Google Home vs Nest vs Assistant: what are the differences?

Smart homes are taking up more and more space and Google has some of the best options available. Even so, there’s still a lot of confusion about exactly what each part of Google’s connected home ecosystem does.

Google Home, Nest and Assistant are all entirely different things, despite overlapping in some areas. So, if you’ve ever wondered what the difference between the three is, don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it might initially seem.

What is Google Home?

A Google Home smart speaker next to a TV

In 2016, Google released the first Google Home. This Google Home is a cylindrical smart speaker, but over time Google has released additional devices in a range of shapes and sizes, all under the Google Home moniker.

These Google Home devices are designed to respond to user voice commands. Users can listen to and control music and video playback, as well as receive news updates and more.

Related: What is smart home technology? A guide for absolute beginners

Above all, Google Home also serves as a hub for home automation. This means it is able to interact with and control other smart devices such as smart lights or smart devices using just your voice.

Google Nest is the successor to Google Home. This does not mean, however, that the name has completely disappeared.

In fact, Google Home remains the name of Google’s smart home control app. If you want to manage, control or set up a Google smart device, you will need to do so from the Google Home app to iOS Where android,


What is Google Nest?

A Google Nest Hub sitting on a bench

In 2019, Google renamed the Google Home line of devices to Google Nest. Google Nest devices come in a range of shapes and sizes, but the most popular, the Google Nest Hub, has a 7-inch touchscreen perched atop a speaker.

The Google Nest line of devices is capable of everything Google Home was. As smart speakers, they respond to user questions and commands and can also play music and videos.

Related: Cool things you can do with your Google Nest speaker

The main change from the Google Home line of devices is the addition of displays on most Google Nest devices. This screen allows users to interact with the smart speaker using the touch screen. In models that include a camera, this also enables video calling and security camera functionality.

What is the Google Assistant?

A phone displaying the Google Assistant next to a Google Nest Mini

Google Assistant is the virtual assistant developed by Google to help power all of the company’s smart home devices. It is also available on Google phones.

When you speak to a Google smart home device or your Google phone assistant, Google Assistant responds.

Related: Got a Google Nest Mini? Cool things you can start doing right away

Powered by artificial intelligence, Google Assistant is capable of a wide variety of features. This includes, but is not limited to, two-way conversations.

For example, Google Assistant can send text messages and search the Internet. It is also linked to the majority of Google services such as Google Photos and can schedule alarms and events among other tasks.

Since you’ll use Google Assistant automatically whenever you access a Google Smart Home device, there’s no need to refer to it directly. Nevertheless, it is useful to know exactly who you are talking to.

Make your home truly smart

Google has plenty of options for smart homes, despite their confusing names. Hopefully, now that you understand the distinction between each of these aspects of Google’s ecosystem, you’ll be better informed to dive right in.

But smart speakers are just the start. There are plenty of ways to make your home smarter and improve your lifestyle.

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