What does Google Home do—and do you need it?

Welcome to your voice-activated one-stop-shop for... everything

Credit: Google
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You ever get the feeling no one is actually listening to you? Not your spouse, not your kids, and certainly not any of your coworkers. Because if they were listening, you wouldn’t have to constantly repeat everything you’ve said.

Well, Google Home is your answer to that frustration. Because Google Home is always listening. But not in a creepy, recording-all-your-conversations, kind of way. No, Google home is more just… there. Waiting to be needed. And listening for your every command.

What is Google Home?

Google's IFTTT integration means your Google Home speaker can interact with a multitude of devices.

Google Home is the smart speaker solution produced by its search-engine namesake. Serving as the home base for Google Assistant, your voice-activated one-stop-shop for everything from schedule organization to grocery list making, it’s the physical hub you submit your commands to.

This convenient gadget was designed to make your life easier. And it does so not just by providing excellent stereo quality to your favorite tunes, but also by helping to manage your smart home and providing the assistance you need from someone (something?) who truly listens.

What can Google Home do?

Google Assistant routines
Credit: Reviewed / Florence Ion

Google Home speakers use Google Assistant's routines feature to trigger a cascade of actions with a single voice command.

With a simple, “Okay, Google” or “Hey, Google,” you can get Google Home’s attention and begin going down an ever-growing list of commands.

Control your smart home devices, translate Spanish to English, ask for help, find out what the local traffic patterns are, add a calendar event or book travel—it’s all available through your Google Home.

How to use Google Home

Google Home Max
Credit: Google

The Google Home Max is for those who want a smart speaker that can pump out some serious sound.

While Google Home is always waiting for your voice commands, there are a few physical controls you can utilize as well—turning the volume up or down, powering off, or even muting the microphone for those rare occasions when you might decide you don’t want Google Home waiting at your beck and call.

And with the Google Home App, which you’ll need to set your Google Home up in the beginning, you can control even more—playing music, setting up routines, and communicating with multiple devices.

Which Google Home should you buy?

Google Home Mini
Credit: Google

The Google Home Mini is an affordable way to dip your toe in the smart speaker world.

With three options currently on the market, you can opt for the cheaper Google Home Mini, the original Google Home, or the deluxe Google Home Max—the heavy-duty smart speaker with sound quality you won’t be able to stop raving about. In fact, the biggest difference between the three models is increased stereo quality (and size) for every level up.
If you’re looking for a smart speaker that also has a display, you can opt for the Google Nest Hub, which does everything the Google Home speakers do, and much more.

But you don’t have to opt for just one. In fact, multiple Google Home devices can work together, even acting as an intercom from room to room. You know, for those occasions when you’re tired of yelling up the stairs to get your family’s attention.

If they won’t listen to you, maybe they’ll at least listen to Google Home.

Related

Everything that works with Google Assistant and Google Home
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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