Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared

Overview: The best smart home hubs

What the heck is a smart home hub? Believe it or not, the answer to that questions is a bit nuanced. So what we decided to do is breakdown what we think are the best smart home hubs for different applications. This means that we are including both traditional smart home controllers like Samsung SmartThings as well as voice control hubs like Google Home and Amazon Echo. But let’s be clear from the outset, Google Home and Amazon Echo are very much crippled versions of smart home hubs that only touch on control at a very basic level. The other entries in our review like SmartThings, Wink, Vera and Insteon are the real players here. Having said that, many folks will be happy with a simple smart voice assistant with a bit of smart home hub technology on board.

What are the smart home hubs we are looking at?

We are pulling from a fairly wide-array of smart home hubs that offer both local and cloud-based control as well as needing varying levels of technical knowledge to setup and run. So here we go, here are the smart home hubs we are considering in this post:

As we go, we will present one or more of the following icons to show who we think has the best smart home hub in the category.

Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Homeseer Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Insteon Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Vera Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Wink 2 Hub Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Samsung SmartThings HubAmazon Echo Google Home

What is a smart home hub?

A smart home hub is basically the brains of your whole smart home. They allow you to connect devices that use different smart home wireless protocols to the same system. Protocols like:

  • wifi
  • bluetooth
  • zigbee
  • z-wave
  • z-wave plus
  • thread
  • weave
  • KNX
  • Lutron Clear Connect
  • and more…

There are a lot of users that actually probably don’t need a smart home hub though. For those of you using a reasonable number of wifi or bluetooth (or even wired) devices, you can likely operate your whole smart home directly without a hub in the middle. It is when you start adding zigbee and z-wave devices when you absolutely need to buy a smart home hub. You see, these devices are quite affordable, but they can’t directly communicate with your home network, hence the need for a hub. For many that are getting more serious smart home setups, having a hub is crucial in order to bring all of your devices into a single app for control and to integrate devices with different protocols together.

When do I need to have a smart home hub?

There are really two main reasons to upgrade to a smart home hub. (1) You want to get into buying zigbee and z-wave plus devices. These will need a hub or they won’t work. (2) You want to integrate all of your devices into a single intuitive control interface on your phone, tablet or computer. There is probably a third reason which is: You are super technical and love the challenge or building your own automations and love to tinker. But don’t think you need to be technical to buy and use a hub. Our favorite smart home hubs right now are actually dead simple to use and require no programming skills whatsoever.

Now onto the comparisons of what we think are the best smart home hubs right now…


What are the best smart home hubs for ease of use?

Like we mentioned above, some smart home hubs can get very technical. Some even require basic coding and logic skills to build automations. If that doesn’t sound like your idea of a fun time, then you probably want something a little more consumer-friendly. Luckily we actually have two smart home hubs that are leading the industry in terms of ease of use. We have to give the nod to Samsung SmartThings and the Wink 2 smart home hubs. They both feature basically plug and play functionality that is all done within the mobile or web app. There is no coding or complicated settings necessary. Wink 2 is probably the most “Apple-like” in its interface and hiding anything that isn’t absolutely necessary. If you are looking for ease of use look no further than the SmartThings 3rd Generation hub or the Wink 2 smart home hub. It’s worth noting that SmartThings has recently released their SmartThings Hub 3 which allows you to connect the hub to your network via wifi instead of just having it sit next to your router. Wink has had this for years so it is nice to see Samsung catching up in this regard.

samsung smartthings huv vs wink hub 2 interface

Both the Wink 2 Hub (left) and SmartThings Hub (right) interfaces are simple and intuitive

A shout out to both Amazon Echo and Google Home for also being dead simple to use. But we won’t give them the win here because they aren’t full-fledged smart home hubs that can handle multiple protocols like zigbee and z-wave.

Winner: Wink Hub 2, Samsung SmartThings Hub

Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Wink 2 Hub Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Samsung SmartThings Hub


What are the best smart home hubs for compatibility?

If you’re looking at picking up a smart home hub you are probably worried about which protocols and devices it is compatible with. For those of you looking for a simple-to-use system, again we are giving a tie to Samsung SmartThings and Wink. On one hand, Wink has native compatibility with Nest’s Thread protocol and can directly control Nest cams and thermostats. Unfortunately SmartThings does not have the same. But SmartThings is quite a bit more expandable based on user-made recipes to include devices that aren’t even really officially supported yet. SmartThings is a very active open development community that has many very talented folks adding integrations to the SmartThings API everyday.

Unfortunately, while we like Insteon’s product, it is pretty crippled by only controlling Insteon devices and a small number of 3rd party devices. You can extend this with IFTTT and Stringify, but you’d really need to be sure about going all the way with Insteon’s products to choose this hub.

Both Wink and SmartThings will integrated with pretty much everything under the sun. But if we had to choose just one we will crown Samsung SmartThings as the kind of compatibility based one its active developer community and already impressive support for literally thousands of smart home devices. There is one major one that you should consider though: Lutron Clear Connect. If you have Lutron switches that use this protocol, Wink supports it natively which is very valuable.

For more “tweaky” technical hubs I’d give the win to Homeseer. They support every protocol out there, including Nest through a 3rd party plugin. Where they excel over others is the integration of classic KNX devices through an add-on available on their website. This opens up a level of control of more commercial products that use KNX that isn’t available on the simpler systems.

Winner: Samsung SmartThings Hub, HomeSeer

Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Samsung SmartThings HubSmart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Homeseer


What are the best smart home hubs for voice and AI capabilities?

If all you want to do is control your devices via voice, then you may not really need a full-fledged smart home hub. Both Google Home and Amazon Echo actually tie many smart home devices together through their mobile apps and can usually provide a fairly robust backbone for basic (non zigbee or z-wave) devices in your smart home.

google home smart home hub

Google Home is currently our favorite voice assistant smart home control. But it has recently launched intricate custom routines that make it a fairly solid hub as well.

We are suckers for the Google Home’s accuracy and realism over Amazon’s Alexa so we have to give the nod to Google Home for voice and AI capabilities. It’s worth noting that other smart home hubs like Wink, SmartThings and even Vera, Homeseer and Insteon can also connect and work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Winner: Google Home

Google Home


What are the best smart home hubs for design

Design shouldn’t be a major issue in the physical sense since these devices are usually hidden away in a server cabinet or desk somewhere, but if looks and industrial design are on your list, then read on. Wink tends to pay the most attention to both industrial design (the look of their hub itself) and the user interface and user experience in their app. Samsung SmartThings is pretty good (and is getting better every day) but Wink still edges it out in terms of level of polish across the board.

The more do-it-yourself solutions from Vera, HomeSeer and Insteon are really just ugly boxes. And their web and mobile interfaces leave quite a lot to be desired. For “wife approval factor” the Wink Hub 2 wins hands down. And you know what, let’s call it “spouse approval factor.” After all, I know a lot of men who have some very specific tastes as well!

Winner: Wink Hub 2

Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Wink 2 Hub


What about cloud VS local control?

If you have done any research on smart home hubs there is a major schism among experts: to cloud or not to cloud. Basically a lot of systems can only run to their full capabiltiy when you have internet access. This includes both Samsung SmartThings and Wink 2. This means that when the internet is down, your system may not run as designed. Many simple commands will still work, but a surprising number of automation commands simply won’t work at all until internet connectivity is brought back. This is where the more technical systems like Vera and HomeSeer come in. They can all operate totally offline. In terms of security this is huge. What if your security system is tied to your smart home hub and your internet goes out? This means that you are vulnerable.

This also impacts on user experience. Probably the biggest complaint among Samsung SmartThings and Wink users is the lack of true offline capability. Unfortunately Insteon also needs a connection to operate properly. The win goes to Vera and HomeSeer in this category as they both remain very capable without an internet connection. HomeSeer’s hybrid approach to including full offline support is particularly well-implemented with your lights and other automations all managed locally.

