TechnologyLenovo’s Smart Clock can now showcase your Google Photos collection
The Lenovo Smart Clock can now double as a digital photo frame
One of our favorite features of the Google Nest Hub is making its way to Lenovo's bedside smart display.
One of the disappointments my colleague Dan Seifertwas that the device’s tiny screen didn’t do as much as it could (or should) compared to similar products. At launch, it didn’t even offer the basic function of acting as a digital picture frame for your photo library. That’s something the Google Nest Hub smart display can do, as can Amazon’s various bedside Echo devices with screens. Lenovo and Google are rectifying that today with an update that allows the Smart Clock to showcase your Google Photos collection.
If you own one, it should auto-update at some point this week. Once that happens, you can set the Smart Clock to show your Google Photos images when idle. If you don’t use Google Photos, you can choose to see “featured” photos directly from Google instead.
Lenovo’s Smart Clock gets more useful with latest Google update
I liked the Lenovo Smart Clock when I reviewed it back in June. It’s a pretty minimalist take on the smart screen designed for the very specific purpose of living next to your bed. The streamlined features are very much by design — rather than the kitchen sink approach, the clock is built around a relatively limited number of Assistant functions, coupled with tailored alarm functionality. Today, Google’s bringing a handful of new features, attempting to walk that line by adding functions without making the bedside product overly distracting. The addition of Google Photos is a no-brainer, using the app to double as a small-screen digital picture frame while it sits idle.
, Google also notes that Smart Clock owners can now enable continued conversation mode, which will let them carry out back-and-forth conversations with Google Assistant more naturally without having to constantly repeat “Hey Google.”
When it comes to the breadth of features, I still think it’s best to think of the Smart Clock as a rung below the Nest Hub (not to mention the upcoming Hub Max) and other smart displays. It’s very much a smart alarm clock with Google Assistant that can play music, show you photo memories, control your smart home devices, and pull up a Nest camera feed if you need to check on what’s happening somewhere in your home or outside.
Google is fixing an ‘update loop bug’ on the Lenovo Smart Display .
A new bug is marring Lenovo's otherwise excellent Smart Display. The bug, first spotted by Android Police, locks the device in a continuous update loop where it hangs at around 45 percent and then restarts. After restarting, it will attempt to install the same update again, only to once again get stuck. Some Smart Display owners have been able to successfully bypass the bug by resetting their device through the Google Home app and setting it up again with all the settings left to their defaults. Others have had luck by simply letting the Smart Display work through the update for a couple of days.
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