Sell me on Google Home


#1

So I've been a Goolge guy since they were competing with the likes of Altavista and Excite search engines....but they were late to the Voice Assistant game. I am heavily invested in Echo devices. As a result, I've always been curious about what Google Home had to offer. As time went by I stopped reading the blogs posts and articles about them because Alexa always seemed to be a couple steps ahead and a $50 test device seemed too steep for a shot in the dark.

BUT....with the Insignia Speaker sale I HAD to jump in with only a few dollars out of pocket. I hope the community can save me the long youtube videos and articles and let me know.....What can this puppy do better than an the Echo?

Or a better question might be, why did you chose google home instead of an Echo device?


#2

I chose Google because Amazon is a retailer, not a tech company - or at least that's how it started. Since they're neck and neck, the choice is more personal preference than anything, because they'll always eventually be doing the same stuff. I usually support the underdog where possible. Also, we already have 2 Google Pixels in the house, and a couple Chromecasts/Audios.


#3

Thanks for the feedback @kilowatts. So far I'm enjoying the fact that I can access my Goolge Play Music via voice. I had amazon music for a few months buy really hated their app and their catalog/curated music weren't as spot on as google music....at least for my tastes.

I didn't realize I also had the ability to string commands together with an "and". Pretty cool so far.


#4

When Amazon first came out with 'Echo' I was all over it. As time went on I had the echo in the living room and dots all over the house. Then Google got into the game and everything changed. I bought my first 'Home' device and put it in the living room next to the Echo. Since we use Pixel phones, Google Calendar, Photos, Gmail, Music...everything Google. It instantly became the go to voice assistant. Plus it just seemed to know what we were asking more often than the Echo. Once Google came out with the mini's it was all over for the Echo/Dots in this house. I sold all the Dots on eBay and just kept the Echo to play with and occasionally get deals on Amazon.

We now have the original Google Home, 9 mini's and the new Home Hub. Also two Nest thermostats, two Chromebooks and two Android watches. For us it just works. It knows who each of us are by name, even knows which phone belongs to who, which is great to ask it 'where's my phone'!

From everything I've read (and I read everything I can find, lol) both are excellent choices and have pro's and con's but for us it just makes sense to stick with Google.

Edit: forgot to add 1 hello doorbell and 1 outdoor camera, :slightly_smiling_face: Great to be able to say 'show me the front door or show me the back door' and it comes right up on the Home Hub


#5

Another cool feature I didn't know I had. I just asked google where my phone and it started ringing. I have this setup with IFTTT and Pushover...but this is much better....I just couldn't figure out how to make it stop for quite a while :joy:


#6

Well having a mix of both devices. Fire TVs, echo devices. Chromecast and google home.

I usually call the one that will do what I want the best.

For stuff on the fire TV Alexa is obviously superior. I also like home control through Alexa better.

For all things Chromecast I like the googles. Also the nest integration with my cams seems nicer.

Both can be setup as tts devices through various means.

Using the assistant relay on a pi will allow you to send 'silent' commands. Letting you trigger almost anything the homes can do from hubitat.

Just my two cents.


#7

I have a pretty even mix myself, but "There can be only one" voice assistant in the house or my wife will bring forth the Quickening. :cloud_with_lightning::crossed_swords::cloud_with_lightning:

I'm definitely going to play with all options available....but it's going to be really hard for google to get me to drop all my echo devices. Impressive so far but still a long way to go. I have to say it's fun having a new IOT toy and learning what it can do. Almost feels like February when I got a shiny new black box that said "Local or Bust".


#8

Nest doorbell integration is pretty cool. It announces the name of the person who rings the doorbell.

Also, I like their idea of shortcuts with free text. And the fact that you can use compound commands linked by AND (up to 3 different in one sentence, like turn the lights on AND the TV AND set the thermostat to x temperature).


#9

@bobbyD, what does this mean?


#10

Say what? Google is an advertising company, not a tech company. :sunglasses:


#11

I just added my Hue bulbs (20+) and it showed 78 devices...??
A few seconds later my device list is scattered with a bunch of "devices" that look like they are multiple copies of hue scenes (which I've never used...I rarely open the Hue app at all). This is going to be a fun clean up session.


#12

I'd forgotten about this. Google will let you create a phrase and use it to trigger whatever you like.

For instance I could say it smells in here. And have her turn on the fan. It asy to setup as well.


#13

Ah, ok. This is also possible with Alexa routines but it's good to know that its possible on Google Home as well. The interface is a bit confusing....probably because I'm used to Alexa's. I'll get it all figured out but I was in a room config screen at one point and now I cant find the option. I'm such a GHome newb.


#14

The entire app completely changed a couple of weeks ago. They put their dashboard to control devices front and center now with all the settings buried deep within. From the main screen, click on the 4 (last) icon to the right. Looks like a circle within a circle. Then click on Settings. That's where all the powerful stuff is now.


#15

Yeah, I wish they didn't have the "turn on/off ALL LIGHTS" buttons right there front and center. My slippery fingers are 1/4" away from catastrophe :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#16

Yep..that's where the good stuff is. Thank you.
Typical google. Loads of options scattered everywhere. I love em for all the customization but they always make it a bit convoluted. Function over form I guess.


#17

It's the same outcome, but Google is textual based. You actually type in the phrase you want the Assistant to perform. I find it more flexible. Here is an example of a shortcut that gives you more control over Alexa or Google native implementation of the same command. Also unlike Alexa, Google shortcuts take precedence over native implementation:


#19

I re-read your post. Are you saying that the Actions are free text? I think I'll have to create one to properly understand. Off to the Google Control Panel. Let's hope I dont shut the house down @kilowatts.


#20

I get it now. You can type what you would normally say to have the action done. That's pretty awesome!


#21

Now that we have Google/HE integration, I plan to really dig and see what my google home can do....but I have 2 questions before I get started.

  1. When I connected GH to Hue it added a bunch of scenes (that I do not want or use). Is there a way to filter these out. I hate a cluttered interface.

  2. I'm still a little confused as to how Google rooms work and I think I'm seeing little quirks because of it. My devices are named depending on their function. Example in my bedroom I have "bedroom lamps", "bedroom overheads" etc. When I ask google to turn on the bedroom lamps...she announce turning on 7 lights...huh. Picture me spinning in circles to see what 7 lights turned on. I'm pretty sure the room concept is different in GH than Echo world. So the question is..what conventions do you use with naming individual lights and rooms to make voice control simple with GH.