How to Use Your Google Home Hub as a Digital Photo Frame

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Google Home Hub displaying a city at night.
Josh Hendrickson

The Google Home Hub is exceptional for controlling smarthomes, checking weather and news, and setting alarms or timers. But, if you don’t have the Ambient Display set to show your photos, you’re missing out on one of its best features.

Google Home Hub Is More Than a Voice Assistant

You probably use voice commands quite a bit with your Google Home Hub, but that’s neglecting the main feature that separates the Hub from other Google Home devices—the display. The Home Hub’s display can show you the weather, play news with video, offer step by step recipe instructions, control your smart lights, and even play YouTube videos. But one of the Home Hub’s best features, ambient display mode, only appears when you’re not using the hub.

With the Home Hub, Google introduced the “Ambient EQ” light sensor, and this allows the device to change its brightness and color temperature to work best with the current environment. Essentially, the Hub should look good no matter what room you put it in. It’s hard to overstate just how well this works, but you will almost swear you’re looking at a printed photo instead of a screen.

So, when you’re not working with the Google Home Hub (which is probably most of the time), why not have it display your photos? Think of those digital photo frames from a decade ago—only, in this case, the final product isn’t terrible.

If you have more than one Home Hub, you can even have them show the same set of photos without adding them one at a time to each device—your photos just need to be stored in Google Photos. You can even choose which people and pets show up on your Hub.

Upload Your Pictures to Google Photos

To view your photos on your Home Hub, you’ll need to upload them to Google Photos. If you just want to see some beautiful art, however, you can skip straight to turning on Ambient Mode on your Google Home Hub.

If you haven’t already, you’ll want to start by uploading your pictures to Google Photos. It’s possible that all the photos you care about are already there, especially if you use an Android phone to take your pictures. But if you haven’t, start by going to Google Photos and logging in with your Google Account. Then upload any images you want to display on your Hubs. You can do this from the Google Photos iPhone and Android app as well, but if you already have all your photos on a computer, then you can load up everything at once from the browser.

Once you do have your photos uploaded, click on the search bar at the top of the screen (to the left of the Upload button). You’ll see a row of faces—click on them and label those faces to group your photos by people. This is useful later if you want your Google Home Hub to display specific people (like family members or pets).

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* This article was originally published here


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