Dockable Nest Hub rumors pick up speed with new Android 13 Beta 1 evidence

It’s feeling increasingly likely that this detachable Nest Hub tablet could be about to launch

Google’s Nest Hub is a great smart home command center, but it’s also a product that’s sorely in need of a little fresh blood. The original feels a bit laggy when navigating around its menus, and while we did get some updated hardware a little over a year ago, the addition of Sleep Sensing didn’t really feel like a must-have feature worth upgrading for. Recent rumors have suggested that Google could be planning a bold new direction for the Hub, transforming it into a dockable tablet. With today’s release of Android 13 Beta 1, we get a couple bits of new evidence that add support for the theory that new Nest Hub’s hardware’s on the way.


Android 13 Beta 1 is now ready for you to install on your Pixel phone, and if you were to take the time to dig through its code, as Android expert Mishaal Rahman hasyou’d find a couple strings mentioning a Nest “dock manager service.”

Rumors of this detachable Nest Hub first landed about a month ago, and initially just offered a high-level description of the hardware. But it wasn’t long at all before plenty of changes in Android 13 were identified that, taken as a whole, could be seen as development in support of just such a product — beginning to integrate a number of smart display features into Android itself, as if this tablet would run full-blown Android 13.

In addition to those strings supporting this dockable idea, we’ve also spotted some Android 13 documentation for its rich media controls (showing off that fun new suiggly playback bar) that also could be seen as evidence in favor of this product’s path towards existence. While Google generically describes the hardware pictured up at the top of this post as “a phone and tablet device,” that tablet sure has a pretty prominent dock, and this seems a lot like what we might expect from the more robust UI on a future NestHub. New changes in Beta 1 like an increased focus on large-screen interfaces could also be part of the prep work for an Android-running Nest Hub.

We’ll be continuing to look for signs in support of a nest-gen dockable Nest Hub tablet, as well as for through all the changes Android 13 has waiting for us.

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