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Google Nest

A basic RNIB guide to Google Nest, its functions and features and how to set up Google Home Devices for blind and partially sighted users.

Google Nest is a range of Google home devices with a built-in assistant. Nest Mini, Nest Audio, Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max are the products currently available.

Various in-house and third-party services are integrated into Google Nest smart speakers, allowing users to speak voice commands to control interaction, perform tasks like playing music, listening to news and finding out information from the internet. They can also be used to control other connected accessories, like heating controls and lights.


Smart home devices and accessories are available to apply for through the RNIB Technology Grant Scheme. Other items include video magnifiers, RNIB PenFriend 3, kitchen equipment, clocks and watches, accessibility software and DAISY players. Click here for more information about grants.

Setting up Google Nest

Google Nest devices must be kept plugged in. Once connected you will hear a voice from the built-in speaker directing you to the Google Home app on your smartphone or tablet. You are required to obtain the app from either the Google Play store or iOS app store.

The app will guide you through the set-up process. This includes connecting to your WiFi network, naming, updating and signing in to the device using your Google details. Giving it access to your personal information like contacts and calendar, setting your location, and linking up the services that you want to use like Google play, Spotify or any cast devices in your home.

How to use Google Nest

Google Nest makes life easier by helping you do things like access media, manage your tasks and plan your day - using only your voice to ask it to perform several functions ranging from media to organisational assistant and acting as a home hub.

You can play music, get the latest news, listen to podcasts, radio and audio books, and play content from your smartphone or tablet.

You can set reminders, update your calendar, get local information like traffic, weather, and flight information, set alarms and timers, get information about world events, get sports scores and control home devices like thermostats, plugs and lights.


The Google Nest family of devices are very accessible and usable.

Smart speakers are exciting as you can control them with your voice and they don't rely on screens or complicated menu structures.

The prices for Google Nest devices range from £19 to £169 depending on which device you go for and the features and functions included.

Further Resources