Google Home and Chromecast both experienced outages overnight, leaving owners of Google smart speakers unable to order hands-free pizza delivery, play Tic Tac Toe alone, or find out what the weather is like without going outside.
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When Amazon launched the Echo back in late 2014, it kicked off one of the biggest trends in tech. Almost overnight, it seemed like every company wanted to get in on that sweet smart speaker action. However, largely because Amazon was first to market, the Echo has consistently been the top-selling smart speaker for the last three and a half years.
Google Assistant is finally going to be easier to use, according to Google. Just a few days after the company announced that the virtual assistant now works with over 5000 devices, Google says that Assistant will soon not only sound more natural, but you'll also be able to have a conversation with it.
Google has never really had a great strategy for podcasts, leaving Android users to hunt for third-party apps to manage their subscriptions and play new episodes. (Apple's standalone Podcasts app isn't very good either, but at least it exists.) Now, it looks like the search giant finally has some semblance of a solution that should make it easier to listen to podcasts across your Google and Android devices.
Loving your new Google Home Mini? Hating its tinny sound and lack of auxiliary output options? Well Google appears to have heard your lo-fi cries of anguish, and responded by adding a way to control your third-party Bluetooth speakers using your Google Home device. Nice work! It only took a whole year.
We're just a week or so away from the end of daylight savings which means the biannual mantra of "Change your clock, change your smoke detector battery" is about to be replayed in homes across the country. But I don't have that problem anymore. I swapped out my old smoke detectors for a couple of Nest Protect devices.
I've been adding a bunch of smart home devices to my home. It's part of an ongoing experiment to see what I can do to make my life easier, my home safer and to save some money on power bills. But I'm finding that I keep hitting some roadblocks. And while I do hit the odd technical roadblock, I'm finding that the biggest problems stem from the intransigence of vendors.
Your smart speaker is getting smarter - and part of that involves taking over what's on the big TV screen sat in the corner of your living room. Y
It seems like every new wireless speaker on the market comes with a voice assistant now. Since 2014, when Amazon announced the Echo, the idea of a smart speaker has taken the gadget world by storm. Apple has finally thrown its hat into the ring with the release of the HomePod, leaving us to wonder which smart speaker is the best smart speaker. So we tested them to find out.
Google Home and Chromecast devices are reportedly killing peoples' Wi-Fi. The problem, first reported by Android Police, originally seemed localised to users of the Google Home Max speaker (unavailable in Australia) and the cheap, but usually excellent, TP-Link Archer C7 router. However since Android Police first reported the problem, it seems to have spread to other Google devices and TP-Link routers.
It seems inevitable that one day your entire home will be wired so that smart assistants can hear your every request, no matter where you are. But if you mostly rely on a smart speaker, its built-in mic can only eavesdrop so far. Companies like Google would certainly love it if you bought a smart speaker for every room in your house, but a better solution is to just make your Google Home portable with a fancy pair of battery pants.
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.
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.
Google Home is an artificially intelligent digital assistant that responds to your voice commands in a variety of ways. Nine months after its debut in the US, it is finally available to buy in Australia - complete with a dinky-di accent. If you've just set up your Google Home and aren't sure what to ask it, here are 57 commands and questions to get you started.
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.
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.