Google Home vs. Nest vs. Assistant: What Are the Differences?

Smart homes are taking over in a big way, and Google provides some of the best options out there. Even so, there is still plenty of confusion over what exactly 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 original Google Home. This Google Home is a cylindrical smart speaker, but over time Google 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 the playback of music and videos, as well as receive updates to the news and more.

Related: What Is Smart Home Technology? A Guide for Absolute Beginners

Importantly, Google Home also serves as a hub for home automation. This means that it is capable of interacting with and controlling other smart devices such as smart lights or smart appliances using only your voice.

Google Nest has succeeded Google Home. That doesn’t mean that the name is gone entirely, however.

In fact, Google Home remains the name of Google’s smart home control app. If you want to manage, control, or set up any smart device from Google, you’ll have to do it from the Google Home app for iOS or Android,


What Is Google Nest?

A Google Nest Hub Sitting on a Bench

In 2019, Google rebranded the Google Home range of devices as Google Nest. Google Nest devices come in a range of shapes and sizes, but the most prevalent, the Google Nest Hub, features a 7-inch touchscreen perched atop a speaker.

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

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 screens on most Google Nest devices. This screen allows users to interact with the smart speaker using the touchscreen. In models that include a camera, this also allows for video calls and security camera functionality.

What Is 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 the company’s smart home devices. It is also available on Google phones.

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

Related: Got a Google Nest Mini? Cool Things You Can Start Doing Right Away

Driven 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 through the internet. It is also linked with the majority of Google’s services such as Google Photos, and can schedule alarms and events among other tasks.

As you will be using Google Assistant automatically whenever you access a Google smart home device, there’s little need to refer to it directly. Nonetheless, it helps to know exactly who you’re talking to.

Make Your Home Truly Smart

Google has a lot 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 more informed to dive right in.

But smart speakers are only the beginning. There is a huge number of ways that you can make your home smart and improve the way that you live.

8 Essential Smart Home Products Every House Needs

Start building your smart home with these products.

Read Next

About The Author

Leave a Comment