Winner: HomeSeer, Vera

Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Homeseer  Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Vera


What is the best smart home hub for value for money?

These are mostly fairly affordable devices. But let’s factor in your time as a valuable resource. How much is your time worth? If you want to spend weeks and months keeping up a system on HomeSeer, you will likely have the most capable system around. But if you just want something that is even 80% as good as that, but takes a fraction of the amount of time to setup, just call it a day and get a SmartThings Hub. SmartThings hubs are quite affordable and walk a nice line between functionality and ease of use.

nvidia sheild smartthings link smart home hub

The value here is immense, especially given that you can still grow into a SmartThings system if you start looking at user generated integrations. If you own an NVIDIA Shield TV box (amazing device by the way) you can get into SmartThings even cheaper by buying a little dongle that turns your Shield TV into a full SmartThings Hub.

Winner: Samsung SmartThings hub

Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Samsung SmartThings Hub


What is the best overall smart home hub?

It is a tough choice because each of these hubs does something really well. But for most people the Samsung SmartThings Hub is the sweet spot in terms of capability and convenience. The system is open and well-supported but there isn’t much of a barrier to getting started. The app is excellently designed and can control almost all available smart home protocols. For a basic zigbee, z-wave, wifi, bluetooth smart home, SmartThings will work very well. Of course, there are some caveats here. If your internet is spotty, consider something that works totally offline. If you are advanced, then you still may be quite happy with SmartThings, but in all likelihood you may want to look elsewhere.

Overall Winner: Samsung SmartThings hub

Smart Home Smackdown: The best smart home hubs compared Samsung SmartThings Hub


Other stuff to consider with smart home hubs

Many people can likely do a lot of the really cool integration stuff that smart home hubs do with software nowadays. You can do a lot with IFTTT and Stringify which have excellent mobile apps that walk you through automating all kinds of products. Google Home and Amazon Alexa can also run pretty intricate custom routines now which will run a series of commands based on a single voice command. So really, its the addition of zigbee and z-wave that is the big deal here.

Zigbee and particularly z-wave devices are often way cheaper than brand name wifi smart home devices. You can get a bunch of z-wave plus light switches for a fraction of what it would cost to equip your whole house with Lutron Caseta or other wifi switches. So this is a major draw of getting into a z-wave compatible smart home hub.


Where to buy

Samsung SmartThings Hub

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub

Usually ships in 1-2 business days & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 2, 2019 7:26 pm

Wink 2 Hub

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Wink Hub 2, Easily Control Every Device in Your Smart Home, Works...

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 2, 2019 7:26 pm

Vera Hub

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Vera Control VeraEdge North American One Application Control

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 2, 2019 7:26 pm
$69.95 $149.95

HomeSeer Hub

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

HomeSeer HomeTroller Zee S2 Home Controller

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 2, 2019 7:26 pm

Insteon Hub

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Insteon Hub, Works with Alexa, the Google Assistant, & More, Create Schedules...

Usually ships in 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was on: December 2, 2019 7:26 pm
$49.99 $79.99

 

 

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30 Comments
  1. Google making hardware is a beautiful thing. Amazing product. The accuracy recognizing what I say is extremely good. Been using it mostly for news and music in the morning, and to impress friends when they come. Want to set up some iot lights that I can use voice control on but they’re too expensive at the moment. If you have a chrome cast you’ll never have to search for videos again because you can just find them with your voice and it integrates flawlessly. The speaker is surprisingly very robust.

    Only negative for me is having to say “hey Google” every time. It’s not as smooth as saying a name like Alexa.

  2. Reply
    Allaboutthehomedecor August 15, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Google Home is a great product for the family. I’ve had my Google Home for about 3 weeks and have been very happy with it. Setup was a breeze and could have been done by anybody.

    // Pros / Difference from Echo:
    – #1 major difference. Google Home can handle different grammatical structures and syntax for the same question. Simple example: What is the capital of Norway? = Which city is the capital of Norway? = What is the Norwegian capital? I find this really good for family and friends because — unlike with Alexa / Echo — we don’t have to learn how to exactly verbalize every “skill”. Google Home allows us to speak naturally without us having to learn its own language.
    – The above ability combined with Google Home’s awareness of context helps it with some complicated questions like: Me: OK Google. What is that song from the Lion King? > Google Home: The songs are Circle of Life and … > Me: OK Google. Play it please > Google Home: Sure. Playing Circle of Life. = Wow. Note that I didn’t even mention the song.
    – #2 major difference is multi-room audio!! I’ve got two Google Home devices and two Chromecast Audio devices ($35 each) in my home, and I labeled the group as “Entire Home”. So I can say: OK Google. Play Arianna Grande in Entire Home. Echo is unable to do this (yet?).
    – The “Good morning” / “My day” feature is really neat on Google Home. It tells me in one pass about the weather, traffic to work, my appointments, and rounds up with news from my favorite sources.
    – Works flawlessly with Chromecast devices. Example: OK Google. Play a funny cat video from YouTube on the Living Room Chromecast > Then Google plays it on Chromecast, which triggers my living room TV to show the video
    – There are some customizable bases that are better suited to your home decor. However, these are a little pricey for fabric and metal. Nonetheless, Google Home is very soft and unassuming in its design whereas Echo feels very industrial to me personally.

    // Pros / Similarities with Amazon Echo:
    – The far-field mics work well and can pick up voices from across the room without having to yell.
    – The speaker quality is very good.
    – Works well with Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc. But Google Home doesn’t work with Amazon Music (yet?).
    – Connected Home – Works well with Philips Hue lightbulbs and Nest Thermostat. I haven’t tested out other brands like LifX, Wemo, etc. I do think Echo has more connected home applications because it’s been in the market longer, but I don’t use those other services at this time.
    – Set reminders, timers, get recipes, get directions, call an Uber
    – There are lots of IFTTT (third party app — try it out!) routines that can be built.
    – The Google Home app is very easy to use.

    // Minor Cons
    – You do have to say “OK Google” to prompt the device. However, this is no different than saying “Alexa” for Echo. The Pro I seen in this is related to privacy — I don’t want the device to respond to anything my family is talking about unless we specifically want to interact with it.
    – Only the top of the Google Home device has a light indicator to show when it’s listening. So if you’ve got this on your kitchen counter and you’re seated on your couch (at a lower height), you may not see the lights. Echo overcomes this with the light ring around the device.
    – The Google Home device can’t be used as a speakerphone or be used to make phone calls.
    – Saying OK Google also triggers my phone. I’d like the ability to choose the device with which I want to interact.

    // Major Cons:
    – There can only be one user profile! So I can get a run down of my day, but my girlfriend can’t get hers; we can only hear my services but not hers. To be fair, this isn’t that different from Echo, but it is a little annoying. This seems like the next step for both Google and Amazon.

    Overall, I think Google Home is an excellent product, and I look forward to seeing more services being made available.

