Google, which said in August that it would bring Zoom to its video display units before the end of the year, sort of made good on that promise Monday.
The company announced an “early preview,” to select users of the Nest Hub Max video display. But the preview is very limited to new members.
Google declined to give a date for when the feature would be available to the general public. “Keep an eye out for this new video calling option,” is as specific as Google would get, in a company blog post.
Zoom was named the most downloaded app of the year by Apple, as the pandemic forced people to find news to work and learn from home. Video display units from Facebook, Google and Amazon were initially sold as places for video chat, watching online video and checking recipes.
The Zoom features gives the devices a new lease on life, as parents with students can plop a display in their room, not have to worry about setup, and let their hands be more free for taking notes on their laptops.
Amazon, which had also said in August that Zoom would work on its Echo Show in 2020, has yet to offer the service.
In the Google blog post, the company laid out the steps for connecting your Zoom account with the Nest Hub.
Start by linking your Zoom account to your Google account by going to the Profile section in Zoom and checking settings. You can open Zoom on the Max with a voice command: “Hey Google, start a Zoom call.”
The Nest Hub Max sells for $229, compared to $129 for the Facebook Portal Mini, $179 for the 10-inch Facebook Portal and $279 for the large 15-inch Portal. DTEN also sells Zoom for Home stand-alone units that sell for $599. Zoom is not available on the smaller Nest Hub, nor on other displays that work with the Google Assistant from Lenovo and JBL.
Next Hub Max owners can also make video calls on Google Meet and Duo, which are free to use. Meet had had a limit on how long you can make calls, but Google says calls are now unlimited (up to 24 hours) through Mar. 31, 2021.