Here’s the nicest way to wake up, courtesy of your Google smart display
The sunrise alarm on a Google Nest Hub can gently wake you with a warm glow and a refreshing alarm tone, while also raising the lights in your bedroom.
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If your blaring smartphone alarm is rubbing your nerves raw in the morning, you might want to try one of the Google Nest Hub’s most soothing features: a “sunrise” alarm that gently rouses you out of bed, rather than startling you awake with a piercing beep.
The sunrise alarm on a Nest Hub display (including the first- and second-gen Nest Hub, as well as the larger Nest Hub Max) slowly brightens the display with a golden glow, and you can set it to wake you with a wide range of alarm tones—some gentle, some invigorating, and some more of the “get-your-tushy-up” variety.
You can also program the sunrise alarm to play soothing sounds just before the actual alarm goes off, and even better, you can make it slowly turn up the smart lights in any rooms you choose.
Finally, the Nest Hub’s sunrise alarm can be set to trigger a Google Assistant routine—such as one that gives you a weather report and reads the headlines to you—as soon as you dismiss the alarm.
How to set a sunrise alarm on a Google Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max
- To get started, just ask Google Assistant to set a sunrise alarm. When you do, she’ll ask you when you’d like the alarm to go off; you can tell her something like, “Every weekday morning at 7.”
- Once Google sets your alarm, you’ll see a series of standard options. Tap the time to change it, or tap Repeat to adjust the frequency of the alarm. You can also tap Alarm tone to choose from one of 20 chimes. Some of them are “Light” (such as “Calm Glow” or “Gentle Bells”), some are “Medium” (the default “Gentle Pastures” tone, or the laid-back “Awaken”), and some are “Heavy” (like “Positively Cuckoo” or “Digital Blast”). There are also natural sounds, such as an antique clock or chirping birds.
- If you scroll to the bottom of the main alarm options, you can tap Morning routine to pick a Google Assistant routine that will run as soon as you dismiss the alarm.
- Now that we’re set with the standard alarm options, go ahead and tap Sunrise alarm for more customizations. For example, if you want your sunrise alarm to slowly turn on your lights, tap Room lights, then pick one or more rooms of smart lights.
- Another option is a Pre-alarm: a “soothing sound” that begins a couple of minutes before the sunrise alarm goes off. That soothing sound is in fact chirping birds, and the volume slowly ramps up as the alarm approaches.
- Finally, you can customize the Sunrise window, or how long before the alarm that the “sunrise effect” begins—anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
Now that you’ve set a sunrise alarm, you can review it by tapping on the alarm clock icon on the Nest Hub’s display, or you can simply say, “Hey Google, show me my alarms.”
Also, keep in mind that you can snooze a sunrise alarm just as you would a regular one. When you snooze a sunrise alarm, your Google display will dim and (again) gradually brighten during the 10-minute snooze.
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Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart home and home entertainment products.