  3. The Google Home Makes Life More Convenient. The Google Home is a well built voice activated speaker that sounds pretty good and is useful for many things, specifically the Google Home is quite useful for setting alarms and timers, and I have been getting up in the morning more consistently than I had been before I received my Google Home.
    The Google Home is able to play at volume levels that are plenty sufficient for most situations.
    If you choose to buy a Google home, after connecting it to your internet connection, then it is best to download the Google Home app for Android or Apple, then locate and optimize all the settings to get the best experience using the Google Home. In the settings there is a setting called Accessibility, it allows you to turn on the option to play an audible sound, which indicates when you should speak your verbal request. This means that after you say OK GOOGLE, you will then hear an audible beep, so you will know exactly when to speak your request, without this Accessibility sound option turned on, it is necessary to be looking at the Google Home device when saying OK GOOGLE, so that you can see the lights on the top of the Google Home light up, of which the lights indicates that you should then speak your request. It is basically easier to say OK GOOGLE and hear an audible beep indicating when to speak your request, than it is to say OK GOOGLE and have to be looking at the device to see the visual indicator to know when to speak your request.
    The Google Home app has the option to add your home address, which is necessary for the Google Assistant to provide your weather requests, as the Google Home needs to know the location of the weather that you are desiring.
    The Google Home app allows you to set a desired music playback source, and also allows you to create a list of your desired news sources, allowing you to customize the news that you can hear playing through the Google Home.
    Newer versions of the Android operating system have the built in options of allowing the Google Assistant to be always listening, so that you can say OK GOOGLE, and then you can make a verbal request, the same way that the Google Home does, but using the Google Home device is a much better experience. The two microphones on the Google Home pick up your voice noticeably better than the microphone on a smart phone.
    The Google Chrome web browser has apps and extensions that can be installed, which add interactivity with your Google Home device. Do a Google search for Chrome Web Store, and it will bring up the website where you can search for and install the available Google Apps and Extensions.
    The Google Keep app for Google Chrome, allows you to create a shopping list that can be used with the Google Home Assistant, just create a shopping list in the Google Keep app, then ask the Google Home Assistant: What is my shopping list, then the Assistant will verbally remind you of all the things on your shopping list.
    The Google Keep app can be downloaded for Android or Apple and can be installed on your smart phone, allowing you to create shopping lists the same way.
    The Google Calendar extension for Google Chrome, allows you to quickly add calendar entries, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant: What is on my calendar, and the Assistant will verbally remind you of your calendar events.
    The Google Cast extension for Google Chrome, allows you to see which song Pandora is playing, this extension allows you to pause music playback and also adjust the volume level, all of this from the Google Chrome browser.
    Below is a list of verbal requests that the Google Home can be used for:
    What time is it
    Set an alarm for 7 am, Set a timer for 30 minutes (Multiple timers and alarms can be set)
    Stop alarm, Stop timer, Stop all timers, Stop all alarms
    What is today’s weather (Your local weather will be read if your address has been set)
    What is the weather in Ventura, California (Any city and state can be requested)
    What is the humidity (Your local humidity will be read if your address has been set)
    Is Wal-Mart open, Is Best Buy open, Is Jack in the box open, etc..
    What is on my calendar (Calendar events must be added first in Google Calendar)
    Add orange juice to my shopping list, Add bananas to my shopping list, etc..
    What is my shopping list
    Play music, Pause music (Music will play from your chosen default music source)
    Play Google Play music (Use this if Pandora is default music source)
    Play Pandora music (Use this if Google Play Music is default music source)
    Play news, Pause news (News will play from your chosen list of news sources)
    Turn up the volume, Turn down the volume
    Volume level 4, Volume level 6, Volume level 3, etc.. (Volume levels 1 – 10)
    What is the volume
    The Google Home voice activated smart speaker, allows adding Philips Hue lighting control, it is necessary to synchronize the Google Home device with the Philips Hue bridge, this synchronizing is done in the settings of the Google Home app on an Android or Apple device, once this is setup, all of the following can be said to control Philips Hue lighting.
    Turn lights on 10 percent, Turn lights on 50 percent, Turn lights light blue (Daylight), Turn lights white (Warm white), Turn lights red (Great for movie lighting, or night lights), Dim lights, Turn lights on 100 percent, Turn lights off.
    The Google Home has a really nice power supply, which has a silicone strap that wraps around the cord. A quality power supply always adds to making an electronic device have a luxury feel to it.
    My overall opinion of the Google Home Assistant, is that owning and using the Google Home has made life more convenient.

  4. This thing is pretty cool. It’s pretty much like having the power of the internet, without having to type. You just ask…

  5. Google Home is fun. I ordered this because I had seen it advertised and thought it would be fun and could be helpful too! I have a lot to learn yet but I have used it for music and playing games! You can ask it anything of course! This is the future and it is already here in my house! I think everyone should have a Google Home.!

  6. Google making hardware is a beautiful thing. Amazing product. The accuracy recognizing what I say is extremely good. Been using it mostly for news and music in the morning, and to impress friends when they come. Want to set up some iot lights that I can use voice control on but they’re too expensive at the moment. If you have a chrome cast you’ll never have to search for videos again because you can just find them with your voice and it integrates flawlessly. The speaker is surprisingly very robust.

    Only negative for me is having to say “hey Google” every time. It’s not as smooth as saying a name like Alexa.

  7. Reply
    Allaboutthehomedecor August 15, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Google Home is a great product for the family. I’ve had my Google Home for about 3 weeks and have been very happy with it. Setup was a breeze and could have been done by anybody.

    // Pros / Difference from Echo:
    – #1 major difference. Google Home can handle different grammatical structures and syntax for the same question. Simple example: What is the capital of Norway? = Which city is the capital of Norway? = What is the Norwegian capital? I find this really good for family and friends because — unlike with Alexa / Echo — we don’t have to learn how to exactly verbalize every “skill”. Google Home allows us to speak naturally without us having to learn its own language.
    – The above ability combined with Google Home’s awareness of context helps it with some complicated questions like: Me: OK Google. What is that song from the Lion King? > Google Home: The songs are Circle of Life and … > Me: OK Google. Play it please > Google Home: Sure. Playing Circle of Life. = Wow. Note that I didn’t even mention the song.
    – #2 major difference is multi-room audio!! I’ve got two Google Home devices and two Chromecast Audio devices ($35 each) in my home, and I labeled the group as “Entire Home”. So I can say: OK Google. Play Arianna Grande in Entire Home. Echo is unable to do this (yet?).
    – The “Good morning” / “My day” feature is really neat on Google Home. It tells me in one pass about the weather, traffic to work, my appointments, and rounds up with news from my favorite sources.
    – Works flawlessly with Chromecast devices. Example: OK Google. Play a funny cat video from YouTube on the Living Room Chromecast > Then Google plays it on Chromecast, which triggers my living room TV to show the video
    – There are some customizable bases that are better suited to your home decor. However, these are a little pricey for fabric and metal. Nonetheless, Google Home is very soft and unassuming in its design whereas Echo feels very industrial to me personally.

    // Pros / Similarities with Amazon Echo:
    – The far-field mics work well and can pick up voices from across the room without having to yell.
    – The speaker quality is very good.
    – Works well with Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc. But Google Home doesn’t work with Amazon Music (yet?).
    – Connected Home – Works well with Philips Hue lightbulbs and Nest Thermostat. I haven’t tested out other brands like LifX, Wemo, etc. I do think Echo has more connected home applications because it’s been in the market longer, but I don’t use those other services at this time.
    – Set reminders, timers, get recipes, get directions, call an Uber
    – There are lots of IFTTT (third party app — try it out!) routines that can be built.
    – The Google Home app is very easy to use.

    // Minor Cons
    – You do have to say “OK Google” to prompt the device. However, this is no different than saying “Alexa” for Echo. The Pro I seen in this is related to privacy — I don’t want the device to respond to anything my family is talking about unless we specifically want to interact with it.
    – Only the top of the Google Home device has a light indicator to show when it’s listening. So if you’ve got this on your kitchen counter and you’re seated on your couch (at a lower height), you may not see the lights. Echo overcomes this with the light ring around the device.
    – The Google Home device can’t be used as a speakerphone or be used to make phone calls.
    – Saying OK Google also triggers my phone. I’d like the ability to choose the device with which I want to interact.

    // Major Cons:
    – There can only be one user profile! So I can get a run down of my day, but my girlfriend can’t get hers; we can only hear my services but not hers. To be fair, this isn’t that different from Echo, but it is a little annoying. This seems like the next step for both Google and Amazon.

    Overall, I think Google Home is an excellent product, and I look forward to seeing more services being made available.

