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The first iteration of the Google Home app was fine for launch, but there are certain features and refinements that were missing, then they made it a little convoluted by switching you back and forth between Home and Assistant for some reason, but this new version is exactly what I'd expect from Google. The UI/UX is phenomenal and the features you actually expect are right at your fingertips when you open the app, such as the ability to see every device and manage their basic operations with one click and not having to dig through various apps to target such devices manually. The addition of pairing a Bluetooth speaker has been long awaited but also the ability to make a speaker group and simultaneously play music through all of them is another feature I had been waiting for as someone who has speakers throughout the house. Google, you truly nailed it with this update and I really hope the majority of the updates are minor fixes and routine maintenance, because as it stands, this app feels polished and feature rich!
I honestly wasn't expecting much since I stayed at a home that had Alexa. I genuinely love the Google home so much. It's easy to maneuver and I like that it resumes from where you left off if you accidentally stop it. As for improvements, I'd love more options for news (especially a astrology and astronomy and Broadway based one) and to be able to read the full description of each news option somehow. Perhaps a transcript of the news as well to read along. I'd like it if you could go through your past questions/requests to the Google home as well just so I don't have to repeat myself if it speaks too fast. For lingists I think it would be neat if you could do a bilingual option (I know you can do multiple languages but it wouldn't answer to me when i spoke English even though it was the primary language). It would be nice to practice other languages with the Home's help. Or an option to put topics you want to stay up-to-date on and it will Google search and read the newest articles.
Compared to Alexa: (1) home hub doesn’t show the time at night (the “ambient light sensor” turns the screen 100% black) (2) can’t call a specific room (3) can’t play a song without blabbering for a minute about every artist and service involved (4) can’t set family reminders that go off for everyone (5) the hub devices can’t hear anyone speak well (6) google can’t play popular songs like the Lion King (featured in their own commercials) without manual intervention otherwise they play knockoffs (7) will only play white noise for an hour unless specified (8) don’t have a quiet mode so if you ask something at night have to listen to it scream across your house nonsense like “this is what white noise sounds like” (9) assistant only sometimes connects to the devices and when it does it can’t even perform the same tasks (eg play white noise) (10) Hub doesn’t display the time if the hub is doing anything besides nothing which makes it a terrible bedside device -even white noise turns off the clock which is stupid by every measure
First, let me say my experience on the phone with customer service (Michael) was outstanding. He helped me fix the original issue. I had every item in our home set up, but I was unable to set up the Living Room. After hours of failed attempts, I got in contact with support. Michael walked me through a few different troubleshooting ideas to no avail. When he realized I was using the iPhone XR, he told me that was the issue. I had to get my son’s iPhone 6 to complete the set up. Great. Problem solved. An hour and a half later, all of the items in our household crashed. I attempted to walk through the steps Michael had provided. It all seemed fine, until it came to the last step (connecting to Wi-Fi), at which point, the TV showed my the screen with the 4 digit code...again. I went in circles for 2 more hours. I requested replacement Chromecast devices and Michael said he would definitely pass the word up. For everything in our house to crash and not reboot, I am guessing it has something to do with the update. After all, the last question it asked before I had to start over was, “Set up some smart lights”, which is actually more of a command than a question.
I bought the Google Home for a convenient and fun way to stay connected and try something new. Only after using it for two days did it dawn on me that everything my 5 year old was saying to it was being recorded and stored on Google servers. He loved it. “Hi Google” could have gone on for hours if I let it. I work in software development and decided to look further into where things stand with smart speakers and Child Online Privacy and Protection - COPPA (including the collection of children’s personal information, audio, video and images). Bottom line - I couldn’t find anything addressing it. Some concerns have been raised that might lead to legal action at some point, I also saw articles alluding to future patents that could make the listening tech even more invasive. Imagine ads targeting your kids based on conversations you’ve had with them at dinner. These have somehow been sold into millions of homes with a loophole. For now I decided retire the Google Home. I deleted the multiple voice recordings of my son that had been stored via the Google Home app and can only hope that they are permanently gone from Google servers too.
Set up, manage, and control your Google Home and Chromecast devices, plus hundreds of connected home products like lights, cameras, thermostats, and more – all from the
Google Home app.
One view of your home.
Control, organize, and manage compatible lights, cameras, TVs, and more, all from just one place. It works like a remote with hundreds of smart devices from the brands you love, including Google Home and Chromecast devices, Google Nest thermostats, and Google Nest cameras.
A tap or two is all it takes.
The app gives you shortcuts for the things you do most, like playing music or dimming the lights when you want to start a movie. Control it all with just a tap – and get to the good stuff faster. Create routines that allow you to turn on lights, check the weather, play the news, and more with one simple command.
One app. Hundreds of possibilities.
Make home life even more comfortable. Explore new content and features, and make the most of your Google Home and other compatible devices.
* Some features may not be available in all regions. Compatible devices required.
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