Checking out the Google Home

When our friends over at Verizon asked us to check out the Google Home, I was very curious to see how I’d feel about it. While Google is my best friend and my life would be a hot mess without the many apps and services it provides-  I wasn’t quite sure if I’d ever want to bring something like the Home into my home. But, I was curious to try it out.

 

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“Okay, Google..”

We’re big music people in our house- so as soon as the Home was set up, the first thing we did was put it to the test. I’ll have to admit, when it comes to music, the Home is pretty awesome. The Home plays music from your specified music source when prompted and plays both single songs and playlists. Right now we have Spotify as default, but it’s also compatible with Pandora, I Heart Radio, and more. A few times it has played an instrumental instead of lyrics or a remix instead of the original, but overall it’s been a great music device for us.

 

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The downside? It’s not portable. The Home gets moved all around our house- it’s in the kitchen when we’re cooking. It’s playing a spa music playlist when I’m taking a late night shower, it’s even learned to understand my 4 year old ask it to play Puff the Magic Dragon over and over in the playroom. But, it would be awesome to be able to carry it around without unplugging each time.

While the Google Home is so much more than just a speaker- having the option to also treat it as a Bluetooth speaker would really keep it in rotation at all times in our lives. When guests come over, they often like to share their playlists- and functioning as a portable Bluetooth speaker when it’s not in it’s home WiFi would really win over myself and fellow music lovers.

Connecting Your Life and Home

Getting the most out of the Home is really dependent on how much you sync with it. You can see what’s on your calendar for the day, order diapers, even control the lights or thermostat at home- it all depends on what apps and services you use and sync within the Google Home app. Google continues to add new updates to make it compatible with even more apps and services, so that’s definitely an upside. However, as of right now you can not add tasks to your calendar or set reminders- which is a huge bummer for folks with horrible memory like me. Being able to create a reminder to buy dish soap as I’m standing at the sink with hands soaked and squeezing the last bit of Dawn out of the bottle would be ideal- so I hope they make this update soon.

I’ve watched too many movies where artificial intelligence turns on humans to really get excited about a lot of the home controls, but I know this is awesome for folks who love these features. I have a friend who told me the funny story of how his Phillips Hue turned his apartment dark with his wife and toddler in the living room when he left since it was programmed with his phone- so I imagine his wife being able to tell Google to turn the lights back on would have been easier than stumbling over furniture to get to the light switch.

Features

The list of all of the features on the Google Home is pretty expansive. So rather than go into all of them, we’ll break them down by the categories listed on the website:

Entertainment

  • Mobile app audio streaming
  • Multi-room audio
  • Music
  • News
  • Podcasts
  • Radio
  • Speaker streaming and control
  • TV streaming and control

Get Answers

  • Calculator
  • Dictionary
  • Facts & Info
  • Finance
  • Learn More
  • Nutrition
  • Sports
  • Translation

Manage Tasks

  • Alarm
  • Car service
  • Shopping
  • Shopping list
  • Timer

Play Your Day

  • Calendar
  • Flight information
  • Local Guide
  • My Day
  • Traffic
  • Weather

Control Your Home

  • IFTTT
  • Light control
  • Smart plugs and switch control
  • Thermostat control

Have Fun

  • Delight
  • Easter eggs (hidden surprises)
  • Games

 

Final Thoughts

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Overall, the Google Home has really started to become part of our, well, home. The modern white look of the actual device goes well in all of the rooms in our house, but there are even other color options you can change it to. There are some key updates that I hope Google brings to the table -especially being that most of what I’d expect from it are things that Google already provides via other devices. I’m sure some of these features will be added over time, so I’ll continue to ask it here and there to see if I still get the same response.

But the biggest downside? I can’t, for the life of me, get it to know what Bronxmama is. We’re working on that….

 

About Verizon

Verizon was recently named the #1 overall network in New York by RootMetrics.  Google Home can be purchased from Verizon for $129.99. Visit www.verizon.com for more information.

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