Welcome to Google’s Home

Earlier this week Google released its response to Amazon Echo, Google Home. While it lacks the buzz that the Pixel phone has, it still is an interesting piece of tech that should not go unnoticed. It also establishes the term “Smart Speaker” now actually is a thing.

What exactly is Google Home?

First announced during Google I/O it represents the first step towards Skynet’s global domination as well as Echo’s greatest competitor undercutting Amazon’s $180 offering by nearly $50. If you have an Android phone, you should already be familiar with the software powering Google’s newest gadget, Google Assistant. It’s responsive, intelligent, and has a sense humor, it’s the ideal friend if your friend did everything you asked while glowing, literally glowing I might add.

So what can it do exactly?

manage-yoru-daily-tasks-effortlesslyLike Alexa and Siri before it, home can set your alarm, cite details about your schedule or provide a weather forecast for the day. Like it’s two rivals, it works best when you’re invested in its company’s ecosystem, allowing voice operation of you Chromecast while moonlighting as a DJ with Google Music.

The unfortunate drawback to Home is it integrates with very few third-party apps, outside of Uber and Spotify. With Android and Chrome’s vast catalogue of apps, it is a little disappointing that there is not more third-party support. Though this is expected to change shortly. And while Home does play nice with a few smart home platforms Nest thermostat, Philips Hue lightbulbs and Samsung’s SmartThings platform, it ‘d be good to have more extensive options.

Should you buy it? It depends on.

If you’re already a card-toting proud member of Google’s ecosystem, it makes the most sense to you to add this to your gadget collection. If not and you do not use any of the support smart home platforms it becomes a bit murkier. Google plans to put significant Developer weight behind Home, and you can expect over time the device’s functionality to expand.

So while this may not be the best device for the early adopter, it has the potential to be as awesome as your grandfather that let you play video games and get a second serving of ice cream even after your mum said no.