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One of the disappointments my colleague Dan Seifert had with Lenovo’s Smart Clock was 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.
In a blog post, 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.