Google Home’s launch in November 2016 was less to ward off competition from Amazon Echo, and more to add a touch of convenience to our daily lives. The bundled smart assistant works in many ways to promote a better quality of living and help us save time and be efficient.
What is Google Home?
It is designed as a hub for multiple activities in a home – from streaming music and videos via Chromecast, to relaying the news from around the world. The voice controlled device allows you to interact with multiple services (both, from the Google stable, as well as third party applications). A small list of services supported by Google Home would include –
- Google Photos, YouTube, and NetFlix – for videos
- Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Pandora, and Spotify– for audio
- Google Calendar and Google Keep – for scheduling
- Wall Street Journal, CNN, and CNBC – for news
Check out the list of 30+ services here.
What is required to use Google Home?
Just three components will help you get going with Google Home –
1 – An internet connection
2 – A valid Google account
3 – Apps for these services that Google Home can connect to
Best products/services that you can use with Google Home
Here is our pick of great products or services that Google Home can connect to.
When connected with a Chromecast audio streamer, you can interact through voice in order to play streaming music from your mobile device. It can also connect with an external speaker plugged into the Chromecast audio to elevate the overall sound quality. With it, you can integrate Google Home with streaming services like Netflix, HBO Home, YouTube, Spotify, and Pandora.
The hub from Samsung is Zigbee enabled and brings IoT to your home. From water leaks, to smart plugs and motion sensors, you can now activate and control these products with Google Home. Commands like ‘Ok Google, dim the bedroom lights” or “Ok Google, turn the thermostat to 68 degrees” can easily trigger the corresponding actions on SmartThings products.
Check out more on how to connect Google Home with SmartThings.
Google Home’s immense power can be fully unleashed with IFTTT integration (IFTTT stands for If This, Then That). The software allows connection between software’s and applications which usually aren’t built to connect with one another. Typical connections may be “If removed head from pillow then turn off heater” or “If reaching home then turn on AC”. So “Ok Google, Turn on my bedroom TV” on Google Home will act as a trigger for the Harmony remote to turn on the TV using the IFTTT Harmony connection.
4. Belkin WeMo
Home automation becomes easy when you connect Belkin Wemo powered devices with your Google Home. “Ok Google, turn on the fan” or “Ok Google, turn on the bedroom lights” will trigger Wemo plugged devices to be turned on/ off and controlled. Wemo devices consist of smart plugs and smart switches to connect with your everyday home appliances. Integrating the Google Home powered Wemo devices with IFTTT can help to significantly expand the range and scope of usage of the devices.
5. Smart thermostats by Nest and Honeywell
Honeywell allows owners of Lyric and Total Connect Comfort thermostat products to be linked to voice commands of Google Home. It provides different temperature setting from different areas of the home with a simple configuration. Adjusting temperatures, changing the settings, or interacting with the HoneyWell app becomes easier with Google Home.
Nest too offers similar voice based control features for Nest Thermostat. Through Google Home, you can use the thermostats to increase or decrease cooling and heating, and switch between heating and cooling modes.
6. Philips Hue
With Philips Hue range of smart lighting products connected to Google Home, you can automate and remotely execute turning on or off of the lights, or dimming of its brightness. Want to take the advantage further? Then try connecting it with Google’s onHub router. This way you can extend the control of the lighting appliance from any internet enabled mobile or smart device. You can also change the shades of the Philips Hue bulbs through Google Home. This is presently a limitation with its competitor – Amazon Alexa
7. Games integration
“Ok Google, play Mad Libs” or “Ok Google, Play Lucky Trivia” will bring up the game to be played on your internet enabled device. As more and more third party game development companies join hands with Google Home, the list of games connected with his hub will only improve in the near future.
Since its launch in the US in 2016, Google Home has spread to France, Germany, Japan, Australia, UK, and Canada. With more markets coming in, Google home can be a boon to building a connected home and with multimedia and scheduling needs of the users. Stay tuned as we keep bringing news on innovative products right on your internet browser.