Google’s Pixel Tablet can now show you when someone’s at your Nest doorbell

The Google Pixel Tablet is getting an update that will make it slightly more useful as a smart home device. In a blog post published today, Google said the $400 Pixel Tablet can now pull up a livestream from a Nest video doorbell to show who’s at the front door and give you the option to talk to them or send a quick response.

The feature — which was first teased this summer — works with all Nest doorbells, including the first-gen and second-gen wired versions and the Nest Doorbell battery, and is part of the Google Home Public Preview. The tablet needs to be locked and docked on its charging speaker dock to show a full screen view.

Considering Google Nest Hub smart displays have had the ability to announce visitors and pull up a live view from your doorbell for years, its omission when the Pixel Tablet launched last year was baffling. But it was in line with the way Google presented its new tablet for the home as decidedly not a smart display.

The Nest Doorbell now works with the Pixel Tablet.
Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy / The Verge

I was also sad that Google didn’t give the 11-inch tablet the option of an always-on smart home control display, such as Amazon has done with the Echo Hub. Instead, we got a shortcut to a “home panel” with a fiddly UI.

But with this new update, at least some of that missing functionality is here. And, who knows? Maybe the update is an indication that a second generation of the Pixel Tablet is in the works, and perhaps it will be everything the first-gen isn’t, at least when it comes to the smart home.

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