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Exclusive: Google plans ‘Nest Wifi’ w/ new design, Assistant speakers built-in

Google is planning to launch a refreshed version of its ‘Google Wifi’ router at its hardware showcase next month, according to sources familiar with the matter. In a setup that differs from the first generation, the newly-named ‘Nest Wifi’ router itself will be accompanied by Eero-esque beacons that double as Assistant speakers…

Besides the significant addition of Assistant speaker functionality — and the hardware required to enable it — there aren’t many groundbreaking changes with the new Nest Wifi. It will bring a new design, however; our sources describe it as much more home-friendly and in line with other recent Google hardware. Google also plans to offer the device in 3 colors as to meet the needs of your home’s specific ambiance or aesthetic.

Our sources say that Google is adopting an Eero-like package with the Nest Wifi. The multi-pack of the first Google Wifi included multiple full-fledged routers that connected to one another wirelessly, while the second-gen Nest Wifi will instead offer one primary router alongside other, smaller beacons. We’re told these smaller beacons will double as Assistant speakers, while the main router will not.

Eero offers a main router with smaller beacons

The Nest Wifi beacons that double as Assistant speakers are nearly identical in performance to the first- and second-generation Google Home Mini/Nest Mini, we’re told, though the second generation Nest Mini will bring slightly improved speakers compared to the first gen, and the Nest Wifi may pick up those same improvements.

With the launch of the Nest Wifi, the device is also gaining some Wifi-specific Google Assistant functionality. You’ll be able to control your Nest Wifi network with your voice — a source told us that you’ll be able to do things like pause internet in certain rooms or for specific devices. The usual Assistant functionality you already know will of course be available, too.

The second-generation Nest Wifi, otherwise, will bring many of the same features of the first generation device. Expect the basic mesh router functionality to remain — it’s simple to set up, will intelligently connect you to the fastest point, ensure you’re using the fastest band for your device, automatically update itself, and offer smart network and family control.

The best news? Old Google Wifi hardware will be able to mix and match with the new.

Expect Google to announce the Google Nest Wifi on October 15th at its annual Made by Google hardware showcase, alongside the new Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL, a refreshed Nest Mini, and perhaps a second generation Pixelbook. Stay tuned for more details as the event nears.

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Avatar for Stephen Hall Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.