I was super lucky to be invited to attend Google’s Home Launch Event last week, on June 20th. After the event, all attendees were given one of these to play with at home prior to the official release. It’s essentially fairly easy to explain: you say either “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” and your request and this small device will do almost everything you ask it to do!
I’m going to be completely honest, it’s a bit indulgent, but I’ve been enjoying having at home quite a bit even if for nothing else but a quality wireless speaker to play my Spotify playlists clearly while at home.
Here are the top features I’ve been using so far:
- “My Day”. This is a feature I now use every day, and it’s so handy. While I’m making a coffee in the morning, or brushing my teeth, I can say “Hey Google, tell me about my day”, and it’ll start with “Hello Vanessa, it’s nice to hear you again!” and follow with the day’s weather forecast, my appointments for the day and then it plays the news for me. And you can customize what news networks it uses to play!
- Music. Using the Google Home app, you can connect this device to your Google Play or Spotify account. After it’s connected, I can simply say “Ok Google, play my party time playlist,” and it’ll go into my Spotify account and play it. I can also ask Google Home to turn the volume up or down, pause, stop, or skip to the next track. I can even ask Google Home who performs the song that’s playing. It’s super handy, and actually pretty damn clear for all you audiophiles out there!
- Movies/TV. We have been using a Chromecast on our living room TV at home for a few years now. We’ve always enjoyed the ability to cast (almost) anything we play on our phones/iPad/laptop directly to our TV seamlessly. It makes renting movies on Google Play or watching stuff on Netflix so easy directly on our TV. With a simple Netflix connection through the Google Home app, I can tell Google Home to play Friends on my living room TV, and a new episode will pop up within seconds without me touching a thing. (And yes, I’m watching Friends for probably the 20th time through right now.)
- Shopping List. I don’t think this is a selling feature whatsoever, but I love it. I don’t know about you guys, but I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. When I run out of say, parsley, I always think to myself “oh, I have to grab more parsley the next time I go to the store!” and I almost always forget. Now, with Google Home, I can say out loud “Hey Google! Add parsley to my shopping list!” and it does. Then, when I’m at the store, I open the Google Home app and can see all those small items I ran out of during the week. It’s so so so handy.
- Sassy-ness. My SO was away for the week when I brought home the Google Home. He hates the idea of anything AI-related, and was less than impressed when I told home
I’m not sure I, personally, would have rushed out to get one of these for myself. But now that I have it at home, I’m having a ton of fun with it. But, I’m never one of the early adopters for many gadgets, anyway. Give it a shot, I think you may enjoy it.
If you want to learn more about Google Home for yourself, check it out here.
And if you’re ready to run out and go grab one for yourself, it’s available today for $179 from the Google Store or at Bell, Best Buy, Fido, Indigo, London Drugs, Rogers, Staples, The Source, Telus, Visions, and Walmart.