Tuesday , June 5 2018

Google Home and Wi-Fi are going on-sale in Australia from July 20, starting at $199

As rumoured, Google’s Assistant-powered smart speaker Google Home and mesh wifi system Google Wifi will launch in Australia from July 20th.

Google Home will be retailing for $199 from The Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Telstra, Optus and Qantas Store. Google Wi-Fi will be available for $199 for a single access point, or for $499 in a 3-pack from the Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, The Good Guys, and Officeworks.

Google has some competition here on price, with Kogan selling the imported model from the US for $175 (+ delivery). For convenience sake though, paying the extra $24 to just walk in and grab one from a retailer with a local warranty may be worth it.

Google Home

What can I do with it?

Google Home is first and foremost a smart speaker, the physical home for the Google Assistant. You can interact with it just by speaking to it and ask things you’d normally ask of an assistant – traffic on the way to work, get a rundown of your calendar as you get ready for the day ahead, or you can ask it general information questions and it’ll respond with information drawn from the web using the power of Google Search.

Google has a list of what commands you can use with Google Home if you really want to take it to the max just head to g.co/home/explore.

It’s also Chromecast-enabled (and soon to be Bluetooth enabled as well). You can cast to it from over 100 Chromecast enabled apps, including home-grown podcast app Pocket Casts.

Home’s built-in high-excursion speakers include a 2″ driver + dual 2″ passive radiators to deliver ‘crystal-clear highs and rich bass’. After owning 3 of these things for some time, it’s a pretty great sound, especially when grouped with other Chromecast Audio or Homes into a multi-room Chromecast Audio group for music filling the whole house.

For the home automation enthusiasts, Google Home also supports Home control for your smart lights and switches, as well as Chromecast plugged into your TV.

Google has partnered with Stan for the launch and you can now cast content from them as well as YouTube and Netflix.

If you want to get funky with Google Home you can also get IFTTT integrations to perform a host of functions with other smart devices.

The top of Home includes a touch-sensitive panel and LED lights which lets you control volume, with the LEDs lighting up in a volume ring, as well as lighting up when you talk to Google Assistant.

You can set up your Google Home easily in the Google Home app available in Google Play. If you’ve got Chromecasts’ around your house you’ll likely already have this one installed, but if not, grab it now.

Google continues to make Home better. We’ve seen over the last several months since its US release updates made available to Google Home over the Air automatically.

For the Australian launch of Google Home, Google’s taught the Assistant to speak and understand some of our colloquialisms so you can speak to it naturally in your own voice.


Google Home will have the familiar Australian accent that the Assistant has had when you load it up, and it now includes Aussie content – you and ask it ‘What sound does a Kookaburra make?’ and it’ll play back audio. There’s also some easter eggs like when you ask it ‘Are you going to Bonnie Doon?’ (someone at Google Australia is clearly a fan of The Castle). Google Home will also understand when you’re talking about brekkie, mozzies or trying to find the nearest servo.

Google has partnered with Australian sources for the launch of Home, when you ask for top news stories Home will read you the latest stories from Fox Sports, ABC NEWS, The Australian, Huffington Post, TechCrunch and SKY NEWS. There’s no news about podcasts coming to Google Music (sigh), but you can get podcasts through Tune-In Radio on Google Home.

Special Deals

Want a bonus for buying a Google Home? Google is adding a 6 month YouTube Red subscription for new YouTube Red and Google Play Music subscribers to give you something to play – remember YouTube has an almost endless supply of music videos to stream.

The offer lasts until the 15th of January 2018, and you can head to Yt.be/red/home for more information.

Google Wi-Fi

While Google chose not to bring their OnHub router to Australia, we’re getting in on their second foray into routers – Google Wi-Fi – which is hitting stores at the same time as Google Home.

Google Home is a basic app controlled Wi-Fi router when working as a single access point, but when paired up with another, or in the case of the three pack, another two access point you get mesh networking.

