Smart Home Review: Google Home Smart Home Device
Welcome to Google Home
As of 2019, Google Home devices are available in three models: the Mini, the Max and the Hub, the latter featuring a graphics display. All three models are powered by the Google Assistant, a smart app that can also be installed on Android smartphones and tablets.
Here's what you should know about Google Home:
As can be expected from a device that works by means of voice commands and Google's extensive knowledge graph, Google Home excels at delivering information. The device is pretty good at understanding human speech and providing answers from the internet; it is also effective in terms of handling email, phone calls and connected smart home devices, but this is about all it can do at the moment. The good news is that the Google Assistant has a solid track record of getting smarter, and this means a bright future for these devices.
Ease of Use
Setting up a Google Home device is quite simple, particularly if there's an existing Gmail account or an Assistant app installed. As for speaking and listening to the device, it is pretty straightforward. Customizing the user experience is something that the Google Assistant likes to on its own, or "her" own since the most popular voice is female, but advanced users can easily configure device settings through the Explore section of the Home menu. Modifying the skills that the Google Assistant has automatically picked up is a bit trickier.
Google Home Pricing
Starting at $129 for the Google Home Mini, the price is higher than some of Amazon's smart speakers, but it is still reasonable for the option of having a dedicated Google Assistant that continues to get smarter. While Amazon has been more aggressive in terms of offering substantial discounts and coupons for its Echo products, this is something that Google will likely start doing this year. The Google Assistant is far superior than Amazon Alexa, and this should be taken into consideration in relation to pricing.
Integrating Google Home With Your Smart Home
Ask the smart home experts at Treasure Valley Audio Video how to integrate your Google Home device with other aspects of your home. "Hey Google, close the blinds." Yes, we can do that. "Ok Google, open the garage door." Yes, we can do that. "Hey Google, feed the dog." We can probably do that too!