A new preview update is rolling out to Google’s Nest Hub series, and the Fuchsia patch notes reveal what’s new in the version 12 update.
Over the past few years, Google has steadily swapped its series of Nest Hub smart displays from running on “Cast OS” to the company’s from-scratch operating system initiative, Fuchsia. The transition was completed this year when the second-generation Nest Hub switched to Fuchsia in June.
One benefit of that swap is that Google provides detailed patch notes for each major release of Fuchsia, offering a bit of insight into what each update holds in store. According to a Google Support page, a new update to Fuchsia version 12 is currently being made available to those who have enrolled in the Preview Program.
Google’s official patch notes for Fuchsia version 12 primarily consist of details that are only relevant to developers. However, there are a few key takeaways for Nest Hub owners.
Being the most recent device to be updated, it’s no surprise to see that a few patch notes single out the second-generation Nest Hub (internally referred to as Nelson).
- [Nelson] Improved boot reliability when encountering hardware initialization errors.
- [Nelson] Reduced display brightness during power-up by 50%.
- [Nelson] Various fixes to improve accessibility ratings.
One noticeable change is that the smart display will now be half as bright when booting up. Considering the display is meant to face toward you while you’re sleeping – using Soli radar to monitor your breathing – you wouldn’t want a blindingly bright screen shining on you if your Nest Hub reboots in the middle of the night after crashing or installing an update.
All Nest Hub models may also see a slight performance boost with this Fuchsia 12 update, as Google has swapped from Fuchsia’s original 3D rendering system to “Flatland,” which is optimized for 2D content. You should also see slightly better performance while watching videos on a Nest Hub.
- Enabled Flatland for Smart Display. Improves performance and reduces maintenance cost.
- Added performance tweaks for improved playback on shipped devices.
Meanwhile, Google has fixed quite a few issues and crashes related to the Matter smart home standard on Nest Hub devices. One such issue saw inaccurate colors being sent to Matter-enabled lighting.
- Fixed identify response in the case of multiple devices to prevent response flood.
- Enabled inspect for matter.
- Fixed crash in localhome during subscription timeout.
- Fixed a crash in leader election in
- Fixed a crash in converting out of range colors. This affects the user experience where some colors were inaccurate.
- Implemented cache flush handling in the Fuchsia mDNS stack.
Of course, these are just the limited patch notes offered by the Fuchsia team. It’s quite likely there are other differences that aren’t publicly detailed. If you notice anything different after the Fuchsia version 12 update arrives on your Nest Hub, let us know about it in the comments below.
It’s easy to enroll your Nest Hub in the Preview Program to receive early access to updates. First, open the Google Home app and switch to the “Devices” tab. Tap your Nest Hub in the list, then tap the gear icon in the top-right corner to view the settings. Next, choose “Device information” and select “Preview Program.” Here, you can enroll your device for early – but potentially buggy – updates.
On that same “Device information” page, you can see what version of Fuchsia your Nest Hub is currently running. Google doesn’t always make the latest update available to every device enrolled in the Preview Program, so you may need to wait a few days or weeks for it to be installed.
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