Mesh Networking is the new hotness with home routers, with Netgear, TP-Link and other companies releasing mesh networking routers this year – some of which we’ve reviewed already. The Google Wi-Fi mesh network creates a high-powered connection between access points, with the different Wifi points working together to find the best path to the internet or other network connected devices.

Simply put, you can walk around the house with Google Wi-Fi connecting to the best access point to get you the data you want when you need it.

To get technical, Google Wi-Fi supports dual-band Wifi (2.4GHz/5GHz) supporting IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. Each access point has 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports with the ports listed as WAN and LAN on the primary Wifi point, but can act as LAN ports on additional points if you need them to.

With Google Wi-Fi your Google account controls the experience on your phone or tablet letting you login to an app that simplifies your internet connection and offers some great features. You can pause Wi-Fi on kids’ devices or check the internet speed and if you’re having issues the assistant can diagnose the issues and help you to fix them.

Google Wifi
Google Wifi
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free


A number of Ausdroiders have imported units from overseas and been using both Google Home and Wi-Fi for some time. We’ve delivered our thoughts on Home already, but we’ll be taking a look at the new Australia specific features soon. We’ll also be taking a closer look at Google WiFi, with a full review coming soon.

If you’ve been using Google Home or Google Wi-Fi let us know in the comments what you think.

Daniel Tyson   Editor

Dan is a die-hard Android fan. Some might even call him a lunatic. He's been an Android user since Android was a thing, and if there's a phone that's run Android, chances are he owns it (his Nexus collection is second-to-none) or has used it.

Dan's dedication to Ausdroid is without question, and he has represented us at some of the biggest international events in our industry including Google I/O, Mobile World Congress, CES and IFA.


  1. Beware everyone! Think carefully before buying the Google Home if you have a G Suite (formerly Google Apps) google account rather than a standard free @gmail.com account. You’ll soon discover that Google Home does not fully support G Suite accounts and will warn you during setup that interacting with your calendar and email is not supported for that account type.

    I was very disappointed when I found that out! Pretty poor really, considering most G Suite accounts are paid accounts. I can only hope Home supports that account type soon!

    There are quite a lot of support tickets logged about this problem with Google, but they have no definate indication doing anything about it. Perhaps the Ausdroid team can write up an article about this to get some more traction/attention from Google so they might take notice and do something about it.

  2. Hey Daniel,
    I’ve had an echo before and I was wondering if it was possible for you guys to do an alexa vs google home. For Australian houses?

  3. this is absolutely fantastic 😀

  4. I’m waiting for the review but can anyone explain to me why I should pay $500 ($300 USD btw) for a three pack Google wifi and what the benefits are? I’m just really struggling to work out why I would need something like this.

  5. I Purchased a US home back in December and have found it to have become a welcome member of the household! I would miss it greatly if it were taken away!
    I find that I am much more likely to listen to music as I just have to sing out what I want it to play and it does.
    It is very useful while cooking, setting multiple timers and adding supplies to the shopping list and asking for measurement conversions. Google stuffing up the use of the shopping list in Keep was very disapointing…..I hope they have something better in the pipeline as the current system is just not very practical, loosing the abillity to use a Keep shopping list on my Wear watch really hurt!
    I have purchased a couple of Belkin WeMo switches and find that they work great and can be very useful. I love being able to come in the front door with arms full of shopping and just say in a normal conversational voice “hey Google, turn the lights on” and they do! No need to trip over anything in the dark or put things down to find the switch. At bed time I just say “Hey Google, good night” and it turns all the lights out as I walk to the bedroom.
    Recently, we had a friend visit from OS and we were due to pick her up from the airport and wanted to time the trip there to coincide with the arrival so I called out to Google “When is flight ##### from LA to Sydney due to land” and was imediately told “Flight ##### from LA to Sydney is running 30 minutes late and is due to land in 3 hrs and 15 minutes” I didn’t even know it could do this! Blew me away!
    Not to say it has been an experience without issues. I have had it say “I don’t know how to do that” quite a few times, especially when I first got it but that seems to be a much rarer occurence recently. Sometimes I will get the responce “Something has gone wrong, try again”, this seems to correspond to internet connection issues that we suffer from time to time.
    Just about everyone who has seen it in my house has gone out and bought one! 6 different people were that impressed by what they saw, they had to have it! Including my 78 year old mother, she uses it everyday and her friends all want them!
    Now that It has Aussie news and voice, I love it even more!

