Google Home in Action

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What does Google Home actually do?

How does it work? What can it do for me? Is it really listening to everything that’s going on in my home!? Should I get one?

If you’ve ever asked yourself any (or all) of these questions, this demo is for you.

Today, we take a look at Google Home– what it does, how I use it in my day-to-day life, and what it can do for you.

What is Google Home?

Google Home is a smart speaker that houses Google’s nameless smart assistant. The Assistant listens to what’s going on around it, waiting for the right words to spring to life and do things for you.

What are those magic words? Either “OK Google” or “Hello Google” although I always say “Hey Google” because I am a Mac guy and grew up on Siri.

Once you say the words, Google Home starts listening and does its best to help you, using a combination of your Google account info and search results.

Google Home comes in three different sizes– the original Google Home which resembles a teacup, the Google Mini, and the Google Max.

Using Google Home

The Assistant recognizes you in two ways– through your Google account and by your voice. Once it knows who you are, you can ask it do certain things like:

  • Play music in different rooms: Google Home links to playlists on your Google Music account, making it super easy to play whatever you are in the mood for.
  • Broadcast messages: If you are using several speakers in various parts of your house, you can use Google Home to broadcast a message– useful got letting everyone know dinner’s ready!
  • Add items to your shopping list: Suddenly remembered you need something? Ask Google to add it to the list.
  • Check your calendar and appointments: Ask Google to check when your next meeting is or double-check what you are doing tomorrow.
  • Make phone calls: You can link Google Home to your phone and make calls using the Assistant.

Setting up Google Home

The initial setup is surprisingly easy.

All you’ve got to do is:

  • Download the Google Home app on your phone from the app store
  • Turn on Google Home
  • Configure Google Home through the app (it will walk you through the process.)

And voila! You are good to go.

But what about privacy?

If Google is listening to you all the time, and has all this data on you, what happens to your privacy?

According to Google, the assistant isn’t actually listening, it’s auditing– waiting for the key phrase to jump into action.

If you are worried about what’s getting recorded, you can log into your Google Home app, and check all the different recorded transactions.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether the convenience of using the Google Assistant is worth dealing with the privacy concerns.

The right home assistant for your needs

With different assistants on the market (and probably more coming soon near you) it’s not always easy deciding which one to use.

Before you commit to Google Home, try out the Google Assistant on your phone and check whether you like it or not. This is slightly easier for Android users because Apple blocks a lot of the functionalities but you can still get a rough idea.

If you use various Google apps like the Google Calendar, Google Maps, or Google Drive, in your day-to-day, the Google Home Assistant can make life a little easier.

Until next time,

Have fun storming the castle!

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