Remember Google Home, Google’s first and now discontinued smart speaker? Well, the speaker isn't coming back, but the Google Home name is, and this time it means something much bigger.
During its smart home developer summit on Thursday, Google announced that it’s bringing back the Google Home brand, except it now represents Google’s entire smart home platform, encompassing the company’s Nest devices, the Google Home app, Google Assistant, and Google’s smart home development tools.
“We’re bringing all of this together, and announcing a new, but familiar name, for our entire smart home platform and developer program, that helps users and developers do more with Google,” the company said in a blog post aimed at developers.
“By bringing our platform and tools under the same roof, it gives us a simpler way to show you why and how integrating your devices with Google Home makes them more accessible and helpful across the Google ecosystem.”
The rebranding comes amid Google’s push to integrate its smart products with the eagerly awaited (and recently delayed) Matter, an upcoming smart home standard that, among other things, aims to unite the Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant—er, Google Home—platforms.
Don’t feel bad if Google’s Home rebranding sounds confusing; it is. Released back in 2016, Google Home was Google’s very first smart speaker, and it was accompanied by the Google Home app and later, the Google Home Hub smart display.
But in 2019, Google started giving the “Nest” name to all its latest smart speakers and displays, while the Google Home Hub became the Google Nest Hub. The Google Home speaker was discontinued last year, and every Google smart speaker and smart display has arrived with Nest branding ever since.
Even with Google now giving the “Google Home” name to its entire smart home platform and collection of developer tools, the Nest brand appears to be here to stay. Google unveiled a new line of Nest security cameras just a few months ago, and Nest gets several prominent mentions in today’s blog post.
In a related announcement, Google said it will release its own Matter-focused software development kit for Google Home devices to go along with the upcoming open-source Matter specification and SDK.
Google said its new SDK is designed to complement the Matter SDK and will help Matter device developers “work seamlessly with Google, including configuring your device with Assistant, improving quality with logging, and adding tools to interact and test with Google devices.”