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Google Home won’t ring you anymore if your phone isn’t home

Google Home won’t ring you anymore if your phone isn’t home

We call some products "smart" mostly due to the abilities they have that sometimes go beyond our own skills, at least when it comes to getting information from the Internet. There are times, however, when smart assistants and smart devices don't actually behave that smartly, like things we take for granted because of human behavior or common sense. It is only recently, for example, that these smart speakers and displays have started to adjust their behavior depending on whether there's anyone around in the first place, like ringing them only when you're around to actually answer a call.

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Google Assistant bug breaks voice control on smart home devices

Google Assistant bug breaks voice control on smart home devices

The Internet has definitely made the world a smaller place and the Internet of Things has made our houses even smaller. Of course, there are risks involved in putting all or even most of your smart home eggs in one basket, be it an Internet basket or some smart home platform, especially when that basket suddenly breaks. That's the reality that some smart homeowners are now finding themselves in when Google Assistant suddenly turned their smart appliances a tad hard of hearing.

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Google Home Max discontinuation marks the end of a pre-Nest era

Google Home Max discontinuation marks the end of a pre-Nest era

It might be hard to believe but smart speakers have been in the market for more than half a decade now. Amazon launched the Echo, which was then seen as an oddity, in late 2014 and Google followed it up with the Home speaker two years later. Google would eventually expand that into a new line of "Home" branded smart speakers but now that will just be a footnote of history as the last of its kind, the Google Home Max, as officially sold out and has been discontinued.

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Nest Audio vs Google Home: It’s an enticing upgrade

Nest Audio vs Google Home: It’s an enticing upgrade

Google has announced its new smart speaker called the Nest Audio, which is a sequel to the original Google Home. The change in prefix name for these devices happened after Google brought them under the Nest brand. How that naming ploy has changed in the past years is a story for another day, today we’ll discuss – through how things fair on paper – how the next-gen smart speaker uplifts the game for Google. And, if it’s time for you to upgrade from the first taste of smart speaker endured with Google Home.

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Sonos sues as Google audio tech remains all too familiar

Sonos sues as Google audio tech remains all too familiar

Sonos filed a lawsuit against Google this week to further claims of patent infringement with smart speaker products. Sonos claims that a team-up between the companies with the launch of Google Play Music resulted in Google effectively copying Sonos technology for use in smart speakers they'd release years later. This claim comes just before Google's next major event in which the company is expected to reveal one more smart speaker and/or smart audio product that Sonos expects will continue what they consider the company's "disregard for IP."

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Google is making it easier to find high-quality local audio news

Google is making it easier to find high-quality local audio news

Google has revealed that it will make it easier for users to find high-quality local audio news, filling a category largely ignored by existing podcasts and other audio programs. This effort will involve the company's Assistant and Podcasts products, Google revealed this week, stating that it will deliver 'Your News Update' to its Podcasts app. As well, Google Assistant users will get better access to local audio news.

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Nest multi-room audio control released for Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora

Nest multi-room audio control released for Spotify, YouTube Music, Pandora

Today the folks at Google responsible for updating the Nest system of media control and smart home hardware made a big jump in the realm of audio. Nest products now work with multi-room audio control. Multi-room audio control works with YouTube Music, Pandora, and Spotify, and compatibility with other apps appears to be in the works.

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Google Nest teases something special on Monday

Google Nest teases something special on Monday

Home-centric devices have become more relevant and more useful these days, with everyone stuck at home most of the time. From laptops to mobile devices to smart speakers and smart displays, smart devices at home have experienced a surge in demand that some may have even had difficulty supplying. Google might be trying to take advantage of that rise in popularity and has promised something special coming from its Nest smart home brand, maybe even a new Nest Home speaker with a rather unique design.

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Nest Aware subscribers get free Nest Hub offer, codes finally working

Nest Aware subscribers get free Nest Hub offer, codes finally working

During these weeks or even months of practically being forced to stay at home, it's not unusual for companies to offer some free or extended trial period to customers to do their part in keeping them sane and healthy. Google, however, seemed to have gone over and beyond by offering free devices instead, like free Nest Mini speakers to YouTube Premium subscribers. Now it's doing the same with a Nest Hub smart display but you need to have jumped on the new Nest Aware subscription to qualify.

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Google Assistant may soon confirm some purchases by voice

Google Assistant may soon confirm some purchases by voice

Remember the almost comical incident more than three years ago when Amazon Echo speakers started ordering dollhouses because a TV anchor said so? Those things are long behind us and people have been less than enthusiastic about the prospect of making big orders without any visual confirmation from their phone at the very least. But for a certain class of users, that may be the only kind of interaction they may be able to make which is why Google is now testing an accessibility feature that would let some users confirm purchases by voice alone.

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Google Home smart speaker deal sees price tag plummet

Google Home smart speaker deal sees price tag plummet

Google's first-generation Google Home smart speaker has had an unexpected price cut, with the Assistant-powered gadget now matching the Google Nest Mini in a promotion. Launched back in late 2016, the original Google Home may have looked like an air freshener, but it actually kick-started the company's growing smart home line-up.

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Google Home app finally has a “Hey, Google” sensitivity slider

Google Home app finally has a “Hey, Google” sensitivity slider

As smart and somewhat useful smart speakers and smart assistants have become, they have also become good for one unintended purpose. They have sometimes become the butt of jokes when citing comical anecdotes about smart speakers suddenly butting into conversations. They have also become sources of horror stories about unintentionally recording or, worse, sending audio clips that were not even meant to be heard by others. Fortunately, Google is now letting users decide how well or how hard Google Assistant will hear them with a new setting.

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