Thursday, 21 February, 2019

Google Home app gets smart home controls, intelligent actions, and household sharing

Google Home app gets smart home controls, intelligent actions, and household sharing Google Home app gets smart home controls, intelligent actions, and household sharing
Sherri Watson | 10 October, 2018, 22:56

"We have taken the world's best smartphone camera and made it even better", said Google's hardware chief Rick Osterloh during the launch event at Spring Studios, echoing a shot across the bow at Cupertino, Calif. -based Apple, which recently launched its new iPhones, the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max and the upcoming iPhone Xr. Instead of being a control center for your smart home, as the name suggests, the main focus is video content suggestion - a holdover from when it was the Chromecast app. The first Google Home with a display is available for pre-order starting at $219.

Google Home Hub is a Google Home-branded speaker with a 7-inch LCD display that floats on a speaker base.

While that market grows, screens are immediately more useful, especially if you like to cook.

We've seen similar Google Assistant devices from Lenovo and JBL, but Google is trying to offer up something slightly more streamline with the Home Hub. If you don't have the Home App you can download it below and then start spamming on that update button.

It lets you not only hear Google Assistant and your app integrations but also see them and the information you're seeking. For voice commands the device has a 2 mic array. Goetz argued that the most appealing feature of the device was its connected-home user interface.

Whenever you say "Hey Google, good morning" to Google Home Hub, it will immediately serve up a personalised, visual overview of your family's activities from Google Calendar, your commute from Google Maps, your latest reminders, the weather forecast, etc, according to Google.

"We consciously did not put a camera on the Hub so you can use it in private spaces like your bedroom", she said. Of course, when the Home Hub isn't busy broadcasting your front door camera or queuing up new music, it can display all your Google Photos albums and even update albums of specific people through facial recognition. However, it did include Ambient EQ light sensor, which allows the screen to automatically adjust to match the lighting in the room. And, when it's time for bed, it'll dim the screen.

Following an app update that will rollout to Android and iOS users "this week" you will be able to control any smart device that has been "paired" to your Home app/Assistant account via controls in the Google Home App.

This leaves the Google Home Hub as a cheaper alternative to the Portal ($199-plus) or the Echo Show ($230), and something the company thinks customers will feel more comfortable placing all around their homes. With over 200 million compatible devices, this smart screen can be a true control hub, via the screen or your voice.

GoogleWhen will Google Home Hub be available?