Google Nest multi-room

Google gives Nest multi-room audio control across its devices

The feature means you can turn music off, and on, live as you wish

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Google just gave more audio control to Nest owners, letting them add or remove speakers in the moment when they want to play music throughout their space. The feature is live today on select devices, says Google, and will let people expand the rooms where music can be heard, as they see fit.

While you can already group Nest devices together, and create a pod that plays music and audio on those speakers every time, this feature is much more flexible. Previously, you would add speakers together and create a preset group. You can then say, "Google, play music downstairs," and all speakers previously grouped in this collection would start playing. (Amazon's Alexa has a similar feature.) This new ability removes that set-up — now you can just decide where you want to play music, and make it a different device each time.

An easy way you'll be able to launch this is to go into the app, touch the icon on the bottom left of the screen showing audio content playing, and simply turn on or off a speaker, as long as you have more than one Google Assistant-enabled device. You'll also be able to control this feature through a Nest smart display, like the Nest Hub Max. Google isn't planning, right now, on voice support for this feature through Google Assistant, but you can always ask to play music on a specific device by asking The Assistant to, for example, "Move the music to the backroom speaker."

Nest Mini smart speaker with Google AssistantNest devices, including the Nest Mini, can take advantage of the new feature Google

The new ability works on any Nest device, from a Nest Mini to a Google Home (currently not available on Google's site), and also on Chromecast as well as smart displays. You'll also be able to play from a variety of different music services, including YouTube Music, Pandora, Spotify and more. For now, this includes Google Play Music, but that service is folding down by the end of 2020. (And if you want to know how to switch to YouTube Music, we have instructions to take you through that process step by step.)

Starting today, people can use the feature on Google Assistant-enabled smart displays, including the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, which also includes the line of Lenovo Smart Displays with Google Assistant, Google has confirmed.

We just checked, and you can certainly still play music directly through the app to Nest devices, like a Nest Wifi point, from the app but we couldn't see the ability to add another device, live, to simultaneously stream. And Google says that's because it will be expanding the ability into the Google Home app later in the fall.

Check out The GearBrain, our smart home compatibility checker to see the other compatible products that work with Google Assistant enabled devices.

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