Google gives Pixel Tablet extra purpose

The Pixel Tablet finally gets a much-wanted smart home feature

Google Pixel Tablet shown from behind
(Image credit: Google)

The Google Pixel Tablet is getting a software upgrade that'll deliver a most wanted smart home feature: you'll be able to get a live streamed video from your Nest Doorbell

The new feature is part of a host of updates in the Google Home Public Preview, and it enables you not just to see who's at the door but to send quick responses or start a two-way chat. You'll need to have enrolled in the Public Preview in order to use it, and of course you'll need both tablet and doorbell too. The tablet needs to be both locked and sitting in its dock to show the view in full screen mode.

The update addresses what's been an ongoing irritation for some Pixel Tablet users, because this functionality has been available for ages in the Nest Hub devices. But now it's here and it works with the first and second generation of the wired Nest Doorbell as well as the Nest Doorbell Battery.

How to get the latest Google Home features

The Google Home Public Preview has plenty of other updates too. There's a new Favorites widget for Android devices that enables you to control smart home devices from your home screen, and Google Home now shows more information, such as remaining battery life, for your compatible kit. 

Wear OS features have been updated too, with faster access to key adjustments, a dedicated Wear OS tile for Google Home, and more options for controlling hardware. And Google Home on the web hasn't been neglected either, with a new script editor available in the preview. The Script Editor enables you to create your own automations, and to use presence sensing to trigger actions that you've created.

The new updates and details of the Public Preview are online at, and if you want to enrol in the Public Preview you can do so from within the Google Home app or from the Google Home website. As with beta software it's important to note that these are previews of future updates, not necessarily finished products, and that means you should expect bugs, incompatibilities and other irritations until Google has had the opportunity to iron out any issues.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).