  8. The Google Home Makes Life More Convenient. The Google Home is a well built voice activated speaker that sounds pretty good and is useful for many things, specifically the Google Home is quite useful for setting alarms and timers, and I have been getting up in the morning more consistently than I had been before I received my Google Home.
    The Google Home is able to play at volume levels that are plenty sufficient for most situations.
    If you choose to buy a Google home, after connecting it to your internet connection, then it is best to download the Google Home app for Android or Apple, then locate and optimize all the settings to get the best experience using the Google Home. In the settings there is a setting called Accessibility, it allows you to turn on the option to play an audible sound, which indicates when you should speak your verbal request. This means that after you say OK GOOGLE, you will then hear an audible beep, so you will know exactly when to speak your request, without this Accessibility sound option turned on, it is necessary to be looking at the Google Home device when saying OK GOOGLE, so that you can see the lights on the top of the Google Home light up, of which the lights indicates that you should then speak your request. It is basically easier to say OK GOOGLE and hear an audible beep indicating when to speak your request, than it is to say OK GOOGLE and have to be looking at the device to see the visual indicator to know when to speak your request.
    The Google Home app has the option to add your home address, which is necessary for the Google Assistant to provide your weather requests, as the Google Home needs to know the location of the weather that you are desiring.
    The Google Home app allows you to set a desired music playback source, and also allows you to create a list of your desired news sources, allowing you to customize the news that you can hear playing through the Google Home.
    Newer versions of the Android operating system have the built in options of allowing the Google Assistant to be always listening, so that you can say OK GOOGLE, and then you can make a verbal request, the same way that the Google Home does, but using the Google Home device is a much better experience. The two microphones on the Google Home pick up your voice noticeably better than the microphone on a smart phone.
    The Google Chrome web browser has apps and extensions that can be installed, which add interactivity with your Google Home device. Do a Google search for Chrome Web Store, and it will bring up the website where you can search for and install the available Google Apps and Extensions.
    The Google Keep app for Google Chrome, allows you to create a shopping list that can be used with the Google Home Assistant, just create a shopping list in the Google Keep app, then ask the Google Home Assistant: What is my shopping list, then the Assistant will verbally remind you of all the things on your shopping list.
    The Google Keep app can be downloaded for Android or Apple and can be installed on your smart phone, allowing you to create shopping lists the same way.
    The Google Calendar extension for Google Chrome, allows you to quickly add calendar entries, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant: What is on my calendar, and the Assistant will verbally remind you of your calendar events.
    The Google Cast extension for Google Chrome, allows you to see which song Pandora is playing, this extension allows you to pause music playback and also adjust the volume level, all of this from the Google Chrome browser.
    Below is a list of verbal requests that the Google Home can be used for:
    What time is it
    Set an alarm for 7 am, Set a timer for 30 minutes (Multiple timers and alarms can be set)
    Stop alarm, Stop timer, Stop all timers, Stop all alarms
    What is today’s weather (Your local weather will be read if your address has been set)
    What is the weather in Ventura, California (Any city and state can be requested)
    What is the humidity (Your local humidity will be read if your address has been set)
    Is Wal-Mart open, Is Best Buy open, Is Jack in the box open, etc..
    What is on my calendar (Calendar events must be added first in Google Calendar)
    Add orange juice to my shopping list, Add bananas to my shopping list, etc..
    What is my shopping list
    Play music, Pause music (Music will play from your chosen default music source)
    Play Google Play music (Use this if Pandora is default music source)
    Play Pandora music (Use this if Google Play Music is default music source)
    Play news, Pause news (News will play from your chosen list of news sources)
    Turn up the volume, Turn down the volume
    Volume level 4, Volume level 6, Volume level 3, etc.. (Volume levels 1 – 10)
    What is the volume
    The Google Home voice activated smart speaker, allows adding Philips Hue lighting control, it is necessary to synchronize the Google Home device with the Philips Hue bridge, this synchronizing is done in the settings of the Google Home app on an Android or Apple device, once this is setup, all of the following can be said to control Philips Hue lighting.
    Turn lights on 10 percent, Turn lights on 50 percent, Turn lights light blue (Daylight), Turn lights white (Warm white), Turn lights red (Great for movie lighting, or night lights), Dim lights, Turn lights on 100 percent, Turn lights off.
    The Google Home has a really nice power supply, which has a silicone strap that wraps around the cord. A quality power supply always adds to making an electronic device have a luxury feel to it.
    My overall opinion of the Google Home Assistant, is that owning and using the Google Home has made life more convenient.

  9. This thing is pretty cool. It’s pretty much like having the power of the internet, without having to type. You just ask…

  10. Google Home is fun. I ordered this because I had seen it advertised and thought it would be fun and could be helpful too! I have a lot to learn yet but I have used it for music and playing games! You can ask it anything of course! This is the future and it is already here in my house! I think everyone should have a Google Home.!

  11. Google making hardware is a beautiful thing. Amazing product. The accuracy recognizing what I say is extremely good. Been using it mostly for news and music in the morning, and to impress friends when they come. Want to set up some iot lights that I can use voice control on but they’re too expensive at the moment. If you have a chrome cast you’ll never have to search for videos again because you can just find them with your voice and it integrates flawlessly. The speaker is surprisingly very robust.

    Only negative for me is having to say “hey Google” every time. It’s not as smooth as saying a name like Alexa.

  12. Reply
    Allaboutthehomedecor August 15, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Google Home is a great product for the family. I’ve had my Google Home for about 3 weeks and have been very happy with it. Setup was a breeze and could have been done by anybody.

    // Pros / Difference from Echo:
    – #1 major difference. Google Home can handle different grammatical structures and syntax for the same question. Simple example: What is the capital of Norway? = Which city is the capital of Norway? = What is the Norwegian capital? I find this really good for family and friends because — unlike with Alexa / Echo — we don’t have to learn how to exactly verbalize every “skill”. Google Home allows us to speak naturally without us having to learn its own language.
    – The above ability combined with Google Home’s awareness of context helps it with some complicated questions like: Me: OK Google. What is that song from the Lion King? > Google Home: The songs are Circle of Life and … > Me: OK Google. Play it please > Google Home: Sure. Playing Circle of Life. = Wow. Note that I didn’t even mention the song.
    – #2 major difference is multi-room audio!! I’ve got two Google Home devices and two Chromecast Audio devices ($35 each) in my home, and I labeled the group as “Entire Home”. So I can say: OK Google. Play Arianna Grande in Entire Home. Echo is unable to do this (yet?).
    – The “Good morning” / “My day” feature is really neat on Google Home. It tells me in one pass about the weather, traffic to work, my appointments, and rounds up with news from my favorite sources.
    – Works flawlessly with Chromecast devices. Example: OK Google. Play a funny cat video from YouTube on the Living Room Chromecast > Then Google plays it on Chromecast, which triggers my living room TV to show the video
    – There are some customizable bases that are better suited to your home decor. However, these are a little pricey for fabric and metal. Nonetheless, Google Home is very soft and unassuming in its design whereas Echo feels very industrial to me personally.

    // Pros / Similarities with Amazon Echo:
    – The far-field mics work well and can pick up voices from across the room without having to yell.
    – The speaker quality is very good.
    – Works well with Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc. But Google Home doesn’t work with Amazon Music (yet?).
    – Connected Home – Works well with Philips Hue lightbulbs and Nest Thermostat. I haven’t tested out other brands like LifX, Wemo, etc. I do think Echo has more connected home applications because it’s been in the market longer, but I don’t use those other services at this time.
    – Set reminders, timers, get recipes, get directions, call an Uber
    – There are lots of IFTTT (third party app — try it out!) routines that can be built.
    – The Google Home app is very easy to use.

    // Minor Cons
    – You do have to say “OK Google” to prompt the device. However, this is no different than saying “Alexa” for Echo. The Pro I seen in this is related to privacy — I don’t want the device to respond to anything my family is talking about unless we specifically want to interact with it.
    – Only the top of the Google Home device has a light indicator to show when it’s listening. So if you’ve got this on your kitchen counter and you’re seated on your couch (at a lower height), you may not see the lights. Echo overcomes this with the light ring around the device.
    – The Google Home device can’t be used as a speakerphone or be used to make phone calls.
    – Saying OK Google also triggers my phone. I’d like the ability to choose the device with which I want to interact.

