Google Home is pretty awesome but there’s one big issue with the initial launch — it’s not available in Australia. Minutes ago, Google have changed that announcing that Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Japan will have Google home available “this summer”.
They’ve not only increased the availability but also the functionality adding Proactive assistant to make the Google Assistant even more useful.
Examples used were the Google Home device lighting up — this is a notification that something has changed or the Google Home needs your attention. Asking Google Home “What’s up?” will give you the information you need such as heavier traffic than normal between you and a calendar appointment location requiring you leave earlier than normal.
Now it gets really cool…
Hands free calling has been added and it’s entirely digit-free. A simple command to Google Home such as “Ok Google, Call Mum” will recognise your voice over other members of your house, search for “Mum” in your contacts and call your Mum. There was a live demonstration by Rishi Chandra who is clearly in trouble with his Mum for not calling on Mother’s Day and was instead rehearsing for the Google I/O Keynote. Unfortunately at this stage it is only available in the US.
There’s expanded entertainment capability as well. The range now includes Spotify who now offer their free service to Google Home. Deezer and Soundcloud have been added to the connection options and great news for anyone who stores music on their phone – Bluetooth support is coming to Google Home allowing you to play any audio on Google Home.
There’s some expanded video entertainment options as well starting with Google Play Movies as well as HBO NOW, HULU, CRACKLE, RedBullTV and more.
Visual response delivered to your phone in context with your current actions, calendar appointments or current conversation with the device. It’s great to see that you can now also push visual responses to connected TVs.
Chromecast will display responses to queries like “Ok Google show my calendar which will push to your connected TV, going back to previous notes – this is personalised to the recognised users voice and their calendar.
Some other entertaining options to bring Google Home into the entertainment realm demonstrated were “Hey Google What’s on YouTube?”, “Hey Google show my watch later list” or “Ok Google what’s on my DVR?” which is based on the US Youtube TV service.
This is a huge leap forward in functionality for Google Home and will undoubtedly bring a stronger market footprint for them. Hopefully it will not be too long before we see them here in Australia — we will keep you posted on any updates we see on this in the next couple of days here at Google I/O 2017.
How will this update to Google Home affect your buying decision?