Our Google event wish list: Upgrades to Nest, Google Home Mini

We've got a few items on our Google wish list. Here's what we hope to see from the Google Pixel event Oct 15.

Molly Price Former Editor
3 min read
Chris Monroe/CNET

Google Assistant has established itself as a major purveyor of smart home goods. We've seen smart speakers in three sizes and smart displays in two. Not to mention the Nest's footprint with the Nest Hello doorbell, Nest x Yale smart lock and Nest IQ smart cameras.

Facial recognition uncertainty, Nest integration issues and privacy concerns come along with that array of products, but there's no denying the Google Nest smart home lineup is full steam ahead in the pursuit of the smart home throne. Here's what we'd love to see from the smart home segment of Google's October 15th Pixel event.

More: Pixel 4 and 4 XL rumors and specs: Launching Oct. 15 with Face ID-type gesture controls and orange color

Fix the Nest mess

When Google migrated Nest accounts over from Works with Nest to Works with Assistant, a lot of functionality was lost by third-party devices using the Works with Nest protocol. The Works with Nest functionality needs to be ported over to Works with Assistant, so users can keep their legacy products connected.

Third-party developers are now tasked with the challenge of recoding devices to work with the new platform. Hopefully, Google can do its part to help developers reconnect, whether that's resources to rewrite their codes or allowances for permissions third-parties need to work with Google Assistant. 

A Mini makeover

Next, Google needs to answer to Amazon's newest slew of smart speakers. In September, Amazon announced a new Echo Dot with a clock display (along with over a dozen other new gizmos). This seemingly small update adds a layer of practicality that seems obvious in hindsight. After all, adding an informative display to a smart speaker is what led to smart displays in the first place. Could Google give us a more functional Google Home Mini


Amazon recently announced the newest Echo Dot, with a digital clock display built in. 

James Martin/CNET

A refreshed Google Home Mini (more likely a Google Nest Mini, given the new naming structure) could be an easy sell for stocking stuffer season and a great way to keep the budget-friendly smart speaker updated and in demand. At the very least, Google would be wise to update the Google Home Mini's design or add features now that we're getting a new Echo Dot. 

If a Google Home Mini is on the horizon, it should absolutely include an audio output jack. Amazon had the foresight to include this in every generation of the Echo Dot, allowing you to use the smart speaker's microphones and voice assistant to send audio to higher end sound systems. Google needs to allow that connectivity, especially if there aren't any new high-end Google speakers on the way. 

Nest Wi-Fi 

There's also rumor of a new version of Google Wi-Fi, the company's mesh system that uses three Wi-Fi point devices to expand coverage throughout your home and control wireless connectivity to specific devices with your voice. 

Josh Miller/CNET

The new version, possibly called Nest Wi-Fi could add more smarts. Perhaps a built-in speaker that puts a voice assistant in the nooks and crannies of your home instead of the tables and countertops you need to keep clutter-free? We'll see if Google puts any attention toward expanding the basic foundation of the smart home. 


Google gave us an affordable smart speaker in the $50 Google Home Mini. Still, devices like smart doorbells and security cameras are pricey, and we'd love to see a capable, but affordable lineup of smart home products. Not everyone can shell out cash for the $230 Nest Hello doorbell or $300 Nest IQ Indoor camera

Wyze with its $8 smart bulb and $20 camera has proven that affordable smart home products can work well. Ring recently announced a $59 indoor camera, and Google certainly has the resources to make progress on that front. 

All of these items are merely wishes and rumors at this point. What Google decides to announce is still unknown. Granted, Google's Fall event is Pixel-focused, but that doesn't mean there won't be a few smart home surprises. We'll be covering everything Google announces on October 15, so stay tuned for updates.