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Google - Home - Smart Speaker with Google Assistant - White/Slate-Front_Standard

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Rating 4.5 out of 5 stars with 11181 reviews

94%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 37 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    A great beginning to having a “Smart House”

    Posted
    Nate34
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

    In the box there is the device itself, a power cord, and some papers like the quick start guide, etc. The set up was pretty straight forward. You plug it in, it will boot up and when its done booting it makes the same chime sound the Google Pixel does which I thought was a cool touch. You then have to install the Google Home app from either the play store, or Apples app store. For me this was from the play store. After installing the app you begin the set up. It will ask for various permissions for example location. The next step was a device search. It immediately located my Google Home device. It then sets up a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot while it connects. Once its connected it will do a connection test by chiming a sound from the Home. If you hear it you have connected successfully. It then asks you what room the device will be in. You have the standard options like Living room, etc. For me I scrolled all the way down and chose “other” and manually entered a room name. The next step was connecting to the same Wi-Fi network that your phone is on. For me it automatically had the correct SSID and password so I didnt have to enter it. In the box there is the device itself, a power cord, and some papers like the quick start guide, etc. The set up was pretty straight forward. You plug it in, it will boot up and when its done booting it makes the same chime sound the Google Pixel does which I thought was a cool touch. You then have to install the Google Home app from either the play store, or Apples app store. For me this was from the play store. After installing the app you begin the set up. It will ask for various permissions for example location. The next step was a device search. It immediately located my Google Home device. It then sets up a temporary Wi-Fi hotspot while it connects. Once its connected it will do a connection test by chiming a sound from the Home. If you hear it you have connected successfully. It then asks you what room the device will be in. You have the standard options like Living room, etc. For me I scrolled all the way down and chose “other” and manually entered a room name. The next step was connecting to the same Wi-Fi network that your phone is on. For me it automatically had the correct SSID and password so I didnt have to enter it. After that initial set up you then get to the “Meet your Google Assistant” steps. This was locating my address, selecting whether or not I wanted email notification, and choosing my music service. You have several music service options like Google play Music, Youtube, Spotify, and Pandora. In my case I used the Google play music. After this it went into an audible tutorial on just a few of the things it can do. For example giving you the weather, time, setting alarms. If you are bored it can also tell you jokes, read poetry, sing songs, and you can even play games with it such as trivia, mad libs, etc. These could really come in handy if your bored. During this step it also told me I had a free 6 month subscription to Youtube Red which I thought was pretty cool. One of the main things people will want to do with this of course is play music. It is very easy. You can choose specific songs, albums, or even just ask it to play random music from a certain genre. For example I said “OK Google, play me some dubstep”. It then played some dubstep from a google play music station. I was honestly surprised at how good music played from such a small device. The bass was much more than I expected. The highs, mids, and vocals are all very clear as well. In other words it sounded great. Another useful feature that I'm sure a lot of people will use it for is of course Google searches. It does this very well and because it is connected directly to Googles network it is very accurate, and can do a lot more than you might think. The searches are also contextual meaning you can ask it something, then continue with that topic without having to specify that topic again. For example you could ask it “How old is George Clooney”, then say “what are some of his movies” without having to say “What are some of George Clooneys movies”. It will know the subject you are already asking about. But you do have to say “OK Google” before each, it wont work if you just ask the question without first saying “OK Google”. This is of course so it wont always be talking when you are asking someone else near it a question. It has to be activated with “OK Google” or “Hey Google”. The device itself looks a lot like an air freshener. Its very small and can fit pretty much anywhere. It comes with a grey base, but this can be swapped out with optional bases that are different colors to match your houses theme if you want to. The top of the device is also a touch pad. You can use this to control music, adjust the volume, or start and stop searches with a tap. The microphone on it is very good as well. I was surprised at how it heard me perfectly. Even when it is playing loud music you can say “OK Google” to stop, pause, go to next or previous track, or even adjust the volume. It will also connect to any Chromecast devices you have. I dont have any at the moment, but it would for example connect to any external speaker system you had if it had Chromecast. You can then choose to play music from your speaker system instead of the Google Home device. It can also connect and control lights, and thermostats that are network connected. Our house doesn't have any of these yet, so I guess at the moment our house isn't “Smart” yet. But the Google Home is a step in that direction for sure. At the moment it does have some limitations. For example when trying to make calls or send texts it will say “I cant do that YET”. The “YET” I am assuming means it will be able to soon. I'm sure with updates and time there will be a lot more this little device can do. But even now it is quite handy. The Google Home is great device that will smarten up any home. One of the main things people will want to do with this of course is play music. It is very easy. You can choose specific songs, albums, or even just ask it to play random music from a certain genre. For example I said “OK Google, play me some dubstep”. It then played some music from a google play music station. I was honestly surprised at how good music played from such a small device. The bass was much more than I expected. The highs, mids, and vocals are all very clear as well. In other words it sounded great. Another useful feature that Im sure a lot of people will use if of course google searches. It does this very well and because it is connected directly to Googles network it is very accurate, and can do a lot more than you might think. The searches are also contextual meaning you can ask it something, then continue with that topic without having to ask it again. For example you could ask it “How old is George Clooney”, then say “what are some of his movies” without having to say “What are some of George Clooneys movies”. It will know the subject you are already asking about. But you do have to say “OK Google” before each, it wont work if you just ask the question without first saying “OK Google”. The device itself looks a lot like an air freshener. Its very small and can fit pretty much anywhere. It comes with a grey base, but this can be swapped out with swappable bases that are different colors to match your houses theme if you want to. The top of the device is also a touch pad. You can use this to control music, adjust the volume, or start and stop searches with a tap. The microphone on it is very good as well. I was surprised at how it heard me perfectly. Even when it is playing loud music you can say “OK Google” to stop, pause, or even adjust the volume. It will also connect to any Chromecast devices you have. I dont have any at the moment, but it would for example connect to any external speaker system you had if it had Chromecast. You can then choose to play music from your speaker system instead of the Google Home device. It can also connect and control lights, and thermostats that are network connected. Our house doesnt have any of these yet, so I guess at the moment our house isn't “Smart” yet. But the Google Home is a step in that direction for sure. At the moment it does have some limitations. For example when trying to make calls or send texts it will say “I cant do that YET”. The “YET” I am assuming means it will be able to soon. Im sure with updates and time there will be a lot more this little device can do. But even now it is quite handy. The Google Home is great device that will smarten up any home.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The Google Home Makes Life More Convenient