    // Major Cons:
    – There can only be one user profile! So I can get a run down of my day, but my girlfriend can’t get hers; we can only hear my services but not hers. To be fair, this isn’t that different from Echo, but it is a little annoying. This seems like the next step for both Google and Amazon.

    Overall, I think Google Home is an excellent product, and I look forward to seeing more services being made available.

  13. The Google Home Makes Life More Convenient. The Google Home is a well built voice activated speaker that sounds pretty good and is useful for many things, specifically the Google Home is quite useful for setting alarms and timers, and I have been getting up in the morning more consistently than I had been before I received my Google Home.
    The Google Home is able to play at volume levels that are plenty sufficient for most situations.
    If you choose to buy a Google home, after connecting it to your internet connection, then it is best to download the Google Home app for Android or Apple, then locate and optimize all the settings to get the best experience using the Google Home. In the settings there is a setting called Accessibility, it allows you to turn on the option to play an audible sound, which indicates when you should speak your verbal request. This means that after you say OK GOOGLE, you will then hear an audible beep, so you will know exactly when to speak your request, without this Accessibility sound option turned on, it is necessary to be looking at the Google Home device when saying OK GOOGLE, so that you can see the lights on the top of the Google Home light up, of which the lights indicates that you should then speak your request. It is basically easier to say OK GOOGLE and hear an audible beep indicating when to speak your request, than it is to say OK GOOGLE and have to be looking at the device to see the visual indicator to know when to speak your request.
    The Google Home app has the option to add your home address, which is necessary for the Google Assistant to provide your weather requests, as the Google Home needs to know the location of the weather that you are desiring.
    The Google Home app allows you to set a desired music playback source, and also allows you to create a list of your desired news sources, allowing you to customize the news that you can hear playing through the Google Home.
    Newer versions of the Android operating system have the built in options of allowing the Google Assistant to be always listening, so that you can say OK GOOGLE, and then you can make a verbal request, the same way that the Google Home does, but using the Google Home device is a much better experience. The two microphones on the Google Home pick up your voice noticeably better than the microphone on a smart phone.
    The Google Chrome web browser has apps and extensions that can be installed, which add interactivity with your Google Home device. Do a Google search for Chrome Web Store, and it will bring up the website where you can search for and install the available Google Apps and Extensions.
    The Google Keep app for Google Chrome, allows you to create a shopping list that can be used with the Google Home Assistant, just create a shopping list in the Google Keep app, then ask the Google Home Assistant: What is my shopping list, then the Assistant will verbally remind you of all the things on your shopping list.
    The Google Keep app can be downloaded for Android or Apple and can be installed on your smart phone, allowing you to create shopping lists the same way.
    The Google Calendar extension for Google Chrome, allows you to quickly add calendar entries, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant: What is on my calendar, and the Assistant will verbally remind you of your calendar events.
    The Google Cast extension for Google Chrome, allows you to see which song Pandora is playing, this extension allows you to pause music playback and also adjust the volume level, all of this from the Google Chrome browser.
    Below is a list of verbal requests that the Google Home can be used for:
    What time is it
    Set an alarm for 7 am, Set a timer for 30 minutes (Multiple timers and alarms can be set)
    Stop alarm, Stop timer, Stop all timers, Stop all alarms
    What is today’s weather (Your local weather will be read if your address has been set)
    What is the weather in Ventura, California (Any city and state can be requested)
    What is the humidity (Your local humidity will be read if your address has been set)
    Is Wal-Mart open, Is Best Buy open, Is Jack in the box open, etc..
    What is on my calendar (Calendar events must be added first in Google Calendar)
    Add orange juice to my shopping list, Add bananas to my shopping list, etc..
    What is my shopping list
    Play music, Pause music (Music will play from your chosen default music source)
    Play Google Play music (Use this if Pandora is default music source)
    Play Pandora music (Use this if Google Play Music is default music source)
    Play news, Pause news (News will play from your chosen list of news sources)
    Turn up the volume, Turn down the volume
    Volume level 4, Volume level 6, Volume level 3, etc.. (Volume levels 1 – 10)
    What is the volume
    The Google Home voice activated smart speaker, allows adding Philips Hue lighting control, it is necessary to synchronize the Google Home device with the Philips Hue bridge, this synchronizing is done in the settings of the Google Home app on an Android or Apple device, once this is setup, all of the following can be said to control Philips Hue lighting.
    Turn lights on 10 percent, Turn lights on 50 percent, Turn lights light blue (Daylight), Turn lights white (Warm white), Turn lights red (Great for movie lighting, or night lights), Dim lights, Turn lights on 100 percent, Turn lights off.
    The Google Home has a really nice power supply, which has a silicone strap that wraps around the cord. A quality power supply always adds to making an electronic device have a luxury feel to it.
    My overall opinion of the Google Home Assistant, is that owning and using the Google Home has made life more convenient.

  14. This thing is pretty cool. It’s pretty much like having the power of the internet, without having to type. You just ask…

  15. Google Home is fun. I ordered this because I had seen it advertised and thought it would be fun and could be helpful too! I have a lot to learn yet but I have used it for music and playing games! You can ask it anything of course! This is the future and it is already here in my house! I think everyone should have a Google Home.!

  16. Google making hardware is a beautiful thing. Amazing product. The accuracy recognizing what I say is extremely good. Been using it mostly for news and music in the morning, and to impress friends when they come. Want to set up some iot lights that I can use voice control on but they’re too expensive at the moment. If you have a chrome cast you’ll never have to search for videos again because you can just find them with your voice and it integrates flawlessly. The speaker is surprisingly very robust.

    Only negative for me is having to say “hey Google” every time. It’s not as smooth as saying a name like Alexa.

  17. Reply
    Allaboutthehomedecor August 15, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    Google Home is a great product for the family. I’ve had my Google Home for about 3 weeks and have been very happy with it. Setup was a breeze and could have been done by anybody.

    // Pros / Difference from Echo:
    – #1 major difference. Google Home can handle different grammatical structures and syntax for the same question. Simple example: What is the capital of Norway? = Which city is the capital of Norway? = What is the Norwegian capital? I find this really good for family and friends because — unlike with Alexa / Echo — we don’t have to learn how to exactly verbalize every “skill”. Google Home allows us to speak naturally without us having to learn its own language.
    – The above ability combined with Google Home’s awareness of context helps it with some complicated questions like: Me: OK Google. What is that song from the Lion King? > Google Home: The songs are Circle of Life and … > Me: OK Google. Play it please > Google Home: Sure. Playing Circle of Life. = Wow. Note that I didn’t even mention the song.
    – #2 major difference is multi-room audio!! I’ve got two Google Home devices and two Chromecast Audio devices ($35 each) in my home, and I labeled the group as “Entire Home”. So I can say: OK Google. Play Arianna Grande in Entire Home. Echo is unable to do this (yet?).
    – The “Good morning” / “My day” feature is really neat on Google Home. It tells me in one pass about the weather, traffic to work, my appointments, and rounds up with news from my favorite sources.
    – Works flawlessly with Chromecast devices. Example: OK Google. Play a funny cat video from YouTube on the Living Room Chromecast > Then Google plays it on Chromecast, which triggers my living room TV to show the video
    – There are some customizable bases that are better suited to your home decor. However, these are a little pricey for fabric and metal. Nonetheless, Google Home is very soft and unassuming in its design whereas Echo feels very industrial to me personally.

