The Beginner’s Guide to Google Home


Google Home is the search giant’s attempt to corner the home automation market. It is a voice activated hub that will control many aspects of a smart home from a single location. If you don’t know anything about this new product or want to know more, here is our ultimate beginner’s guide to Google Home.

What is Google Home?
Google Home is a essentially a cheaper version of Amazon Echo. It releases on November 4 2016 and will cost around $129. It uses a central hardware hub and voice commands to control many smart devices. They should make life easier, faster or whatever depending on how you have them set up.

What can Google Home do?

Google Home can interact with your smart devices to control them either automatically or via voice. As Google owns Nest, you can expect lots of features around that. Google says you will be able to switch lights on or off, control thermostats, smart locks, stream music and a lot more. Much depends on what smart devices you have in your home.

Google Home is also a Wi-Fi speaker much like Echo that can play music from a device in your home or over the internet. Google Cast is the main differentiating feature though. Using Google Cast, Home can stream media to any compatible device anywhere in your home. You can watch YouTube or Netflix, play a Spotify playlist, listen to an audiobook and other cool stuff.

What’s so smart about Google Home?
One of the big draws to Amazon Echo is Alexa, the virtual assistant. Google Home will have the same kind of AI companion in Google Assistant. Not as catchy as Alexa or Siri but apparently just as powerful. You can have two-way conversations, give it commands in normal speech and ask questions of it. The system knows enough about our speech patterns to understand the majority of what we say.

You can also control many aspects of your home from your Android phone and accompanying apps. There is also supposed to be Android Auto compatibility too, which could have real quality of life benefits.

Is Google Home better than Amazon Echo?
Whether Google Home is any better than Amazon Echo remains to be seen. However there are already distinct advantages to Google Home. The speaker is much better, it comes in different colors, designs and is smaller. You can change the base too.

It is also ready to work with YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, TuneIn, iHeart Radio, Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue and IFTTT. Finally, if you’re already a fan of Chromecast, Google Home is also a Chromecast Audio receiver.

Google Home releases on November 4 and will be available in other territories sometime after.

The Apple Homekit does much the same thing, as does Amazon Echo. Which will you choose?
 

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