    Posted
    scovartwo
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    The Google Home is a well built voice activated speaker that sounds pretty good and is useful for many things, specifically the Google Home is quite useful for setting alarms and timers, and I have been getting up in the morning more consistently than I had been before I received my Google Home. The Google Home is able to play at volume levels that are plenty sufficient for most situations. If you choose to buy a Google home, after connecting it to your internet connection, then it is best to download the Google Home app for Android or Apple, then locate and optimize all the settings to get the best experience using the Google Home. In the settings there is a setting called Accessibility, it allows you to turn on the option to play an audible sound, which indicates when you should speak your verbal request. This means that after you say OK GOOGLE, you will then hear an audible beep, so you will know exactly when to speak your request, without this Accessibility sound option turned on, it is necessary to be looking at the Google Home device when saying OK GOOGLE, so that you can see the lights on the top of the Google Home light up, of which the lights indicates that you should then speak your request. It is basically easier to say OK GOOGLE and hear an audible beep indicating when to speak your request, than it is to say OK GOOGLE and have to be looking at the device to see the visual indicator to know when to speak your request. The Google Home app has the option to add your home address, which is necessary for the Google Assistant to provide your weather requests, as the Google Home needs to know the location of the weather that you are desiring. The Google Home app allows you to set a desired music playback source, and also allows you to create a list of your desired news sources, allowing you to customize the news that you can hear playing through the Google Home. Newer versions of the Android operating system have the built in options of allowing the Google Assistant to be always listening, so that you to say OK GOOGLE, and then you can make a verbal request, the same way that the Google Home does, but using the Google Home device is a much better experience. The two microphones on the Google Home pick up your voice noticeably better than the microphone on a smart phone. The Google Chrome web browser has apps and extensions that can be installed, which add interactivity with your Google Home device. Do a Google search for Chrome Web Store, and it will bring up the website where you can search for and install the available Google Apps and Extensions. The Google Keep App for Google Chrome, allows you to create a shopping list that can be used with the Google Home Assistant, just create a shopping list in the Google Keep app, then ask the Google Home Assistant: What is my shopping list, then the Assistant will verbally remind you of all the things on your shopping list. The Google Keep app can also be found on the Google Play store and can be installed on Android smart phones, allowing you to create shopping lists the same way. The Google Calendar extension for Google Chrome, allows you to quickly add calendar entries, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant: What is on my calendar, and the Assistant will verbally remind you of every calendar entry that you added for each day. The Google Cast extension for Google Chrome, allows you to see which song Pandora is playing, this extension allows you to pause music playback and also adjust the volume level, all of this from the Google Chrome browser. Below is a list of verbal requests that the Google Home can be used for: What time is it Set an alarm for 7 am, Set a timer for 30 minutes (Multiple timers and alarms can be set) Stop alarm, Stop timer, Stop all timers, Stop all alarms What is today’s weather (Your local weather will be read if your address has been set) What the weather in Ventura, California ( Any city and state can be requested) What is the humidity (Your local humidity will be read if your address has been set) Is Wal-Mart open, Is Best Buy open, Is Jack in the box open, etc.. What is on my calendar (Calendar events must be added first in Google Calendar) Add orange juice to my shopping list, Add bananas to my shopping list, etc. What is my shopping list Play music, Pause music (Music will play from your chosen default music source) Play Google Play music (Use this if Pandora is default music source) Play Pandora music (Use this if Google Play Music is default music source) Play news, Pause news (News will play from your chosen list of news sources) Turn up the volume, Turn down the volume Volume level 4, Volume level 6, Volume level 3, etc.. (Volume levels 1 - 10) What is the volume The Google Home voice activated smart speaker, allows adding Philips Hue lighting control, it is necessary to synchronize the Google Home device with the Philip Hue bridge, this synchronizing is done in the settings of the Google Home app on an Android or Apple device, once this is setup, all of the following can be done with the Philips Hue lighting. Turn lights on 10 percent, Turn lights on 50 percent, Turn lights light blue (Daylight), Turn lights white (Warm white), Turn lights red (Great for movie lighting, or night lights), Dim lights, Turn lights on 100 percent, Turn lights off. The Google Home has a really nice power supply, which has a silicone strap that wraps around the cord. A quality power supply always adds to making an electronic device have a luxury feel to it. My overall opinion of the Google Home Assistant, is that owning and using the Google Home has made life more convenient.

    I would recommend this to a friend