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Google Home

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones & Tablets' started by sesevans, 30 Sep 2016.

  1. sesevans

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    Alphabet previewed its new Google Home device at I/O in May and seems to be working hard to launch it, perhaps on 4 October, with other hardware such as the Pixel smartphones and a new Chromecast. Rumour of a price point on Home is $ 129, cheaper than a similar product from Amazon, its Echo, priced at $ 179. Home will be integrated with Google's ecosystem (eg, Nest) and Google Assistant.

    Google revealed the basic functionality at I/O, which seems amazing. Reminder: https://youtu.be/VmGmrJdcBwc[

    It will be interesting to learn about Home's compatibility with other third party services, such as Spotify, Uber, news apps, etc. Out of the box Home will be compatible with Smart Things, a Samsung owned platform for home automation products, according to Android Police.

    Will be interested in UK pricing, what it supports and its capabilities.
     
  2. sesevans

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    Although Amazon has a lead in this category with the Echo, Google should have the advantage with Search and machine learning.
     
  3. sesevans

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  4. Kainz

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    I don't really 'trust' Google to cater for the UK though on the Home front of things. Amazon have done it well but Google tend to focus on the US moreso. Do we even have any ETA's on Home or is it just a paper launch?
     
  5. Father Ted

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    To be fair it took a year from the US launch before Echo was launched in the UK
     
  6. sesevans

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    Some of the third parties/partners that are working on Home in the US with Google are either affiliated or international. For example, Google indicated that it is working with Uber, Nest, Spotify and Phillips. Nest is owned by Google and sells here. The others all operate here. That gives me reason to think that the Home introduction here can be sooner rather than later. When launching Home in the US the other day, Google mentioned when asked about the UK, "hopefully soon". As for the many other services that are possible beyond these names, I suggest stay tuned.

    Remember that Home is an extension of their work on Chromecast (same team worked on Home) and Chromecast has been operating successfully in the UK for some time.

    I will be interested to learn about reactions and comments from US users of Google Home very soon.

    I noticed that Google Home began shipping out yesterday in the US at the stated price of $ 129, approximately $ 50 cheaper than the Amazon Alexa. Google has not given a UK launch date yet but if I recall a comment made at the time of its announcement, it was not expected until after New Year.

    Hope others will post reviews when they see them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Mar 2017
  7. TheOracle

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    Doesn't this thing only really work when you install one in each room, else surely you will have to run upstairs into the bedroom every time you want to ask it something

    1 x Living Room
    1 x Kitchen
    4 x Bedrooms
    1 x Office/Den

    at the very least

    $903 + Brexit Tax

    That's a grand!

    I guess you could skimp out and just have one in a bedroom, like the master bedroom. That's still $516

    Just can't see the point in only having one, even the youtube video has multiple devices throughout the home (even in the hallway)
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2016
  8. Glaucus

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    my issue with these is they are so stand alone.

    when I can place a speaker in each room, and the music follows me around automatically and adjusts for ambient noise level, then it'll suddenly get very interesting.
    the other issue, is there so many standards and companies fighting for home automation, I get smart lights, or auto locking doors etc, its unlikely to be compatible with either system.

    the show on tv function is interesting, if you fitted a display in kitchen, and could say show x recipe, and then had voice control for showing each stp etc. but again it doesn't have that much control yet, or maybe ever, as they all seem to hate filling out easy to program but small niches.
     
    Last edited: 3 Nov 2016
  9. Scam

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    We don't all have 4 bedrooms and an office ;)

    I'd imagine you can do just fine by having one in the lounge/kitchen then upgrade from there. I don't see much use for one in the bedroom for example, I don't have a TV/radio in there so not sure what I'd use it for :confused:

    It's going to be interesting how it works in the UK.
     
  10. sesevans

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    Thinking some more about your comments about music, I can see the US launch features mentioned in their FAQs about this as follows:

    "1. Working with Google Chromecast Audio, Google Home is a Cast-enabled speaker. You’ll be able to cast from over 100 Cast-enabled music apps.

    2. So in answer to the question can I Cast to multiple speakers, Google Home supports Multi-room, and can be grouped with other Google Cast speakers. Google Home also lets you cast music to groups of speakers you’ve set up — using only your voice."

    With regards to casting onto other Google Cast devices through Google Home to say Sony speakers, Google say they are working on the ability to start playing content on other Cast connected devices in your home.

    Hope this FAQ list answers some other questions we are bound to have leading up to the eventual UK launch:

    https://support.google.com/googlehome/answer/7123739?hl=en

    Note we will have to wait for next year before it launches outside the US.
     