    // Pros / Similarities with Amazon Echo:
    – The far-field mics work well and can pick up voices from across the room without having to yell.
    – The speaker quality is very good.
    – Works well with Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc. But Google Home doesn’t work with Amazon Music (yet?).
    – Connected Home – Works well with Philips Hue lightbulbs and Nest Thermostat. I haven’t tested out other brands like LifX, Wemo, etc. I do think Echo has more connected home applications because it’s been in the market longer, but I don’t use those other services at this time.
    – Set reminders, timers, get recipes, get directions, call an Uber
    – There are lots of IFTTT (third party app — try it out!) routines that can be built.
    – The Google Home app is very easy to use.

    // Minor Cons
    – You do have to say “OK Google” to prompt the device. However, this is no different than saying “Alexa” for Echo. The Pro I seen in this is related to privacy — I don’t want the device to respond to anything my family is talking about unless we specifically want to interact with it.
    – Only the top of the Google Home device has a light indicator to show when it’s listening. So if you’ve got this on your kitchen counter and you’re seated on your couch (at a lower height), you may not see the lights. Echo overcomes this with the light ring around the device.
    – The Google Home device can’t be used as a speakerphone or be used to make phone calls.
    – Saying OK Google also triggers my phone. I’d like the ability to choose the device with which I want to interact.

    // Major Cons:
    – There can only be one user profile! So I can get a run down of my day, but my girlfriend can’t get hers; we can only hear my services but not hers. To be fair, this isn’t that different from Echo, but it is a little annoying. This seems like the next step for both Google and Amazon.

    Overall, I think Google Home is an excellent product, and I look forward to seeing more services being made available.

  18. The Google Home Makes Life More Convenient. The Google Home is a well built voice activated speaker that sounds pretty good and is useful for many things, specifically the Google Home is quite useful for setting alarms and timers, and I have been getting up in the morning more consistently than I had been before I received my Google Home.
    The Google Home is able to play at volume levels that are plenty sufficient for most situations.
    If you choose to buy a Google home, after connecting it to your internet connection, then it is best to download the Google Home app for Android or Apple, then locate and optimize all the settings to get the best experience using the Google Home. In the settings there is a setting called Accessibility, it allows you to turn on the option to play an audible sound, which indicates when you should speak your verbal request. This means that after you say OK GOOGLE, you will then hear an audible beep, so you will know exactly when to speak your request, without this Accessibility sound option turned on, it is necessary to be looking at the Google Home device when saying OK GOOGLE, so that you can see the lights on the top of the Google Home light up, of which the lights indicates that you should then speak your request. It is basically easier to say OK GOOGLE and hear an audible beep indicating when to speak your request, than it is to say OK GOOGLE and have to be looking at the device to see the visual indicator to know when to speak your request.
    The Google Home app has the option to add your home address, which is necessary for the Google Assistant to provide your weather requests, as the Google Home needs to know the location of the weather that you are desiring.
    The Google Home app allows you to set a desired music playback source, and also allows you to create a list of your desired news sources, allowing you to customize the news that you can hear playing through the Google Home.
    Newer versions of the Android operating system have the built in options of allowing the Google Assistant to be always listening, so that you can say OK GOOGLE, and then you can make a verbal request, the same way that the Google Home does, but using the Google Home device is a much better experience. The two microphones on the Google Home pick up your voice noticeably better than the microphone on a smart phone.
    The Google Chrome web browser has apps and extensions that can be installed, which add interactivity with your Google Home device. Do a Google search for Chrome Web Store, and it will bring up the website where you can search for and install the available Google Apps and Extensions.
    The Google Keep app for Google Chrome, allows you to create a shopping list that can be used with the Google Home Assistant, just create a shopping list in the Google Keep app, then ask the Google Home Assistant: What is my shopping list, then the Assistant will verbally remind you of all the things on your shopping list.
    The Google Keep app can be downloaded for Android or Apple and can be installed on your smart phone, allowing you to create shopping lists the same way.
    The Google Calendar extension for Google Chrome, allows you to quickly add calendar entries, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant: What is on my calendar, and the Assistant will verbally remind you of your calendar events.
    The Google Cast extension for Google Chrome, allows you to see which song Pandora is playing, this extension allows you to pause music playback and also adjust the volume level, all of this from the Google Chrome browser.
    Below is a list of verbal requests that the Google Home can be used for:
    What time is it
    Set an alarm for 7 am, Set a timer for 30 minutes (Multiple timers and alarms can be set)
    Stop alarm, Stop timer, Stop all timers, Stop all alarms
    What is today’s weather (Your local weather will be read if your address has been set)
    What is the weather in Ventura, California (Any city and state can be requested)
    What is the humidity (Your local humidity will be read if your address has been set)
    Is Wal-Mart open, Is Best Buy open, Is Jack in the box open, etc..
    What is on my calendar (Calendar events must be added first in Google Calendar)
    Add orange juice to my shopping list, Add bananas to my shopping list, etc..
    What is my shopping list
    Play music, Pause music (Music will play from your chosen default music source)
    Play Google Play music (Use this if Pandora is default music source)
    Play Pandora music (Use this if Google Play Music is default music source)
    Play news, Pause news (News will play from your chosen list of news sources)
    Turn up the volume, Turn down the volume
    Volume level 4, Volume level 6, Volume level 3, etc.. (Volume levels 1 – 10)
    What is the volume
    The Google Home voice activated smart speaker, allows adding Philips Hue lighting control, it is necessary to synchronize the Google Home device with the Philips Hue bridge, this synchronizing is done in the settings of the Google Home app on an Android or Apple device, once this is setup, all of the following can be said to control Philips Hue lighting.
    Turn lights on 10 percent, Turn lights on 50 percent, Turn lights light blue (Daylight), Turn lights white (Warm white), Turn lights red (Great for movie lighting, or night lights), Dim lights, Turn lights on 100 percent, Turn lights off.
    The Google Home has a really nice power supply, which has a silicone strap that wraps around the cord. A quality power supply always adds to making an electronic device have a luxury feel to it.
    My overall opinion of the Google Home Assistant, is that owning and using the Google Home has made life more convenient.

  19. This thing is pretty cool. It’s pretty much like having the power of the internet, without having to type. You just ask…

  20. Google Home is fun. I ordered this because I had seen it advertised and thought it would be fun and could be helpful too! I have a lot to learn yet but I have used it for music and playing games! You can ask it anything of course! This is the future and it is already here in my house! I think everyone should have a Google Home.!

  21. Google making hardware is a beautiful thing. Amazing product. The accuracy recognizing what I say is extremely good. Been using it mostly for news and music in the morning, and to impress friends when they come. Want to set up some iot lights that I can use voice control on but they’re too expensive at the moment. If you have a chrome cast you’ll never have to search for videos again because you can just find them with your voice and it integrates flawlessly. The speaker is surprisingly very robust.

    Only negative for me is having to say “hey Google” every time. It’s not as smooth as saying a name like Alexa.

  22. Reply
    Allaboutthehomedecor August 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Google Home is a great product for the family. I’ve had my Google Home for about 3 weeks and have been very happy with it. Setup was a breeze and could have been done by anybody.

    // Pros / Difference from Echo:
    – #1 major difference. Google Home can handle different grammatical structures and syntax for the same question. Simple example: What is the capital of Norway? = Which city is the capital of Norway? = What is the Norwegian capital? I find this really good for family and friends because — unlike with Alexa / Echo — we don’t have to learn how to exactly verbalize every “skill”. Google Home allows us to speak naturally without us having to learn its own language.
    – The above ability combined with Google Home’s awareness of context helps it with some complicated questions like: Me: OK Google. What is that song from the Lion King? > Google Home: The songs are Circle of Life and … > Me: OK Google. Play it please > Google Home: Sure. Playing Circle of Life. = Wow. Note that I didn’t even mention the song.
    – #2 major difference is multi-room audio!! I’ve got two Google Home devices and two Chromecast Audio devices ($35 each) in my home, and I labeled the group as “Entire Home”. So I can say: OK Google. Play Arianna Grande in Entire Home. Echo is unable to do this (yet?).
    – The “Good morning” / “My day” feature is really neat on Google Home. It tells me in one pass about the weather, traffic to work, my appointments, and rounds up with news from my favorite sources.
    – Works flawlessly with Chromecast devices. Example: OK Google. Play a funny cat video from YouTube on the Living Room Chromecast > Then Google plays it on Chromecast, which triggers my living room TV to show the video
    – There are some customizable bases that are better suited to your home decor. However, these are a little pricey for fabric and metal. Nonetheless, Google Home is very soft and unassuming in its design whereas Echo feels very industrial to me personally.

