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Smart Home

5 Google Home Hub features you should be using

They're easy to miss, but very handy.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Google Home Hub ($149 at Walmart) doesn't come with much instruction on how to use it. The Google Home ($129 at Walmart) app isn't all that much help either, since it isn't exactly easy to navigate, and many settings are hidden deep in menus. 

If you've only plugged in your Home Hub and haven't gone digging into the app, there are a bunch of options and features you don't know about. Here are five that you've probably missed.

Screensaver options

The default screensaver for the Google Home Hub is a clock, but you can change it to something more interesting. Open the Google Home app, scroll down to your speaker and tap it. Then, tap the gear icon and scroll to Ambient Mode. Now, choose between art displays or your Google Photos

After you choose, it will take a few minutes for the screensaver to switch over, so be patient if you still see the clock displaying.

Whisper mode

Google Home Hub's Night mode turns down the volume of your speaker on a schedule -- perfect for using your speaker late at night or during nap time. This setting works for notifications, reminders and replies. Here's how to set it up.

Brightness

When the lights are low in your home, your Hub can automatically lower its screen brightness, too. To set it up, find your device in the Google Home app, tap Settings > Display Settings. From there, you can choose when you'd like your display to dim. You can also choose if the display goes off or shows the clock during low-light situations.

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Digital Wellbeing 

Home Hub's Digital Wellbeing feature is all about making your hub more kid-friendly. It can filter out mature content on videos and music, help you turn off calling features and schedule screen time. 

To set up the feature, go to Settings > Digital Wellbeing and follow the on-screen directions. The process takes about five minutes to complete. Once it's done, the features can easily be turned on and off by going to the Digital Wellbeing screen and toggling the switch.

Guest mode

Anyone visiting your home can connect with your hub through Guest Mode without connecting to your Wi-Fi. To switch it on, select your device in the app and go to Settings > Guest Mode and toggle the switch. 

When it is switched on, the hub will send out an inaudible tone that will trigger a four-digit PIN to pop up on the guest's phone. Then, you just need to match the PIN with the one displayed on your Hub.

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