They have been waiting for us, but finally we have the smartest speakers among us. And they already speak and understand Spanish . Google Home officially arrives in our country after having done an intensive language course to also learn others such as French and German, thus covering the needs of a large part of European consumers. Available in its base model and the diminutive Mini version, both speakers arrive in Spain at the hands of El Corte Inglés.
That said, there is still a bit of confusion about what it is and what you serve as an intelligent speaker. Equivalent in their basic functions to those of a conventional Bluetooth speaker, they are also able to play our favorite Spotify lists , find the best Italian restaurant in the area, communicate the weather, answer our questions combining automatic learning, recognition of voice and integration of each user’s personal context, such as your location or daily routines (as long as the user allows it), and casting directly from Netflix and by simply activating a voice command.
A market in full swing
The smart speaker market has not stopped growing. More watts of power, more features, the main pitfalls seem to have been solved with the latest updates. With Google Home you can control home automation such as lights, TV, and Nest products: thermostat, buzzer, etc.
And, against what can be thought, the price is not at all exorbitant. Google Home Mini and Google Home are two examples that range between 59 and 149 euros , respectively.
And what do we get in return? A small speaker that informs us of any basic question: how to say a certain word or phrase in another language, changes of weights or coins, contextual information about maps and locations, make a reservation at the cinema or get tickets for a concert, put some music and, what else we will use: put any YouTube video or any Netflix series just by saying its name .
And it has happened to all: just when we need it, the TV control does not appear. “But he was ahead 10 minutes ago,” we assure ourselves. It is something so common (and exasperating) that they have even invented pockets for sofas. Using these speakers as brains to control other gadgets allows us not to have to look for any command. We can forget to change the channel or increase the volume; a voice command is already in charge of that.
Do you want to devour the second season of ‘For 13 reasons’? You just have to say ” Ok, Google, put ‘For thirteen reasons'” and Google Home will be responsible to connect with Chromecast and shoot the app. If our TV already has Cast, the link will be immediate. Four bright spots remind us that the speaker is active. The rest is in our hands (and in our voice).
A dialogue between machines
If we want to resort to basic functions such as turning on and off our TV, as the Google FAQ itself indicates , the leading manufacturers of Smart TVs – namely, Hitachi, Insignia, ITT, LG, Magnavox, Mitsubishi, Onkyo, Panasonic, Pioneer, Philips , Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Sylvania, Toshiba and Vizio- have this feature. You just have to activate it.
Of course, beyond controlling Chromecast compatible applications such as Netflix or YouTube, there are a handful of gadgets that already know how to speak the same language of Home.
There is a web enabled for this purpose, which are updated and indicate step by step how to find and link devices within the same network. Well through Google Assistant from an Android smartphone or through Home, here are a handful of examples:
In the counterpart of lighting, Philips Hue lights, one of the most intelligent lighting systems, which allows to create kits and modulate the light (and color temperature) of each room.
The Samsung SmartThings application – and its family of devices – also knows how to communicate with the Google assistant , so in a little bit we can program the washing machine through Google Home itself.
LIFX, an alternative spurred by this Dutch company that also offers LED bulbs with up to 16 million colors. They have their own app and each bulb has its own information menu. The Google assistant and his Home know how to communicate with them.
As for thermostats, we have spoken on more than one occasion of Nest , the powerful domotic device that regulates the temperature of the home , detects whether or not you are at home through an analysis of sound and learns and memorizes habits to save energy expenditure. The Nest device family shares brain with Google, so the relationship could not be more fruitful.
Another alternative is Honeywell WiFi, a system that allows us to schedule the needs of the home for the whole week and let the Google system perform the appropriate optimizations.
And if we talk about speakers, there is little left to see the total synchronization between Sonos and Google devices, but some have already taken that step, such as the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A6 . This surround sound speaker allows you to follow the house rules of the house from the Google assistant.
Finally, with regard to security systems, August Smart Lock or August Home smart locks also have direct communication with Google Assistant.
In short, the new Google Home Mini and Google Home are future value, an investment that will acquire new features through updates and the support of other manufacturers -more Android being an open source operating system-. It is time to change channels more intelligently, without the burden of accumulating controls under the TV shelf. Series marathons have a new rule: you only talk to choose what to watch.
The Google Home smart speaker offers a quality acoustic experience and touch controls on the top of the device taking advantage of its larger size compared to the tiny Mini version. Carefully designed to fit into any room, its price is 149 euros.
Google Home Mini
Google Home Mini provides all the power of Google Assistant in a much smaller attractive speaker. Equipped with different textile finishes, it has been designed to occupy as little space as possible , thus simplifying the use of multiple units throughout the home. Flirty but affordable, it has a price of 59 euros. It is also available in carbon color .