Hands (and voices) on with Google Home [VIDEO]


One of many things Google announced yesterday was pricing and availability of Google Home. They announced this device for the first time back at Google I/O, but we didn’t hear much about it afterwards. We finally got some more details about how it will work and we were able to play with it ourselves.

This is the first time we were able to see Google Home in person. The device is oddly shaped, but it has a friendly look that should feel right at home in your kitchen.The bottom half houses the speaker and it can be popped off to swap in a different color. The sloped top is a touch area that has glowing lights to indicate when it’s listening and speaking. You can slide your finger in a circle to adjust the volume or tap the physical mute button on the back.


That’s pretty much all of the physical input you have with the Home. Most of the interaction is meant to be done with your voice. Home can do all of the things you can do with Google Assistant, plus it can interact with other smart devices in your home. That means typical stuff like “what’s the weather?” and “when do the Patriots play?” But also more complex things like “play a pizza recipe on TV,” which will connect to your Chromecast and play a video. Or controlling your Nest by saying “adjust the temperature to 70-degrees.”


In our testing (watch the video above), the Home was pretty good at picking up our voice in a relatively loud environment. It delivered answers quickly and connected to other devices just as quick. One problem we had was playing a video on the TV. We were saying “show me a soup recipe on the TV,” but Home only recognizes the command when you say “play a soup recipe on the TV.” This is an example of where the convenience of voice assistants can break down. Our natural inclination was to say “show me.” Google is not quite smart enough to understand what we meant.

Google Home is available for pre-order for $129 right now from the Google Store, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. It will begin shipping in 4-5 weeks. Have you pre-ordered one already? Do you plan on picking one up?

Joe Fedewa
Ever since I flipped open my first phone I've been obsessed with the devices. I've dabbled in other platforms, but Android is where I feel most at home.

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