    // Pros / Similarities with Amazon Echo:
    – The far-field mics work well and can pick up voices from across the room without having to yell.
    – The speaker quality is very good.
    – Works well with Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc. But Google Home doesn’t work with Amazon Music (yet?).
    – Connected Home – Works well with Philips Hue lightbulbs and Nest Thermostat. I haven’t tested out other brands like LifX, Wemo, etc. I do think Echo has more connected home applications because it’s been in the market longer, but I don’t use those other services at this time.
    – Set reminders, timers, get recipes, get directions, call an Uber
    – There are lots of IFTTT (third party app — try it out!) routines that can be built.
    – The Google Home app is very easy to use.

    // Minor Cons
    – You do have to say “OK Google” to prompt the device. However, this is no different than saying “Alexa” for Echo. The Pro I seen in this is related to privacy — I don’t want the device to respond to anything my family is talking about unless we specifically want to interact with it.
    – Only the top of the Google Home device has a light indicator to show when it’s listening. So if you’ve got this on your kitchen counter and you’re seated on your couch (at a lower height), you may not see the lights. Echo overcomes this with the light ring around the device.
    – The Google Home device can’t be used as a speakerphone or be used to make phone calls.
    – Saying OK Google also triggers my phone. I’d like the ability to choose the device with which I want to interact.

    // Major Cons:
    – There can only be one user profile! So I can get a run down of my day, but my girlfriend can’t get hers; we can only hear my services but not hers. To be fair, this isn’t that different from Echo, but it is a little annoying. This seems like the next step for both Google and Amazon.

    Overall, I think Google Home is an excellent product, and I look forward to seeing more services being made available.

  23. The Google Home Makes Life More Convenient. The Google Home is a well built voice activated speaker that sounds pretty good and is useful for many things, specifically the Google Home is quite useful for setting alarms and timers, and I have been getting up in the morning more consistently than I had been before I received my Google Home.
    The Google Home is able to play at volume levels that are plenty sufficient for most situations.
    If you choose to buy a Google home, after connecting it to your internet connection, then it is best to download the Google Home app for Android or Apple, then locate and optimize all the settings to get the best experience using the Google Home. In the settings there is a setting called Accessibility, it allows you to turn on the option to play an audible sound, which indicates when you should speak your verbal request. This means that after you say OK GOOGLE, you will then hear an audible beep, so you will know exactly when to speak your request, without this Accessibility sound option turned on, it is necessary to be looking at the Google Home device when saying OK GOOGLE, so that you can see the lights on the top of the Google Home light up, of which the lights indicates that you should then speak your request. It is basically easier to say OK GOOGLE and hear an audible beep indicating when to speak your request, than it is to say OK GOOGLE and have to be looking at the device to see the visual indicator to know when to speak your request.
    The Google Home app has the option to add your home address, which is necessary for the Google Assistant to provide your weather requests, as the Google Home needs to know the location of the weather that you are desiring.
    The Google Home app allows you to set a desired music playback source, and also allows you to create a list of your desired news sources, allowing you to customize the news that you can hear playing through the Google Home.
    Newer versions of the Android operating system have the built in options of allowing the Google Assistant to be always listening, so that you can say OK GOOGLE, and then you can make a verbal request, the same way that the Google Home does, but using the Google Home device is a much better experience. The two microphones on the Google Home pick up your voice noticeably better than the microphone on a smart phone.
    The Google Chrome web browser has apps and extensions that can be installed, which add interactivity with your Google Home device. Do a Google search for Chrome Web Store, and it will bring up the website where you can search for and install the available Google Apps and Extensions.
    The Google Keep app for Google Chrome, allows you to create a shopping list that can be used with the Google Home Assistant, just create a shopping list in the Google Keep app, then ask the Google Home Assistant: What is my shopping list, then the Assistant will verbally remind you of all the things on your shopping list.
    The Google Keep app can be downloaded for Android or Apple and can be installed on your smart phone, allowing you to create shopping lists the same way.
    The Google Calendar extension for Google Chrome, allows you to quickly add calendar entries, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant: What is on my calendar, and the Assistant will verbally remind you of your calendar events.
    The Google Cast extension for Google Chrome, allows you to see which song Pandora is playing, this extension allows you to pause music playback and also adjust the volume level, all of this from the Google Chrome browser.
    Below is a list of verbal requests that the Google Home can be used for:
    What time is it
    Set an alarm for 7 am, Set a timer for 30 minutes (Multiple timers and alarms can be set)
    Stop alarm, Stop timer, Stop all timers, Stop all alarms
    What is today’s weather (Your local weather will be read if your address has been set)
    What is the weather in Ventura, California (Any city and state can be requested)
    What is the humidity (Your local humidity will be read if your address has been set)
    Is Wal-Mart open, Is Best Buy open, Is Jack in the box open, etc..
    What is on my calendar (Calendar events must be added first in Google Calendar)
    Add orange juice to my shopping list, Add bananas to my shopping list, etc..
    What is my shopping list
    Play music, Pause music (Music will play from your chosen default music source)
    Play Google Play music (Use this if Pandora is default music source)
    Play Pandora music (Use this if Google Play Music is default music source)
    Play news, Pause news (News will play from your chosen list of news sources)
    Turn up the volume, Turn down the volume
    Volume level 4, Volume level 6, Volume level 3, etc.. (Volume levels 1 – 10)
    What is the volume
    The Google Home voice activated smart speaker, allows adding Philips Hue lighting control, it is necessary to synchronize the Google Home device with the Philips Hue bridge, this synchronizing is done in the settings of the Google Home app on an Android or Apple device, once this is setup, all of the following can be said to control Philips Hue lighting.
    Turn lights on 10 percent, Turn lights on 50 percent, Turn lights light blue (Daylight), Turn lights white (Warm white), Turn lights red (Great for movie lighting, or night lights), Dim lights, Turn lights on 100 percent, Turn lights off.
    The Google Home has a really nice power supply, which has a silicone strap that wraps around the cord. A quality power supply always adds to making an electronic device have a luxury feel to it.
    My overall opinion of the Google Home Assistant, is that owning and using the Google Home has made life more convenient.

  24. This thing is pretty cool. It’s pretty much like having the power of the internet, without having to type. You just ask…

  25. Google Home is fun. I ordered this because I had seen it advertised and thought it would be fun and could be helpful too! I have a lot to learn yet but I have used it for music and playing games! You can ask it anything of course! This is the future and it is already here in my house! I think everyone should have a Google Home.!

  26. Google making hardware is a beautiful thing. Amazing product. The accuracy recognizing what I say is extremely good. Been using it mostly for news and music in the morning, and to impress friends when they come. Want to set up some iot lights that I can use voice control on but they’re too expensive at the moment. If you have a chrome cast you’ll never have to search for videos again because you can just find them with your voice and it integrates flawlessly. The speaker is surprisingly very robust.

    Only negative for me is having to say “hey Google” every time. It’s not as smooth as saying a name like Alexa.

  27. Reply
    Allaboutthehomedecor August 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Google Home is a great product for the family. I’ve had my Google Home for about 3 weeks and have been very happy with it. Setup was a breeze and could have been done by anybody.

