Years ago, most people were watching Back to the Future and got so amazed by all the technologies presented. Will there ever be a future like that? What about the wide TVs? Tablets? And smart devices? At present, we are years passed the Back to the Future date and we have more innovative technology available for people to enjoy. The older generations were lucky to witness the beautiful transition and are readily willing to try on the latest technologies. For the younger ones who were lucky to be born in the age of smartphones that everything seems to be within reach — even at home. So is Google Home the best Voice Control Speaker, well let’s consider the competition.
Today, tech giants paved way to the introduction of smart speakers capable of assisting the young and the young at hearts at home for almost everything. First, there is Amazon Alexa, then the Amazon Echo, the Google Home, and a whole lot of apps available to help you “smart start” your home.
Amazon lovers swear by the Echo. It has got some amazing skills that go beyond playing music. It is supported by various apps to help you with cooking, telling stories to children, and everything else. For the individuals who depends solely on Google for tasks and organizations, Google Home, however, is the best way to go.
How Google Home works
The Google Home was introduced back in 2016 as a smart speaker that aids Google Assistant, a voice-recognition system that is also used in Google phones and is available for download in both iOS and Android devices. And just like our trusty old Google search, you can ask it just about everything — from music, news, videos, recipes, and even for putting you to sleep by turning off the light. It is that smart. Google Home and Amazon Echo are pretty much similar and for some, it is just about preferences. However, most people attest that Google Home has much better speakers.
The Google Home has two built-in microphones that allows it to listen to questions and conversations of users. It is ready to help when you address it with “Hey Google” or “Hi Google”. The trigger word would be “Google” of course. The device is clean with no buttons or switches. When you are asking for help, four colors light up for you to know that it is working and it is hearing your voice. The decide is touch sensitive since it has not control buttons. Everything works with just the LED lights. You have to touch it, clockwise or counterclockwise (or tap either side of a Google Mini), to turn the volume up or down. At first, it can be a little tricky but once you get the hang of it, it will just be a breeze and you will love it for its minimalistic design.
The Google Home pros and cons
Here are some of the pros of the Google Home wireless speaker:
- It can identify voices. Talk about smart speakers, the Google Home can actually know who is talking. In a smart home, this is definitely a must as the device can customized answers depending on the voice.
- It answers questions brilliantly. Many users say that this is by far, the best feature of Google Home. The responses provided are very factual and accurate and it almost has the answer to every question you throw it. The device boasts of having a Google’s Knowledge Graph, a system that contains millions of facts about people, places, and things. This system gives edge to the Google Home device with its answering question capabilities that works far beyond other voice-controlled devices or apps. It can very well answer follow up questions with accuracy too.
- The speaker is the best for playing music. Compared to other devices, the Google Home speakers are excellent. The voice is clear and playing music in it is definitely better and clearer.
- It can cast video to your TV. YouTube videos and movies from Netflix and other partners can be played on your TV using just your voice with Google Home. How cool is that? You just need to have the Chromecast installed and linked the TV using your Google Home app. Everything works perfect when you say, “Ok Google, watch You, from Netflix, on TV”.
- It can cast audio to multiple devices. With the use of Chromecast Audio, Google Home has the ability to stream music of different set of speakers in your home, even on your TV.
- Bluetooth streaming. You can now stream music to all of your Bluetooth speakers using Google Home.
- Hand-free everything. Since it is voice generated, it can do pretty much everything with just you speaking. But you have to be clear because devices such as Google Home rely clearly on how you would say it. Call friends using Google Home or even as it to you walk you through recipes while you are actually cooking.
Now, here are some of the cons of the Google Home wireless speaker:
- Availability to other regions. The Google Home is not yet available to all regions as well as its features and updates.
- It has plugs. This device always needs to remain plugged-in so it may sometimes be difficult to find the best spot for it at home.
- The distance can be a problem. While the device is great in answering queries, sometimes your distance to the device varies a lot. It cannot hear well from a far. This feature is great on Amazon Echo however.
- It is not that good with messages. Google Assistant is integrated with messaging app now but not as smooth as how it is being used for phone calls.
- Launch phrases recognized by other devices. When speaking or giving commands to Google Home, other devices connected are likely to respond.
Buying a Google Home
If Google Home is available in your region. You may probably want to test it before buying it. It can be a little bit expensive but useful to those who really need it. Again, it is all about your preference.