  6. I’ve got a US-purchased Google Home and the capability to change localisation is now available.

    In settings I’ve now set it to “English (Australia)” for assistant language, and you can now select Australia under news and select local providers (Fox Sports, ABC, The Australian etc).

    I still have multi-user support too – I thought this wasn’t coming to Australia straight away?

  7. I really can’t get excited about this. I’m a Google lover, basically a fanboi. And I love tinkering and automation. I have a lot of automation setup on my phone with Tasker. But this does nothing for me at all. And I hate talking to devices. I find it rather stupid to be honest.

    Especially when all this does is tell you the weather, tell you your agenda, play some games, order Uber, tell you opening times of a restaurant, do some translation etc etc.

    The only half interesting thing is IFTT, Smart Things, and Hue integration. But even then, how often do you turn your lights on and off at home. Not many. And even then its usually just as easy to switch them as you walk past.

    It’ll have to do a fair bit more before I consider getting one. It’s not a smart device yet.

    • Downvoted hey….I feel like I’m back on Reddit 🙂

      But that’s ok, I’m bagging a Google product, I expected it. But really, I stated mere facts. This simply does nothing more than the bog standard news, weather, conversions, play music, control lights etc. Not much more at all.

      Even folks who have one are somewhat disappointed with what it can do.

      EG: https://www.reddit.com/r/googlehome/comments/6nvp99/why_how_are_you_using_your_google_home/

      At this point, it’s still somewhat very gimmicky.

      I’m half tempted to buy one, just to have a play with it. But I just wish it could do just a little bit more. It feels like I could pick up my S8+ and do exactly the same things with Assistant. Which I could.

      It’s certainly on the right track, and I know these thigns have to start somewhere. Lets just hope it leads to so much more!

  8. My experience with Google home has been quite hit and miss in recent times. I get a lot of “something went wrong, try again” and other errors. Hopefully the Aussie accent will fix some of these issues otherwise I probably wouldn’t buy another one.

  9. I really hope the fact that Optus is getting Home means they’re getting the Pixel phones too. I’d love to not have to pay for a Pixel XL 2 outright later in the year…

  10. Am I correct in my understanding that Google WiFi is purely a router, and a separate modem will be needed to suit whatever form of internet connection one has (ADSL, VDSL, etc)?

  11. Damn annoying that is does work fully with Google Apps accounts. I guess I won’t be buying one then.

  12. Is it possible to install a VPN on Google Home or at the least, is the data encrypted when sent to Google?

  13. Great news! Can’t wait to order mine!
    Little note. I am working on a Google Action for those AFL fans like me that are sick of the lack of AFL information on Google Now/Assistant! So far (if it is live which it should be) you can “ask Aussie Rules Guy” If your team won in a round or when they play in a certain round. You can also ask a team’s position on the ladder in a round or for the ladder at the end of a round.

    I am working on adding player stats but have to re-work the interface to use context (i.e. if you ask if say, “Did Swans win in Round 17”, you could follow it up with, “How many goals did Buddy Franklin kick” with out telling it in that game, and then maybe following it up with how many does he have for the season? Currently, you can’t do the context and you can’t do the stats.

    Love to hear if people like the idea.

    Keep up the great reporting guys, and hope you are okay with a little plug!

    • I cannot believe Google hasn’t gotten this officials going with the AFL. Huge missed opportunity. This has been one of my biggest annoyances with Assistant. The AFL is huge and Google needs to get onto it pronto.

  14. Still waiting for Assistant on my phone without needing to change phone language. Did Google say anything about that?

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