Google Home up Against Amazon Echo

Google Home has several facets: the Google Home speaker, which allows users to control their home via voice commands, Google Chromecast, which connects Google Home speakers to a user’s TV or speakers, and Google WiFi, a new router from Google.

Google Home

Mario Queiroz, Google’s VP of Product Management, said Google Home’s design was inspired by users’ homes, and includes LEDs to let users know when the speaker hears you. The top is also a touch screen, allowing users to manually trigger the Asisstant. Queiroz says the speaker includes top notch voice recognition, and can tell the difference between “noise” and “voice.”

Google Home’s base can also be swapped out to customize the speaker.

Google home helps users enjoy their music seamlessly, said Rishi Chandra, Google’s VP of Product Management.

“You’re going to love the sound quality in your home,” Chandra said of the Google Home speaker. The speaker supports multiple music apps, like Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and more. It can even learn a user’s favorite music app, and doesn’t need the exact name of the song.

“Play that Shakira song from Zootopia,” Shandra said, as Shakira’s “Try Everything” started playing in the background.

Google has partnered with several other smart home devices, and hopes to allow users to control as many aspects of their home via voice control as possible, Queiroz said. Netflix will soon support “vice casting” via Google Home, and all Chromecast and Chromecast Audio units are compatible with Google Home.

The devices also support “multi-room audio,” Queiroz says, and Google’s Assistant is content-aware, allowing only the nearest speaker to respond to voice commands.

Google Home will be available for $129, and there will be a free 6-month trial of YouTube Red included. The speakers are available for pre-order October 4th and will ship on November 4th. The swap-able bases will be available in Mango, Marine, Violet, Carbon, Snow and Copper.

Google WiFi

Queiroz announced Google WiFi: a modular, easy to use WiFI router from Google. Google’s Network Assist actively manages and optimizes users’ networks and keeps signal strong throughout their homes. Google WiFi will also have a companion app, allowing users to manage family members’ WiFi access and router settings. The router will be available for pre-order in November, and starts at $129 or three for $299.

Google Chromecast Ultra

Chromecast now has 4K resolution, HDR and Dolby Vision support with the new Chromecast Ultra, said Queiroz. Google Play movies will also be rolling out 4K content in November. The third-gen Chromecast Ultra is 1.8x faster than previous generations, and will be available starting at $69 in November, said Queiroz.

Google Announces Assistant, Pixel, Home and More at Oct. 4 Event

Google held a press event October 4th to announce multiple additions to its product lineup, including the Google Pixel phones, Google Home, Google Assistant, Google Daydream VR, Chromecast and Google Andromeda.

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