Google Home Review

Reviews, Technology

Personal assistant speakers are becoming more and more popular.  The idea of having an assistant in your home that can play music, set calendar events, reminders, shopping lists, etc. has really gained a following in our technology-driven world.

After doing a bunch of research, I choose to get a Google Home.  Unboxing the Home was easier than I thought.  The box is even cool.  Once opened, you simply plug it in and go to the Google Home app on your phone.  It takes about two minutes to set it up from there.  It will connect to your local Wi-Fi and stay connected to it even if you unplug it and move it.

Now that it is all setup, just say “Hey Google” or “Ok Google” and say whatever your command is.  It can control a bunch of apps like Spotify, iHeartRadio, Google Podcast, etc.  One of my favorite features is the ability to control the morning brief it gives you.  I wake up every morning and say, “Hey Google, Good Morning” and it gives me the weather for the day, traffic to work, and recent news.  It’s super handy.

The biggest flaw I have found so far is that it gets confused when I tell it to fast-forward a podcast.  It just stops playing completely.  I’m sure this is something that Google will fix soon, but it is annoying right now.  Another flaw I have heard other people say is that it is always listening to you.  I do not really care about this, but for those who do there is a button on the back to turn off the microphone.

I hate to admit it, but as time goes on I have realized how little I am at home to enjoy this thing.  Between my job and my fiancé’s home 3 hours away, I’m rarely at my home.   I do enjoy having this little thing with me when I am there though.  Being in my car so much has made me wonder how cool it would be to have a Google Home in the car.  “Ok Google, play The Bobby Bones Show.”

Google Home’s capabilities to assist you don’t stop with playing music and games.  Home can control your lighting, your thermostat, your television, and anything else plugged into a Home-friendly plugin.  I’m hoping to add the lighting and plugins to my collection of Home products very soon.  I know it’s not often that I forget to turn out a light, but it’d be neat to be able to just say, “Hey Google, turn out the lights in the family room.”  For Home to control your television you will need Google Cast.  I currently use Roku and find it much more appealing than the Google Cast.  I’ll consider that switch when the time comes to upgrade my Roku.

With the app If This, Then That (IFTTT), you can make your own google commands.  There are plenty already made.  I have mine setup to post to twitter for me when I say, “Hey Google, tweet…”  It’s also fun scrolling through to see what commands users have put together.  I’m excited about the Google Home future.

Some fun commands:

Hey Google:

  1. Tell me a joke
  2. Play trivia – fun with more than one person
  3. Mad Libs
  4. Beatbox
  5. Rap
  6. Entertain me
  7. Bark like a dog

My most common Commands

Hey Google:

  1. Good morning
  2. Remind me to
  3. What is on my calendar for tomorrow
  4. Play relaxation sounds (great to fall asleep to)
  5. Stop playing in 20 minutes
  6. Remember that I put my passport in my desk drawer
  7. Wake me up at…  (the alarm is very nice)

Do you have any personal assistant speakers?  Have you jumped on the Amazon Echo or Google Home train yet?  Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.

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