Google Home

“Hey Google” trigger start to rolling out to phones

“Hey Google” trigger start to rolling out to phones

There might come a day when personal assistants can be, well, personal and respond to whatever name we give it. Until that day comes, however, we’re stuck with some trigger words or phrases that may not come naturally to people who imagine controlling their devices with their voice. One such example is “OK, Google”, which sounds a bit contrived and is one syllable too many. Fortunately, Google seems to finally accept “Hey Google” as a valid trigger for Google Assistant on phones. Unsurprisingly, not everyone’s happy about it.

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Google Pixelbook gets a holiday discount and a free Google Home

Google Pixelbook gets a holiday discount and a free Google Home

Some people hold off on hot new purchases until the end of the year and for good reason. Depending on where you live, that’s the time when prices, even for shiny new products, tend to shave off a few digits. And in some cases, those precious digits are all that’s needed to make something nearly perfect. That might be the case with the Chrome OS Pixelbook, which has just gotten a $100 cut. And, depending on where you buy it, it might come with a free Google Home smart speaker too.

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Google Home Max is now available for purchase

Google Home Max is now available for purchase

Since the day the Google Home Max was first revealed, we knew Google planned to launch it in December. Google never really got more specific than that, but late last month, a listing from Best Buy revealed a release date of December 11. That day is now here, and sure enough, you can now purchase the Google Home Max.

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Google Home Mini update brings back the touch function

Google Home Mini update brings back the touch function

Google has an update for the Google Home Mini that restores its touch functionality, a feature that was stripped away shortly after launch due to a potential issue that some device owners faced. The update is bringing back the functionality, but doing so with a somewhat big change in how it works: rather than tapping the top of the device to give it a command, you'll instead need to long-press the side.

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Google needs a multitouch expert for its Echo Show rival

Google needs a multitouch expert for its Echo Show rival

Google is hunting multi-touch talent for future Google Home hardware, reigniting speculation about a touchscreen-enabled rival to Amazon's Echo Show and more. The company currently has two smart speakers - the Google Home and Google Home Mini - with a third in the pipeline. The Google Home Max is expected to launch later in December.

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Google Home Max launch isn’t going to miss the holidays

Google Home Max launch isn’t going to miss the holidays

Apple has received an amusingly large amount of backlash over its decision to delay its HomePod launch past the holiday and shopping season. It seems that Google won’t make the same mistake with its equivalent Home Max speakers. According to Best Buy’s very early listing, the speakers will become available for purchase mid-December, just as Google promised. It remains to be seen, however, if Google will be able to avoid the problems that Apple might have been trying to steer clear from with an early launch.

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Google Home gets Crackle movie and TV support

Google Home gets Crackle movie and TV support

Google Home can be used to play movies and TV shows on a Chromecast or Chromecast built-in device, but only if the app with the content is supported by Home. Google has been slow to introduce support for those apps, meaning Google Home owners are still pretty limited in what they can play videos from. That changed a tiny bit in recent days, though, as Google Home just got support for a new app: Crackle.

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Google Home can now take on two voice commands at once

Google Home can now take on two voice commands at once

The battle between Google Home and Amazon Echo to become the smart speaker that ultimately makes it into your home is a close one, but today Google is rolling out a new feature that might just give its speaker an edge. It seems that a new update has given Google Home the capacity to handle two commands at once. This is a handy ability, because before this update rolled out, each action you wanted Google Home to perform had to be delivered through individual voice commands.

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Google Assistant will make it easier to discover, use apps

Google Assistant will make it easier to discover, use apps

If you’re still looking for a “Google OS”, you need not look further than Google Assistant. Though not exactly your conventional OS with windows and displays, the voice-controlled AI-powered virtual assistant is the one uniform interface you will find in Google’s products, from Android to Google Home to Google apps. To further improve Google Assistant’s “interface”, the tech giant is providing developers with fresh new set of features that will help users discover, use, and re-engage with their apps.

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Google Home equalizer paves way for the big Max

Google Home equalizer paves way for the big Max

If your demands from a smart speaker focus more on, well, music than how well it answers questions, the latest update to Google Home might be of interest. In a new update, the Google Home and Google Home Mini have gained an equalizer, allowing owners to tweak the audio levels to suit their own particular tastes.

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Google Home broadcast turns the Assistant into a PA

Google Home broadcast turns the Assistant into a PA

Google is turning Google Home into a domestic public address system, ideal for summoning people to the dinner table or warning them you're about to turn off the internet. The update, being pushed out from today, allows users of the Google Assistant to broadcast a voice message through their Google Home devices.

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IKEA Tradfri smart lighting finally gets HomeKit, Alexa support

IKEA Tradfri smart lighting finally gets HomeKit, Alexa support

IKEA may have somewhat become a household name when it comes to minimalist, modular and hip furniture, but it isn’t known for jumping into the smart home arena head on. That should have changed last August, when it promised to add support for the three major smart home and AI assistants in the market. Fast forward three months later, it is only now that the IKEA Tradfri line of connected bulbs is getting integration with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, with Google Home still left behind.

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