The Google-make of Amazon Echo is finally here. And it’s not running Alexa.
Google Home is the physical, non-smartphone embodiment of Google Assistant that uses Wi-Fi, has extended microphone range and speakers with high-excursion drivers for great sound replication. Oh yeah, there’s a mute button so you know when Google isn’t listening for “OK Google”. All of it in a neat-o conical shaped device with customizable bases. Fabric bases come in Mango, Marine and Violet. Metal bases come in Carbon, Snow and Copper.
While you may not see the interaction going on, you’ll hear Google Assistant affirmatively respond to your prompts. Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn and other streaming services are accessible and you can even ask it to play stations or certain curated playlists from those services.
Google Home will learn you’ll service preferences and can even play music based on inferred clues — “play that Shakira song from Zootopia,” for example. Other audio services like podcasts and NPR are available. YouTube and Netflix can be controlled with Chromecast or Google Cast-enabled TVs.
Other interactions with “Ok Google” such as deep-context conversations, directions and translation.
“My Day,” which needs to get into all of your scheduled events and some personal information, can tell you what you need to look out for like your commute to work, reminders and other things — saying “Good morning, Google” will let you get a daily briefing of sorts.
Nest, Samsung SmartThings, Philips and IFTTT are partnered with Google to support voice control for smart home appliances. You can ask Nest to turn up the temperature or change that mood lighting up. Google Assistant is synchronized across devices. As said above, Chromecast support is built-in for Cast-enabled devices.
Multiple Google Home devices can be linked together to provide around-the-house sound. The nearest Google Home device will recognize that it can hear you the best and take your request from that point.
Google Home is available for $129 and will be bundled with six months of YouTube Red for free. Pre-orders are up from Google Store, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target today with shipping and retail availability on November 4th.