Initially I resisted the urge to get a Google Home as I felt I wouldn’t use it to its full potential.
Oh, how wrong was I.
Initially I started with simple tasks for my new assistant. For example, setting timers. Which is surprisingly helpful when cooking: my oven has a very bad inbuilt timer. It’s as simple as saying, “Hey Google, set a timer for 12 minutes,” and hey presto, you’ll never have burnt fish again. Reminders are also very neat. Just ask Google Home to set a reminder, and it appears in the Google calendar app across all of your devices. Very helpful!
Moving to more advanced topics. You can ask google, “what is making news,” and the assistant will play you the latest news bulletin from most news outlets in Australia and overseas. It gives you the option to select what outlets you want it to grab from.
The latest feature that I’ve been playing with is Google Home’s ability to control a TV. If your TV has a chromecast built in, you’re in business. But, if you are like me, all you need to do is plug in a Chromecast and it is off to the races. Now you can control a lot of the function of your TV by simply asking. “Hey google, play ‘The Blacklist’ on my TV,” and the assistant will do it. You can even turn your TV on and off just by asking. How cool is that?
All those features are impressive but the biggest thing I ask of my Google Home is playing music. All I need to do when I get home from a long day is say, “Hey Google, play something,” and it does. Either picking from one of my playlists, if asked, or simply playing a list of its own choosing. Happily, Google lets you choose from Spotify, Google Play Music or Tune In for your music service.
The Google Home does a fantastic job of filling my modestly sized house with sound, even with double height ceilings in my living room – where the device lives. I can be in any part of my home and hear the music playing clearly – even on low to moderate volume. Top marks to Google for the speaker design.
Design will always be subjective. But, I feel with its grey mesh lower half and white plastic upper sections the Google Home will blend seamlessly into any modern home.
Unfortunately, it is not all smooth sailing for the Home. I have had some trouble with it hearing my commands: sometimes not activating at all. Not just when the TV is on or it is playing music. It can happen when there is no noise in my home. But, to be fair on the Home, it is getting better as I’m learning how it works.
Do you need a Google Home? No. But, get one anyway!!!