A few months ago, we were invited to Google HQ in London for a special look at something that they had been working on: Google Home. At the time, I had just read news articles about it’s imminent release, as well as stalked the Google Home pages, so I went to London relatively blind, but incredibly excited.
We’re a pretty gadget-happy family, with Sharon working in IT and me just happy to be living in an age of technology where information is at the end of a fingertip, so this was an amazing opportunity not to be missed.
We had already heard so much about the Google Home, with rumours that you could control your lighting using voice command (Phillips Hue required), to being able to browse Netflix and Spotify, even asking Google Home to find local restaurants. The possibilities were endless.
Google Home is not just a device for you to browse the internet and ask it silly questions (although this is also a fun feature!). It’s a hands-free speaker for the family – there to help you be device free and instead ‘Be More At Home’.
The list is endless and likely too long for this blog post, but here are a few of the main features (you can find the whole list of features here).
- Questions & Answers: Calculator, Finance, Dictionary, Translations, Unit Converter.
- Entertainment: Bluetooth audio, News, Music, Radio, TV Streaming.
- Around the Home: Control lighting, the thermostat, and plugs.
- Lists & Tasks: Create shopping lists, My Day, Timers.
- Planning: Traffic & Flight Information, Calendar, Weather Information.
- Have Fun (Our favourite bit!): Play Games, Tell Jokes, Find Easter Eggs.
After spending the morning up at Google HQ, chatting to the lovely folks at Google, eating cake, and finding out how Google Home works I took myself off home to set our gift* up.
Set up was super easy. Just follow the instructions and you can’t go wrong. It doesn’t take long, and the majority of the process is the Google Home learning your voice as well as linking your devices and any accounts you may hold with their partners. We linked Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, and our Chromecast; which came with our gift* – but more on that later!
It didn’t take long for us to integrate the Google Home into our routine. From the moment I’m downstairs in the morning I’m talking to Google Home. Using the slick “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Google!” I ask it to play a certain Spotify playlist or radio station, I may ask it to add something to a shopping list or ask it to set a timer for when I need to take dinner out of the oven.
It’s been a few months since we were gifted our very own #GoogleHome and we absolutely love it. Not just because we’re a tech mad family, but because it has a genuine use in our home. From playing all our favourite music using Spotify, streaming YouTube on the TV, making shopping lists, to finding things out (aka. Resolving a friendly argument), plus more! We love it and cannot recommend it enough. Keep an eye out on the blog soon for a full #review. #BeMoreAtHome
Outside of the daily routine, I’ll often encourage T to ask it questions (although it isn’t quite fluent in ‘toddler’ yet!). Most of the time I’ll ask it to play the sound of an animal or nursery rhymes as background music. When Sharon and I are alone, we’ll often play music or ask it to find shows on Netflix, and if the TV is off we’ll ask it to settle
arguments disagreements during a game of scrabble.
Not forgetting your devices
Although Google Home is pushing families to ‘Be More At Home’, they don’t take the use of devices with the Google Home away. For example, every search or command you give Google Home is recorded within the Google Home app on your phone. You can also search for things with the app or stream YouTube from your phone.
Deciding to keep our Chromecast connected to our TV in the bedroom, as we already have a few devices connected to our TV in the lounge, means that we’re free to explore new things to watch in bed, or share photos from that day, from our phone.
There is absolutely a future for Google Home, and I can honestly say that I use it at least once a day to help with a task, question, or to simply entertain me or the toddler. With new features being released, as well as the added bonus of multi-user functionality, it’s becoming the go-to device for family living.
Have you got a Google Home? What do you think? If not, would you consider getting a Google Home? What would you like to ask Google Home?
This is going to be one of many posts dedicated to Google Home, so stick with us as we explore it’s features (old and new) and let you know how Google Home fits in with family life.
*We were gifted our very own Google Home with no request to review the product, however we wanted to as we think it’s great.