Google Home – the good, the bad and the outright annoying

So recently, I wrote a blog about the oh so famous ‘Alexa’. I decided that I would wait a little longer before I would write a blog regarding Google Home. Google Home was advertised as a wildly intelligent smart device that would prove a vital part to any modern home.

What makes it stand out?

Google Home can have a continued conversation. This means if you ask a question say “Hey Google, who plays Groot in guardians of the galaxy?” when she replies, “Vin Diesel” you can follow up with “how old is he?” and get the correct answer! In comparison to Alexa, the google home hub does a lot more in terms of connectivity. If you have a Google Chromecast this is where the whole personal assistant situation gets interesting. Yes, you guessed it – you can ask Google to cast videos, photos, Netflix etc to your Chromecast making sharing to the TV screen that one step easier. I think that the ability to ask Google to play a certain show or movie from Netflix as soon as you get home enhances the user experience by eliminating the endless scrolling or letter by letter typing using your console controller.

Another feature that makes the Home an addition you don’t want to miss is the oh-so obvious ‘Google’ feature. Alexa isn’t linked directly to google which makes asking certain questions a little tricky as she mainly uses Wiki to give information but with the Google Home if you’re watching a movie and want to know the name of an actor or even how long a movie is you can simply just ask. Shopping has never been so easy, prior to getting the home we would use something out of the cupboard or fridge and must get our phones out open Google Keep and add the item to the list and the hassle we have with Google Keep is that I use an IPhone and my partner uses a OnePlus2 which sometimes causes syncing issues *eye roll* so having the ability to say “Hey Google, add Orange juice to my shopping list” makes the home experience that little more user friendly(Alexa has a to-do list function but we have found it isn’t as seamless as Google).

What is annoying?

Teething problems are one thing but recently Google just decided to take a weekend off. We were asking the simplest of commands and were getting issue message response “Something went wrong, could you try again in a moment” which isn’t the best thing to be hearing when you’re asking about the weather or asking for the lights to be dimmed. This obviously doesn’t happen all the time and we should hope it won’t happen again as Google have acknowledged the issue and now we are back up and running but I felt it needed to be mentioned. I think for me personally, having welcomed the Echo into our home a few months back I would have hoped that Google would have ensured the most basic tasks were able to be completed by the device on the UK launch date. Did they? Nope. Upon unboxing the simplistic, air freshener like device we were shocked that our handy google assistant couldn’t even tell us what movies where playing in the cinemas near me. An easy task that Alexa could give us an answer straight away and she would give you a lot of options which really outshines Google Home to be honest.

Would I recommend?

As nice as they both are I believe it is a little early to make a solid comparison for one of many reasons but mainly due to future developments not being announced yet. In terms of right now, I think Google Home is less advanced than the Echo and if you are not willing to wait for improvements then maybe the Amazon Echo is your best bet. The speaker on the Google Home out performs the Echo Dot, it has a nice bass feel to it and I have found myself opting to use Google to play my music when I get home from work! Many of you will have heard about Apple’s latest announcement of the Home Pod – it looks like an interesting competitor. Initially I can see a few downsides to the Home Pod but I will wait until it is released to see how well it performs. Speaking only about the personal assistant, I obviously would love to have a mini Siri welcomed into the home (since she works so well on my phone) but since I live with Apple’s no.1 non-fan then that may mean no Home Pod for us… stay tuned.

I hope my blogs have gave a little insight into smart home devices. They are a great innovation and whichever one you go for will not disappoint!

Thanks for reading,

Lucy

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