What you need to know
- Google is rumored to have a new Nest Hub display in the works, which could feature a detachable display.
- Not much it known about the alleged smart display, but Android 13 could play a big role due to its large-screen optimizations.
- Esper speculates that Google is prepping work in Android 13 to extend to future Nest Hub displays.
News that a new Nest Hub smart display is in the works has begun circulating, with the device rumored to feature a detachable display. Information on the device is scarce, but evidence is mounting that Android 13 could potentially play a major role in the new device's form factor.
Speculation about Android 13 on smart displays comes from Mishaal Rahman, the senior technical editor at Esper. With the second developer preview already out, those trying it out have had time to dive into the latest features Google is preparing for the upcoming release. Rahman writes that many of these are building on the large-screen improvements that we're seeing with Android 12L and that much of what's included seems targeted at smart displays.
This includes features such as a revamped screen saver with support for complications, meaning it will be able to display information such as time-date, weather, and more — a staple feature of the best smart displays. He also points out features like Media Tap to Transfer for quickly moving playback between devices, a "communal mode" for sharing certain apps between user profiles, cross-device calling, and an ambient API that will allow apps to detect sleeping events, not unlike what Google can already achieve with the Soli-powered Nest Hub 2nd Gen.
Rahman also points out that Android 13 is extending its SensorPrivacyManager API that lets developers check if a device supports software toggles to turn off camera and mic sensors, something that was introduced with Android 12. Apparently, this may also include hardware toggles, something you don't really see on smartphones or many tablets, but something is increasingly common on smart displays.
Rahman notes that while none of this is proof that the next Nest Hub will actually be powered by Android 13, the timing does line up if Google does launch the new device in 2022, as 9to5Google suggests. And while smart displays aren't necessarily used in the same vein as traditional tablets, features like the new app launcher on Nest Hub displays indicate that Google is trying to lean more in that direction.
There's still time before Android 13 makes its official and stable debut, so not every feature may make it to the final version. However, we'll have more of an idea of Google's plans when the beta launches, which will likely be during Google I/O, when the company could reveal its plans for future Nest displays.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.