What you need to know
- Google announced that "joining meetings will no longer be available" on the Nest Hub Max beginning September 28, either with Google Meet or Zoom.
- Google says that Duo calling will remain supported on the smart display.
- The Google Duo app became Google Meet in 2022, making this shift confusing for Nest Hub Max owners.
Four years after the Nest Hub Max launched, Google is removing one of its linchpin features: video conferencing. Google Meet and Zoom will no longer be supported by the end of September. And although Google has assured that you'll still have access to video calls, they will only work via a deprecated app: Google Duo.
A Google Home subreddit thread first brought attention to the news; a Nest Hub Max owner joined a Meet meeting and received a prompt that "Joining meetings will no longer be available on this device starting September 28."
9to5Google reached out to Google and was informed that the Nest Hub Max "will still offer video (and audio) calls via Google Duo." That's despite the fact that Google Meet and Duo merged in 2022, and Duo no longer exists as a separate app.
In other words, you can still make one-on-one calls with Google contacts, but you won't be able to join Meet meetings shared with you or schedule your own.
"As we continue to make Google Assistant even more helpful, we’re prioritizing the features people love and exploring new ways to build generative AI capabilities into their Assistant experience," a Google spokesperson told 9to5Google. "As a result, some underutilized features will no longer be supported."
At first glance, it's not clear how Google Assistant is related to Google Meet. But we've seen tons of AI-focused upgrades to Meet in recent months, such as AI-generated backgrounds and the Duet AI that joins meetings for you and gives you "studio lighting" and "face detection." Perhaps making these tools work on older hardware proved prohibitively difficult.
Of course, Google Assistant and Zoom have nothing to do with each other. Even though Zoom will still work on the Pixel Tablet, this Zoom support page recommends Nest Hub Max owners switch to an iPad — which feels like an intentional snub.
Since Duo functionality essentially hasn't changed since Google killed and merged it with Meet, the Nest Hub Max should have no trouble using it. But this is certainly a case of Google's graveyard of apps working against it: after convincing people that Duo no longer mattered, it's now hoping people won't mind losing Meet because they still have Duo.
We also have to question Google's claim that Google Meet and Zoom were "underutilized" on the Nest Hub Max.
That said, we polled the three Nest Hub Max-owning members of the Android Central team about the news, and all three admitted they'd either "never" used Meet or Zoom or only used them once as a review test.
On the other hand, plenty of responders in the Reddit thread expressed fury at the news, claiming that "it's the only reason I purchased one" or that they purchased it for tech-illiterate family members specifically for video calls.
Again, you'll still have access to Duo video calling on the Nest Hub Max. This elaborate Google help page details how to use Duo calling on the smart display. But removing the two main videoconferencing apps everyone is familiar with (for a mostly dead Duo app) arguably proves that Google is starting to prioritize the new Pixel Tablet to the detriment of its long-time Nest Hub Max owners.
For now, we recently tested how the Nest Hub Max and Pixel Tablet compare for family use and found that both have their pros and cons.
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Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.