And while the device is available, not all updates and features are. It will depend on your region still. To fully optimize the use of Google Home, these features are of course, essential. Before buying your Google Home, make sure you can fully utilize it.
You also have to consider the size of your home. Bigger homes do need more than one Google Home or you can opt for its cheaper version, the Google Home Mini. There is a price difference but if you want to completely make your home a smart one or if you rely heavily on Google Assistant, then they are worth buying.
Google Home cannot fully work or hear your commands with great distance. If you are in a different room or in a place farther from the device, then you may not fully utilize it. If you are prepared to spend more, then buying more than one will benefit you.
Google Home or Amazon Echo? Is Google Home the best in the market?
There are a lot of smart home speakers available in the market today. Google Home is just one of them. Some users and reviewers prefer the Echo while others, the Google Home. While these two are both smart home speakers that have great assisting quality. They still have different things to over.
Get Google Home if you need a virtual assistant in doing research, if you want to make a voice-activated call if you cast audios and videos, and if you want a device to recognize various voices.
Get the Amazon Echo if you want to use or if you are subscribed to Amazon services such as Prime, Videos, and Music. Also, the Echo offers great compatibility with other smart home devices.
Today, Amazon Echo remains to be the first and the leader in the market generally with more sales. Part of the reason for this is that the Echo is available in more region and is more easily accessible.
Google Home may not be the best and it is far from perfect but knowing how Google works, the features on the device will surely improve over the years. Expect to see a lot of updates especially when there is a growing demand for voice assistant today.
Is Google Home your perfect fit?
If you already invested in all things Google —Gmail, Google Drive, Google Play Store, Google Search, Chrome Cast, or any other Google-related network — that pretty much look like an ecosystem then Google Home can be the perfect device for you. Through the Google Home device, you can control your work and do some organizations with just using your voice and yes, it can be very convenient. If you are also someone who heavily relies on searches, again, this is worth buying because of its ability to answer questions and follow-ups.
While it may not help you with cleaning your house or physically doing the laundry, it can tell you how. Yes, it can almost tell you how all things work. That is, of course, it has a built-in Google Assistant, that is making your life easier. Ask about the weather. Ask about the prices of tickets. Ask about movie reviews. Ask it to play music. Ask it to be a white noise machine to make your baby sleep longer. Ask it to turn on the TV. Ask it to lower the thermostat. Ask it to turn off the lights. Google Home can do all these. It is great to remember though that the device should be integrated with other devices to do things. As for the lighting, for example, Philip Hue, a brand of bulbs, is the one available to be controlled using the Google Home. Integration is the key word here.
It can be your perfect fit if you are an extremely busy individual who needs a smart assistant at home.
Latest Google Home Updates
In 2018 updates, Google Home introduced its bilingual assistant meaning, it can now be used in various regions. So far, the feature supports English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Japanese, two of which can be selected at launch.
Just like Amazon Echo, Google also updated its compatibility. Google Assistant has now more links to more than 500 million devices apart from Google Home. The assistant can work well in phones (can be downloaded) and cars. Google Assistant also supports Pandora Premium, a music streaming platform.
From YouTube, Google Home can now can on TV from various programs like Netflix and HBO with Chromecast.
For home appliances, these are the brands that you can link to your Google Home device: Whirlpool, GE Appliance, Instant Pot, and McAfee’s Secure Home Platform. Some appliance that will specifically work with Google Assistant includes the Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi Programmable Pressure Cooker and Sub Zero’s refrigerator and wine storage. When buying appliances, tell them that you are operating a smart home so they can point you to products that can be associated with Google Home.
For messages, Google Assistant is now compatible with messaging apps like WhatsApp, Hangout, Viber, Telegram, and Android Messages.
For car use, Google Assistant can now be integrated with brands such as the Anker and JBL speakers.
Also, Google is set to roll out an interpreter feature mode for Google Assistant on Google Home. The interpreter will support a number of languages, just like the Google translate feature. This feature is being used in Japan now in preparation for Olympics and soon enough, it will be available for use worldwide and in the comforts of your own home.
With these updates, Google is surely making its mark and is a string to be better than most smart home speakers. Amazon may be ahead but Google is definitely working on it.
Now, should you get your new Google Home device? If you’re a techie, then it is a yes, most definitely.