Google Home gives you the tools to automate your household and connect all of your physical Google devices from one central hub.
- Controls smart devices directly through the dashboard
- Integrates with other Google services to provide personalized answers to questions
- Serves as a controller for streaming services
- Interface is clean and simple to learn
- Offers compatibility with third party products
- Faces competition from a number of other highly competent devices
- Doesn't allow the creation of reminders or lists
There's no doubt that Google is a giant in the world of integrated computer technology. Their search engine has turned them into the gateway for modern web surfing, and the Google Suite has transformed how we interact and do business by moving traditional software directly onto the cloud. But Google has ambitions to take their helpful approach to assisting users and convert it into the real world space. Between their Chromecast streaming device, Assistant, and the Google Home smart speaker, Google has created a whole ecosystem of home and lifestyle automation that puts them in direct competition with big brands like Amazon and Apple. Like with Google Suite before, Google has placed an emphasis on a unified network, allowing you to communicate through all of your Google devices directly through the Google Home app. This creates an infrastructure that only becomes more useful the more you integrate these tools into your everyday life. While Google's Chromecast and Assistant devices are designed to be controlled with your voice, the Home app allows an added layer of navigation and utility. Owners who have experience working with the Google search engine or their app suite will be familiar with the clean blue and white interface, and they can get to navigating through the app almost immediately. Here you can control the deeper layer mechanics of your devices, make them work in tandem together, and direct your devices to do what you need when you don't want to use your voice. It's through the Google Home app that you set up your Google devices, and the process is simple and guided, though it does require all your devices to be hooked up to the same network for configuration purposes. The Discovery section is filled with useful hints and tips that can alert you about more features and teach you how to better leverage your devices to your advantage. The settings of your devices can all be easily controlled right through the app's interface. As far as Chromecasts are concerned, you can choose photos from your personal library and turn them into a wallpaper slideshow, change your device's name, and browse content, deals, and apps. Non-Google home automation products like thermostats and lights can also be tethered to your Google Home system here. Speaker groups can also be created, allowing you to broadcast music all throughout your house or create segregated blocks of compatible speakers where each room has access to their own playlists. If you use your Google devices to play music or videos, the Google home app can serve as a virtual controller. Through Home's interface you can browse your selection of media, organize it more effectively, and play them through your speakers or streaming device with the click of a button. Playing, pausing, or adjusting the volume of your streaming is equally as easy and accessible.