    // Pros / Difference from Echo:
    – #1 major difference. Google Home can handle different grammatical structures and syntax for the same question. Simple example: What is the capital of Norway? = Which city is the capital of Norway? = What is the Norwegian capital? I find this really good for family and friends because — unlike with Alexa / Echo — we don’t have to learn how to exactly verbalize every “skill”. Google Home allows us to speak naturally without us having to learn its own language.
    – The above ability combined with Google Home’s awareness of context helps it with some complicated questions like: Me: OK Google. What is that song from the Lion King? > Google Home: The songs are Circle of Life and … > Me: OK Google. Play it please > Google Home: Sure. Playing Circle of Life. = Wow. Note that I didn’t even mention the song.
    – #2 major difference is multi-room audio!! I’ve got two Google Home devices and two Chromecast Audio devices ($35 each) in my home, and I labeled the group as “Entire Home”. So I can say: OK Google. Play Arianna Grande in Entire Home. Echo is unable to do this (yet?).
    – The “Good morning” / “My day” feature is really neat on Google Home. It tells me in one pass about the weather, traffic to work, my appointments, and rounds up with news from my favorite sources.
    – Works flawlessly with Chromecast devices. Example: OK Google. Play a funny cat video from YouTube on the Living Room Chromecast > Then Google plays it on Chromecast, which triggers my living room TV to show the video
    – There are some customizable bases that are better suited to your home decor. However, these are a little pricey for fabric and metal. Nonetheless, Google Home is very soft and unassuming in its design whereas Echo feels very industrial to me personally.

    // Pros / Similarities with Amazon Echo:
    – The far-field mics work well and can pick up voices from across the room without having to yell.
    – The speaker quality is very good.
    – Works well with Google Play Music, Spotify, YouTube, etc. But Google Home doesn’t work with Amazon Music (yet?).
    – Connected Home – Works well with Philips Hue lightbulbs and Nest Thermostat. I haven’t tested out other brands like LifX, Wemo, etc. I do think Echo has more connected home applications because it’s been in the market longer, but I don’t use those other services at this time.
    – Set reminders, timers, get recipes, get directions, call an Uber
    – There are lots of IFTTT (third party app — try it out!) routines that can be built.
    – The Google Home app is very easy to use.

    // Minor Cons
    – You do have to say “OK Google” to prompt the device. However, this is no different than saying “Alexa” for Echo. The Pro I seen in this is related to privacy — I don’t want the device to respond to anything my family is talking about unless we specifically want to interact with it.
    – Only the top of the Google Home device has a light indicator to show when it’s listening. So if you’ve got this on your kitchen counter and you’re seated on your couch (at a lower height), you may not see the lights. Echo overcomes this with the light ring around the device.
    – The Google Home device can’t be used as a speakerphone or be used to make phone calls.
    – Saying OK Google also triggers my phone. I’d like the ability to choose the device with which I want to interact.

    // Major Cons:
    – There can only be one user profile! So I can get a run down of my day, but my girlfriend can’t get hers; we can only hear my services but not hers. To be fair, this isn’t that different from Echo, but it is a little annoying. This seems like the next step for both Google and Amazon.

    Overall, I think Google Home is an excellent product, and I look forward to seeing more services being made available.

  28. The Google Home Makes Life More Convenient. The Google Home is a well built voice activated speaker that sounds pretty good and is useful for many things, specifically the Google Home is quite useful for setting alarms and timers, and I have been getting up in the morning more consistently than I had been before I received my Google Home.
    The Google Home is able to play at volume levels that are plenty sufficient for most situations.
    If you choose to buy a Google home, after connecting it to your internet connection, then it is best to download the Google Home app for Android or Apple, then locate and optimize all the settings to get the best experience using the Google Home. In the settings there is a setting called Accessibility, it allows you to turn on the option to play an audible sound, which indicates when you should speak your verbal request. This means that after you say OK GOOGLE, you will then hear an audible beep, so you will know exactly when to speak your request, without this Accessibility sound option turned on, it is necessary to be looking at the Google Home device when saying OK GOOGLE, so that you can see the lights on the top of the Google Home light up, of which the lights indicates that you should then speak your request. It is basically easier to say OK GOOGLE and hear an audible beep indicating when to speak your request, than it is to say OK GOOGLE and have to be looking at the device to see the visual indicator to know when to speak your request.
    The Google Home app has the option to add your home address, which is necessary for the Google Assistant to provide your weather requests, as the Google Home needs to know the location of the weather that you are desiring.
    The Google Home app allows you to set a desired music playback source, and also allows you to create a list of your desired news sources, allowing you to customize the news that you can hear playing through the Google Home.
    Newer versions of the Android operating system have the built in options of allowing the Google Assistant to be always listening, so that you can say OK GOOGLE, and then you can make a verbal request, the same way that the Google Home does, but using the Google Home device is a much better experience. The two microphones on the Google Home pick up your voice noticeably better than the microphone on a smart phone.
    The Google Chrome web browser has apps and extensions that can be installed, which add interactivity with your Google Home device. Do a Google search for Chrome Web Store, and it will bring up the website where you can search for and install the available Google Apps and Extensions.
    The Google Keep app for Google Chrome, allows you to create a shopping list that can be used with the Google Home Assistant, just create a shopping list in the Google Keep app, then ask the Google Home Assistant: What is my shopping list, then the Assistant will verbally remind you of all the things on your shopping list.
    The Google Keep app can be downloaded for Android or Apple and can be installed on your smart phone, allowing you to create shopping lists the same way.
    The Google Calendar extension for Google Chrome, allows you to quickly add calendar entries, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant: What is on my calendar, and the Assistant will verbally remind you of your calendar events.
    The Google Cast extension for Google Chrome, allows you to see which song Pandora is playing, this extension allows you to pause music playback and also adjust the volume level, all of this from the Google Chrome browser.
    Below is a list of verbal requests that the Google Home can be used for:
    What time is it
    Set an alarm for 7 am, Set a timer for 30 minutes (Multiple timers and alarms can be set)
    Stop alarm, Stop timer, Stop all timers, Stop all alarms
    What is today’s weather (Your local weather will be read if your address has been set)
    What is the weather in Ventura, California (Any city and state can be requested)
    What is the humidity (Your local humidity will be read if your address has been set)
    Is Wal-Mart open, Is Best Buy open, Is Jack in the box open, etc..
    What is on my calendar (Calendar events must be added first in Google Calendar)
    Add orange juice to my shopping list, Add bananas to my shopping list, etc..
    What is my shopping list
    Play music, Pause music (Music will play from your chosen default music source)
    Play Google Play music (Use this if Pandora is default music source)
    Play Pandora music (Use this if Google Play Music is default music source)
    Play news, Pause news (News will play from your chosen list of news sources)
    Turn up the volume, Turn down the volume
    Volume level 4, Volume level 6, Volume level 3, etc.. (Volume levels 1 – 10)
    What is the volume
    The Google Home voice activated smart speaker, allows adding Philips Hue lighting control, it is necessary to synchronize the Google Home device with the Philips Hue bridge, this synchronizing is done in the settings of the Google Home app on an Android or Apple device, once this is setup, all of the following can be said to control Philips Hue lighting.
    Turn lights on 10 percent, Turn lights on 50 percent, Turn lights light blue (Daylight), Turn lights white (Warm white), Turn lights red (Great for movie lighting, or night lights), Dim lights, Turn lights on 100 percent, Turn lights off.
    The Google Home has a really nice power supply, which has a silicone strap that wraps around the cord. A quality power supply always adds to making an electronic device have a luxury feel to it.
    My overall opinion of the Google Home Assistant, is that owning and using the Google Home has made life more convenient.

  29. This thing is pretty cool. It’s pretty much like having the power of the internet, without having to type. You just ask…

  30. Google Home is fun. I ordered this because I had seen it advertised and thought it would be fun and could be helpful too! I have a lot to learn yet but I have used it for music and playing games! You can ask it anything of course! This is the future and it is already here in my house! I think everyone should have a Google Home.!

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