If you want to make you’re smart (IoT-powered) home to be powered by voice commands, you need a voice assistant. The first official voice assistant for your home will be Google Home. Google Australia have announced today that it’ll be available in 2 just days from their online Google Store, or at retailers, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Telstra, Optus and even the Qantas Store.
While Amazon’s Echo (featuring Alexa voice assistant) has so 15,000+ skills, its not available (at least officially) in Australia, which means its off the table for a lot of consumers. We hope that’s resolved soon and what better pressure than a competitor like Google to help things along.
Starting July 20, Aussies can enjoy Google Home, our voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. With a simple “Ok Google”, you can get answers, turn up the music, manage your everyday tasks or even turn on or adjust your compatible smart lights. And we’re also launching Google Wifi, giving you seamless internet coverage for homes of any shape or size.
Google Home allows you to control connected hardware products in your home by issuing voice commands. Thanks to IFTTT support, this opens the door to thousands of commands across hundreds of products and services. There are of course a plethora of native apps that are supported.
Control your smart home Google
Google Home can help you control your lights, switches and more, using compatible smart devices from brands like Philips Hue and IFTTT. Just ask (or yell), at your Assistant to turn off the kitchen light as you head off to bed or out the door to work, its all about enhancing your life through technology.
If you have a Chromecast (or a Chromecast enabled TV) things get a whole lot more interesting as your voice can then command visual elements like playing Netflix, Stan and YouTube on your TV.
If you really want to go nuts, buy a few of them as Google Home supports and understand multi-room device setups and can stream the same content with Chromecast Audio or Chromecast built-in speakers too) to listen to the same song in every room.
If you have a gap in your knowledge, there’s no need to find an encyclopedia, or even the need to pull your phone from your pocket to Google it. Just ask questions out loud and Google Home will translate phrases, run simple maths calculations and get definitions.
If you need the latest news and can’t wait for the hourly update, just ask and you shall receive the latest stories from sources such as Fox Sports, ABC NEWS, The Australian, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and SKY NEWS.
Google Home is also helpful in the kitchen. If you don’t have a particular food item on the menu, it’ll offer substitutes, provide nutritional information and unit conversions without having to wash your flour covered fingers.
Google Home speaks ‘Strayan
Coming to Australia means official support for the Australian accent. Google Engineers have a sense of humor and have given Assistant an Aussie voice, and personality that extends to it understanding Aussie slang. Ask it for brekkie ideas or where the nearest servo is. You can also ask it what sound a Kookaburra makes, and it’ll cue the laughter we all know and love. And of course, we’ve hidden a few Aussie treats for you to discover along the way.
Up to six people can connect their account to one Google Home, so if you ask your Assistant to tell you about your day, it can distinguish your voice from other people in your family, and give you personalised answers. That’s just awesome.
Just say “Ok Google, tell me about my day” (you have to explicitly provide permission) or say, “Hey Google, how long will it take to get to work?” and you’ll get up to speed on everything you need to know. It can wake you up in the morning (or let you snooze), set a timer while you’re baking, and more.
Turn up your tunes
Google are offering a nice little bonus for Home customers. They’re giving you 6 months of YouTube Red for free to customers who are new to Google Play Music and YouTube Red, (to get you additcted) so you can enjoy a premium YouTube experience. This means you get to call up tracks, albums, remixes and more – all completely ad-free.
If you’re already a Spotify customer, don’t worry, that’s supported as well as is TuneIn.
Just the beginning
Your Assistant on Google Home will continue to get better, as Google commits to add more features over time. Soon, Google Home will be open to third party apps for the Assistant, giving you access to even more of your favourite services and content.
Google Wifi is also launching their mesh Wi-Fi here, giving you seamless internet coverage for homes of any shape or size. Some Wi-Fi routers haven’t always been built to support the increasing number of devices we use or high bandwidth activities like gaming or watching videos. Google Wifi is a connected system that replaces your current router to bring smarts, security and simplicity to home Wi-Fi to give you consistently strong coverage in your home.
Google Home is available for $199 starting on 20 July from The Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Telstra, Optus and Qantas Store.
Google Wifi is also available on 20 July for $199 for a single-pack and $499 for a three-pack from The Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, and Officeworks.
More information on the Australian Google Blog.