Thanks in large part to the low-cost Echo Dot, Amazon grabbed an early lead in the smart speaker space. But this spring Google hit back hard with the Home Mini, which has become the best cheap smart speaker to buy for most people. Unfortunately, shortly after its launch, a bug affecting the top touch controls in some Home Minis caused Google to disable the feature in order to prevent its device from recording audio at all times.
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Despite all the time and energy companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon and others have spent stressing the importance of AI, actual progress doesn't always feel that swift. That's because after about a year on the market, the Google Home has just gotten the ability to do two things at once.
In the gadget-world, it's cliché to compare something to The Jetsons. But when it comes to a cheap little box that you talk to and that answers your questions and that controls your entire home, the comparison is just too perfect. The $US50 Amazon Echo Dot and the $79 Google Home Mini are two such boxes. They're not perfect gadgets, but they offer a lot for the money.
The Google Home Mini fits most of the features of the tech giant's popular Home smart speakers into a $79 four-inch-wide package, except for the larger $149 version's better acoustics. But it is still very, very good at listening.
With all the glitz of Google's October event last week focusing on the new Pixel 2 phone, it was easy to miss two other announcements: a new miniature Google Home speaker called the Home Mini (and a big one called the Max), and a pair of Bluetooth earphones called the Pixel Buds that pack in some Google Assistant AI smarts. If you're wondering when they're coming to Australia and how much they'll cost, this is where you find out.
Early this morning, Google pulled back the curtain on a suite of new products at their event in San Francisco including the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, new Google Home products, a 2-in-1 notebook and earbuds. If you were peacefully sleeping during the announcements - I don't blame you - and you can read about all the new products coming to Australia, right here.
Google announced some new hardware at a characteristically low key event in San Francisco on today. Nearly everything had been leaked ahead of the event, but there were a few surprises -- some more exciting than others. Inevitably, one thing seemed clear: Google wants to be a gadget company, too.
Looking for the right place to watch Google introduce its next Pixel phone -- and assorted goodies -- to the world overnight? Here you go.
Even though Google's big October 4 event is still a couple of weeks out, it seems we've just gotten a really good look at the four most important devices we expect the company to announce there. The leaks come courtesy of Droid Life, and include info and prices on a new, smaller version of the Google Home smart speaker, a new premium two-in-one Chromebook, and both the big and small versions of the Pixel 2.