Starting today, Google is done holding smart home appliance maker Nest at arm's length. It was folded into the Google Home division last year, but now, the entire group has a new name: Google Nest. The new name is more than just a rebranding effort. It also includes a new product philosophy and — critically — a new set of data privacy policies for Nest customers. One way to look at the change is to say that Nest has fully become an extension of Google and its ambitions in the smart home after years of bouncing around within the Alphabet / Google org chart nightmare. Another is to say that Nest as we once knew it is now well and truly gone. It's all just Google now. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but the bottom line is that Google is unifying all of its smart home efforts. It just launched a smart speaker called the Google Nest Hub Max, which Google will begin selling this summer for $229 , and future smart speakers will also be branded "Nest." As the head of Google services and hardware Rick Osterloh puts it, the Nest brand is now a direct… Read full this story
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