  11. TheOracle

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    You gotta go all out with the Nest and Philips Hue for the full on Star Trek effect. Imagine having the star trek bleeping noise when you say "ok google"

    "ok google, turn the central heating down, dim the bedroom lights and play barry whites love classics"
     
  12. Father Ted

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  13. Glaucus

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    it works with multiple speakers but doesn't follow you, if I walk from lounge to kitchen s=to start cooking you need to tell it to play on the other speaker.

    got to start somewhere, but think its still a few years away for me.
     
  14. sesevans

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    I understand and would be surprised if they are not working on exactly that. For example, the review today from Engadget:

    "And the good news is that Home plays with Google's ecosystem of Chromecast devices, so if you have a pair of good speakers, you can just add the $35 Chromecast Audio and start telling Home to play music through that rather than its own internal speaker. I'm already dreaming of setting up a few pairs of nice speakers with Chromecast Audio and having a multi-room, voice-connected music system."

    One of the potential issues I thought about, namely a conflict between two Google devices using Google Assistant, seems to be solved already. Recently I purchased the Pixel XL and find Assistant to be a really good feature. For example, try saying to your Pixel: "OK Google, Good Morning" and Assistant will respond with a greeting, a weather forecast and your calendar followed by a choice of podcasts such as BBC news and NPR Radio, etc. However, if I had Google Home I wondered if both the Pixel and Google Home would respond, something that apparently happens with Apple devices. Here is what was mentioned in another review today on ZDNet:

    "Using Assistant on a Pixel and Home when the two devices are in the same room is a non-issue. When using the wake phrase, both devices naturally begin to listen. On a Pixel, that means the screen lights up and the Assistant interface is displayed. For Google Home, the indicator lights are activated.

    However, as you continue with the interaction, Assistant on Pixel realizes a nearby Home device is responding and your phone stops listening. A brief message is displayed on the phone, stating "Answering on another device".

    One of the issues I encounter using Siri on my iPhone and Apple Watch is that both devices listen for and respond to voice commands without ceding power to whichever one makes more sense to use based on the command."

    I agree with you that it will be nice to have a number of further advances to Home by the time it comes to the UK.
     
  15. sesevans

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    Still patiently waiting for Google Home to make its debut in the UK (no update beyond "2017") while noting reviews and comments and updates about its recent $ 129 USA launch recently. I expect many third party services to be added to Home before too long and that the UK launch will benefit by this additional "learning."

    Therefore as it is only the Echo from Amazon available so far in the UK, I found the research note from CIRP (Consumer Intelligence Research Partners LLC, Chicago) dated 21 November, 2016 of interest. I attach the note below. What struck me was that although growth in more than 2 years since launch has reached 5 million units and awareness among Amazon customers is high, approximately 40% of Echo purchasers use the device mainly as a music speaker while 30% use it for information and 10% use if to control the home.

    This seems a problem because if the device becomes mainly just a music speaker, it will be hard to see really big growth ahead. So you have to ask yourself why the device is mainly a music speaker only and the answer appears to be that Alexa currently is not great. From reading some reviews, it appears the device is not that intuitive to use.

    It seems to me that this is why Google Home has some real potential.

    First it has the smart Google Assistant inside which currently resides on my Google Pixel and soon a growing number of Android smartphones. I use it frequently to obtain info and perform tasks.

    Also Google is generally considered a world leader in natural speech recognition and in processing that speech (eg Google Translate, Voice to Text, etc) and Home should therefore reflect this capability superbly well. I understand that the Echo often leaves users frustrated due to either an inability to understand the voice or not executing the command even if the words are understood.

    Will be watching the competition between Amazon Echo and Google Home.

    With the Echo on sale in the UK, does anyone who has bought one have a review to offer?

    Here is the CIRP note:

    http://files.constantcontact.com/150f9af2201/70c07fdd-a197-4505-9476-e83aa726f025.pdf
     
  16. valve90210

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    Surely you'd want to be able to get it all done with a much simpler voice command than that "Ok Google, Sexy times" or similar would be better;)
     
  17. sesevans

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  18. sesevans

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  19. sesevans

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  20. sesevans

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    Wave 7 research is reporting that 500,000 units of Google Home were shipped in the fourth quarter of 2016 in the US, the only country that Google has introduced Home into so far. Amazon, which has had a two year head start on Google Home has reportedly shipped between 750,000 to 1 million units of the Echo device. The Echo is available in more countries.

    They believe that only 2% of Amazon customers who are aware of the Echo have bought one (primarily as an additional Bluetooth speaker). Hence it seems that Google Home (tied to Google Assistant) has done quite well in the first quarter of its existence. In order to get more volumes, I expect Google to make a major assault on the developer community to get Home integrated with more third party devices (read: smart home devices) , esp before what I expect to be a launch soon in the UK (Google has already said "2017").