But it can also act as a television, thanks to support for YouTube TV, and YouTube itself.
- How to get started with the Google Assistant: A complete guide
- Which smart speaker or display is right for you? 18 top options for 2020
- How to send video from phone to TV using Google Chromecast
First let's look at YouTube on its own. There are two ways to access the free video streaming service on your Google or Nest Hub display.
The quickest way is to speak to the Google Assistant. Just say: "Hey Google, open YouTube" to open the app and view suggestions of videos to watch, based on your viewing habits and the channels you are subscribed to. You can then use the touch screen to navigate around the interface.
Taking this a step further, you can ask the Google Assistant for videos on a certain subject, or from a specific YouTube channel. The video is then controlled by saying: "Hey Google, pause/play", and you can return to the hub's home screen by saying: "Hey Google, stop".
But using a voice assistant for browsing YouTube isn't perfect, especially when trying to watch a specific video you have in mind. This is when it makes more sense to cast the video from your smartphone.
This works just like it does with a Chromecast dongle or TV with Chromecast built-in. Simply open the YouTube app on your phone, then tap on the Chromecast icon in the top-right corner and you'll see all of your home's Google/Nest smart displays listed. Tap on the one you want, and the YouTube app will open on that screen.
Now just navigate on your phone to the video you want, tap play, and it'll begin on the Google/Nest display. You can then continue controlling it on your phone, or speak aloud to the Google Assistant to play/pause, change the volume, play something else, or close the YouTube app and stop casting.
Using YouTube TV on your Google/Nest smart display
It's also possible to watch live TV on your Google or Nest smart display, thanks to YouTube TV. You will need a subscription for this, priced at $64.99 a month, and this gives you access to over 85 channels, including NBA and MLB networks, plus PBS, BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon.
YouTube TV works on your television, smartphone, tablet and computer too, plus via most streaming devices. But if you don't have a television in the kitchen, for example, the Nest Hub or Hub Max can double as a compact TV for when you're cooking but don't want to miss the game.
To get started, say: "Hey Google, go to YouTube TV", then ask the Assistant to show you the TV guide, suggest a channel to watch, or open a specific channel of your choice. You can also tap and swipe at the display to switch between channels and find the content you want.
GearBrain compares the Nest Mini to the Google Home Mini www.youtube.com