You probably never noticed it, but the Nest Hub has a built-in browser. Better yet, the latest version of Cast OS (or Fuchsia OS on the first-gen Nest Hub) adds a keyboard to the Nest Hub’s browser, giving you the power to properly navigate webpages.
First noticed by 9to5Google, the on-screen keyboard comes up when you press a text or search field on a webpage. Its layout is similar to the virtual keyboard on Chrome OS, and it can be minimized at any time.
To try the on-screen keyboard, you’ll first have to open a browser window. Doing so is a bit difficult, though. You need to ask your Google Assistant something that might bring up Wikipedia results, like “Who is Jake the Snake?”. Assistant will answer the question and show a Wikipedia icon that, when pressed, opens Wikipedia in the browser.
If you want to go to a certain website, you can ask Google Assistant questions like “What is Weather.com,” then open the associated Wikipedia page and hope that it has an embedded link to the site you want to visit.
While the Nest Hub’s new built-in browser keyboard is somewhat useless (given that the browser is so hard to open), it shows that Google is interested in expanding the Nest Hub’s capabilities. A proper browser could reduce the need for voice commands, which may appeal to users with accessibility needs or privacy concerns.
The 1.54 update is still rolling out, and it may take a few days or weeks to reach your Nest Hub. Not that it matters all that much—unless you’re a big fan of the Nest Hub’s browser.