The success of Echo, Amazon.com‘s. (NASDAQ:AMZN) AI-powered home speaker did not go unnoticed by search giant Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). And it was only a matter of time before the Google-owned company would come out with its own home infotainment system.
Yesterday, Google announced that its voice activated speaker, aptly called Google Home, has launched and ready to take on the big boys. The AI-powered speaker features Google Assistant as its soul, much like Amazon’s Alexa on the Echo, Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Siri on the iPhone or Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Cortana.
Now the question is, what can Google Home offer to users that Echo hasn’t? During the San Francisco demo, Google Home showed how it lets you engage in a natural conversation with your digital assistant, play music, and make wireless connection with ease.
Moreover, Google Home can set alarms, translate languages, and turn on the lights. Looking for a great restaurant for dinner? Google Home can help you search for just about anything online, all thanks to the Google Knowledge Graph database, which can supply over 50 billion, that’s with a ‘B’, facts to your digital assistant. Need a ride? Through voice activated commands, the Home can get you an Uber.
Here’s where the Google Home impresses, since it’s made by Google, the speaker works natively with YouTube Music and Google Play Music, making it a perfect choice for audiophiles. And to sweeten the deal, Google is offering six months of free access to YouTube Red with your purchase. On top of that, Google Home plays well with other music streaming services including Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more. You can choose and set the default music service through voice command.
The Home can be used to all Chromecast connected home devices – including televisions and speakers – allowing you to play music in different rooms at the same time!
The top of the speaker is touch sensitive and can be used to adjust the volume or pause the music. Google Home features three speakers, which Google described as “extrusion speakers.” Judging by its looks alone, the Google-made speaker is not only smart; its quality exceeds that of the Echo. The exterior was inspired by household items while the bottom grille can be swapped out to break the all-white look. Next to the Echo, the Home is sleeker, more portable and certainly more stylish than its clunky rival.
Even better, the Home is more affordable than the Echo, making it an attractive option for those who’d like to give these smart speakers a try. At $129, The Home is $50 cheaper than Echo.
At the moment, the Home works with a limited number of third party services but soon, it will integrate seamlessly with more. In the future, Google Home will transition into a command and control hub for all smart devices within the home.
During Tuesday’s launch, Google Home was unveiled together with Allo, the company’s new messaging app as well as Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. Google Home is now available for preorder.