with your Google Account. Then upload all the pictures you want to show on your hubs. You can also do this through the Google Photos iPhone and Android app, but if you already have all your photos on one computer, you can load everything at once from the browser.

Once you've uploaded your photos, click the search bar at the top of the screen (to the left of the Upload button). You will see a number of faces. Click and label these faces to group your photos by people. This will help later if you want your Google Home Hub to display specific people (such as family or pets).

Take time to identify people in multiple pictures, especially children who may have photos in different stages of life. Initially, Google does not recognize one person at the age of four, and then at the age of six, as the same person. However, if you mark each with the same name, the merging of the images will be offered. Keep up the good work, and eventually Google will learn and show children how to grow, even if you have not found specific photos. Impressively, we've also seen that Google recognizes a person with a hidden face by looking at the outfits they wear. Google calls this feature live albums and is not limited to the Google Home Hub. You can also share these albums with the Friends and Family Google Photos app.

Unfortunately Face Grouping is not available in the UK, Illinois or Texas.

Enable environment mode on your Google Home Hub [19659005]   The Google Home app displays the header of the Living Room ad with the text

You can set the environment mode for each Google Home Hub you use use. First, open the Google Home app on your phone, scroll to your Google Home device, and tap the icon just above the words "play music." In this example we use a hub called Kitchen Display.

 Google Home app with kitchen display option (a named Google Home Hub)

If you have an option to personalize your environment in the lower-left corner, tap it. Otherwise, tap the "More Options" menu (which looks like three vertical dots) and then "Environment Mode Settings."

The next screen lets you choose what to show on your Google Home Hub in ambient mode – Google Photos, Art Gallery, Full Screen Clock or Experimental. Google Photos pulls photos from your Google Photos albums. The art gallery displays images selected by Google, such as fine art, NASA-generated images, city images, etc. The full-screen clock is exactly what it sounds like. You will always see one clock. Experimentation retrieves images from your linked Facebook or Flickr accounts (this may change as this is experimental.)

In this example, we choose Google Photos to display our personal photos.

 Ambient Mode settings with options for Google Photos, Art Gallery, etc.

If you already have albums, you can select them. Alternatively, try out the latest highlights based on Google's algorithms to see interesting photos you've taken recently. Unfortunately, A.I. can learn things, but it does not understand them, so this can lead to strange results, such as a collage of carpet patterns.

In this example, we tap on "Select family and friends" and select four people for the highlight. After you select the people you want to use, Google will create a new album called "Family and Friends" that you can use with other Google Home Hubs. Tap the back arrow in the upper left corner to exit this screen once you have made your choice.

Because this feature relies on face grouping, the Family & Friends album feature is not available in the UK, Illinois. or Texas.

 Google Photos Preferences Calling Option

Now we are back in Ambient Mode settings, scrolling down to find more setting options. Here you can switch weather, time and personal photo data on and off. The first two, weather and time, are self-explanatory. Personal Photo Data adds a marker to the ad that shows which album the photo came from and to whom it belongs (if you share your Google Photos).

If you set "Personal Photo Curation" to "Live Albums Only" Google is trying to discard blurry or poorly exposed photos. If you leave the setting under "All albums", all photos are displayed well and poorly. Below these options you will find the speed of the slideshow. We recommend setting this value to one minute, but choose what suits you best. Choose your preferred options and tap the back arrow in the upper left corner.

 Additional environment mode settings with environmental conditions and other options

You're done! You must repeat these steps for all other Google Home Hubs. If you want to use the same list of people you selected above, select the Friends & Family album instead of the Family & Friends option. Take a look at your work and be amazed at how well your pictures look on this display. When you turn off the lights in the room, the Home Hub automatically dimmers and displays the clock instead.


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