Table of Contents
Google • Smart speaker • Smart Display • Android
Google Severely Restricts Web Searches on Smart Displays
- Google’s smart displays have an integrated browser.
- However, an update was secretly installed.
- Now only “compatible devices” can use it.
Admittedly, to this day I haven’t had the embarrassment of going to a website on my Nest Hub using the built-in browser . After all, you have to trust that the microphone understands the specified URL correctly, because there is no keyboard input available. Even from the various start pages of the smart display , nothing suggests that a browser is on board.
In any case, there are people who want to use this function but can no longer do it. Affected are, among others, owners of a Lenovo Smart Display, who recently received a very clear error message when trying to access a website. “Can’t be shown – Websites are turned off for this device” along with a link that didn’t even work at first.
Google Only Responds when Asked
This prompted an understandably confused post on the Google support forum , prompting a community manager to respond. After all, he explained that SafeSearch technology was recently built into the web browser on all compatible smart displays – and devices that are not compatible (including the Lenovo Smart Display apparently) would no longer be able to use this function. The manager refers to the possibility of being able to send the link to a smartphone .
Incidentally, “explicit websites” (read: Web) cannot be opened on any smart display at all. This filter cannot be deactivated.
Google justifies the decision with the fact that the results of smart displays could be heard or seen by all members of a household. While the reasoning is still somewhat comprehensible, the communication in this case is once again a prime example of what not to do (the reviews of the forum entry speak their own language). Incidentally, which smart displays are “compatible” is not revealed in the help area either. Do you use the browser on your smart display?