Google Home is a wireless speaker that also acts as a smart home hub and a personal assistant for the entire family or a single individual. The Google Home Mini as many of you may have deduced from its name alone is a smaller version of the original Google Home which was released in 2017. The reason Google Home has been so popular is primarily because of the Google Assistant feature/Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the speakers. Depending on which one you get there are different colors and several things you can customize. Because the Google Assistant AI is on these speakers it is able to do several things from controlling different smart devices to playing music from different services. There are still several limitations to these speakers but what we believe the most problematic is not having support for third-party applications, which could be added later down the road. The only way to stream music from an application that is not listed as a supported app by the Google Home or the Google Home Mini is by casting it to the speaker itself.
After our use with both of these devices we, believe it is worth the money especially if you use streaming services or if you have any sort of smart devices in the house such as smart TVs, switches, or even a smart garage. If we are being honest our favorite part about using the Google Home and Home Mini is the ability to ask, “Hey Google to turn the lights off or on or open our garage”. Having the ability to streaming a video to the TV just by asking Google is also a great convenience. Not only that but there are so many other uses such as using it in the kitchen to figure out what a recipe is or how much a conversion is. The Google Assistant on your speakers work fairly identically to your phone so the learning curve should be fairly simple and most if not all things you can do with the Google Assistant on your phone you should be able to do on these speakers. One feature that definitely surprised us how we can set up several different users and have them all do the same command but get different results. To explain, with the Google Speakers you can ask the assistant to call a person from your phone book and it will the catch is the assistant can use voice training to determine whose mom to call. For example, if person A says “Hey Google, call mom”, and person B says “Hey Google, call mom”, the assistant will call the appropriate persons to contact instead of calling the same contact unless it’s the same person.
Services wise, currently there have been several more services added, and we believe it is just going to continue being added and expanded as more and more Google Home devices are developed. Currently, a few of the services supported are YouTube Music, Deezer, Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, and TuneIn. A few news outlets that are supported are BBC, Telegraph, and Guardian in the UK and there are several others however that could be found with a simple google search. Since Google Assistant uses machine-learning it will learn over time which media source you would like to use when requesting to play music or do other tasks. It is also possible to use the popular If This Then That (IFTTT) service with the assistant and perform sophisticated tasks. As mentioned before, we also think it was a great idea how Google decided to give the Google home devices the ability to be used as a cast device meaning we could use them as speakers to play music from our local phone or tablet.
We could keep going however to keep this post somewhat short let’s wrap it up by pointing everyone who may be interested in purchasing these devices in the right direction. When purchasing this device, we recommend waiting for deals and sales as it is not just a five-dollar device and since it's about ten times the amount if not more. We recommend getting these devices from Google and waiting for a flash sale or an event sale to get it at a cheaper rate (which happens fairly often you just have to pay attention).