One of the biggest announcements from Google I/O is that the company is finally releasing a competitor to the Amazon Echo. Enter Google Home. Following the success of Chromecast, Google hopes Google Home will be a smart next step for adding to its list of living room products.
Here is everything you need to know about Google’s new product:
It Could Be More Powerful, and Useful than the Echo
Google Home works exactly like Amazon Echo in that it is an always-listening virtual assistant. Where Amazon has Alexa, Google created the aptly named Google Assistant. Just like how you’d talk to an Amazon Echo to add events to your calendar or set the temperature in your room, you can speak to Google Home and it will be just as useful.
Though Amazon continually updates the features on its Echo speaker, it’s not perfect. However, the product has been around since 2014 and, since then, there hasn’t been anything else like it on the market. But, all of that will change when Google Home launches. Plus, it appears the product is not only going to be able to do pretty much everything the Echo can do, but it will be able to do so better.
Synced Audio Playback to Multiple Devices
One of the limitations to Amazon Echo devices is that they do not sync with each other. Meaning, using two Echos does not create stereo sound and you can’t ask to play the same song on all the Echos throughout your home simultaneously.
Will you be able to do so with Google Home? Yes.
Using Google Home you will be able to command any speaker that has a Chromecast Audio streamer plugged in. You can even command your TV if you have a Chromecast video streamer. Thus, Google Home will allow you to play a song on any of those devices, as well as create them as a group, so you can play the same music in all places, simultaneously.
Smart and Conversational Voice Assistant
Yes, Amazon offers voice assistance and you can both ask Alexa questions and play games, like Jeopardy, with her. But one huge, important factor to note is that Google, unlike Amazon, is an internet search giant. This means nearly all freely available information worldwide is accessible through a quick search-so the questions are endless when you talk to the Google Home voice assistant.
Additionally, Google Assistant understands your language and picks up on context. Why does that matter? Basically, it will save you time and stress because you shouldn’t find yourself constantly repeating the same words over and over until the voice control understands what you’re trying to ask. Where Alexa can only understand preprogrammed responses, you’ll be able to have conversations with Google Assistant because of how quickly the software can search and understand what you’re trying to figure out.
Potential Long List of Partners
One of the great things about Amazon Echo is how much you can do with Alexa. For example, Amazon has partnerships with companies like Domino’s Pizza and Uber so you can use voice command to order yourself a pizza or ride.
Though Google has yet to announce any official partners for its Google Home system, it did reveal a splash screen with logos during I/O, which listed partners for Google Voice. Some of the companies on that list were: Ticketmaster, Instacart, OpenTable, Uber, Spotify, GrubHub and Pandora.
Though it’s not clear if this means those companies will also be partnering with Google for Google Home, if it turns out to be true, that’s going to be a huge.
Beautiful, Customizable Design
It’s just a speaker, so who cares what it looks like, right? The Google Home speaker is small with a tiny, angled top cylinder. Its modular case is customizable so you can select different base shells to match your personal home décor. How thoughtful, Google.
Despite not being portable, Google sees the benefit of having the speaker always plugged is that it makes for a more powerful speaker. Since the main use of Google Home is, in fact, to be a speaker used at home, Google focused on a design and system that has strong bass and clear highs since you’ll mostly use it to listen to music.
Only time will tell if the Google Home outshines Amazon Echo in sales. Though it’s not available yet, you can sign up for updates about Google Home on its website.