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All posts tagged "Google Home"

  • Google Home Mini review: a capable yet cheap smart speaker?

    Slap an AI assistant onto a speaker and you've got a smart speaker. It's simple stuff really, but a formula that's proven rather popular in the past two years or so. Amazon and its Echo range were first off the bat and seem to be the market-leader right now, but the Google Home range has also carved out a solid niche for itself. These products aren't available in South Africa, so when a work visit to the USA popped up, I grabbed the opportunity to buy a Google Home Mini for US$30 from Walmart (usually US$50). At this price, it's cheap enough...

  • FYI: Google Home Mini works just fine in South Africa

    Google hardware is notoriously tough to come by in South Africa, as we've found out over the past couple of years. This is chiefly due to a combination of pending localisation and regulatory approval, country manager Luke Mckend told us in an interview earlier this year. For what it's worth, I managed to grab a Google Home Mini for US$30 during a work trip to the USA last week. And the good news is that it works well enough thus far (in case you didn't know), even without proper localisation in place. In terms of the hardware setup, the Google Home Mini...

  • Want Google hardware in South Africa? Well, keep waiting

    Google marked its ten year anniversary on the continent at an event this week, but what we really want to know is when the company will be bringing hardware to South Africa. It was worth noting that the event saw a Google Home available for attendees to try out. But when can we see the product actually launching in SA? This seems like a no-brainer, especially with the cheap Google Home Mini being launched in the USA for US$50. "We love Google Home, it's a fabulous product. Having Google Home is contingent on a couple of different things, not least of...

  • Reviewer’s Google Home Mini goes rogue, records everything

    Manufacturers of smart speakers have gone to great lengths to explain to users that the devices respect their privacy. But Google was in a rather tricky situation after a tech journalist's Google Home Mini speaker malfunctioned. Android Police journalist Artem Russakovskii was one of many to receive a Google Home Mini at the company's 4 October event. But quickly found that it was listening to and recording everything, instead of only listening to a hotword to activate. "Several days passed without me noticing anything wrong. In the meantime, as it turns out, the Mini was behaving very differently from all the...

  • Here are all the other gadgets that Google announced last night

    The Pixel 2 phones were the main attractions at Google's event last night, but the company had a lot more to show off. From new smart speakers to smart earbuds and everything in between, here's what else Google had to reveal. Google Home Mini It was leaked before the event, but Google now has a rival to Amazon's own Echo Dot smart speaker. Much like the Echo Dot, the Google Home Mini is a smaller version of the larger smart speaker, delivering the same core functionality. So that means voice queries, reminders, playing music and more. And much like the Echo Dot, the Home Mini...

  • Google Home Mini leaks, to be revealed at Pixel 2 event?

    The Google Home smart speaker is one of the cooler Google devices released in recent years, offering useful features in a handy format. Between general voice queries, music playback and reminders, it (along with Amazon's Echo) popularised the idea of a smart speaker in the first place. Now, 9to5Google has uncovered evidence of a Google Home Mini device, essentially being a smaller, cheaper version of the original smart speaker. The publication dug through the Google Home app, finding an image of the diminutive gadget. Update: We found a full-res image of the new Google Home Mini in the latest Google Home app https://t.co/m9lxzczRTM...

  • Google Home, Amazon Echo can fight HomePod, but where are they?

    The smart speaker arena looks set to go into overdrive as Apple finally joined the party last month with the HomePod. Featuring an array of audio hardware and smart adjustments, the device is pretty interesting. Then there's the Apple Music integration, as you use your voice to sift through tracks and playlists. Taken together with the audio chops and there's little wonder why Apple is positioning it as a high-end audio speaker. It may be marketed as a speaker first and assistant second, but the truth is that it still plays in the same space as Amazon and Google's products. And...

  • ‘Google Home six times more likely to answer questions than Alexa’

    It seems like voice assistants are the new battleground, with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Samsung all delivering services in this regard. But arguably the two most hyped products in the field right now are the Google Home and Amazon Echo speakers. Which one is more effective though? Well, marketing firm 360i has conducted research, finding that Google's product was six times more likely to answer your questions than Amazon's Alexa assistant inside the Echo. The firm used proprietary software, dubbed Voice Search Monitor (VSM), to pose questions to the speakers. And these weren't just one, two or a dozen questions...

  • Apple HomePod vs Amazon Echo vs Google Home

    Apple's HomePod is the latest new addition to the company product lineup, being a smart speaker for the household. However, the company is far from the first to bring this tech to the market, with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home speakers also available. How does it compare then? Audio capabilities When it comes to sound, Apple is positioning the HomePod as an audio powerhouse, packing a "high excursion woofer" and custom amp pairing, as well as seven tweeters. Meanwhile, Amazon's product page lists a 2.5-inch woofer and one 2-inch tweeter. A case of less is more? Probably not. Google merely lists a "high excursion...

  • Apple readying Siri Speaker to take on Echo, Google Home

    Smart speakers have become the latest tech phenomenon lately, starting with the Amazon Echo and continuing with the Google Home. The speakers are marketed as helpful, voice-controlled assistants for the entire household, allowing you to ask queries, create shopping lists, play music and even get traffic alerts. Now, Bloomberg, citing "people familiar with the matter", reports that Apple is creating a Siri Speaker to jump on the bandwagon. As the name implies, the speaker would be controlled by Apple's Siri assistant, ostensibly granting a similar level of functionality as you'd have on an iPhone. A Siri Speaker would see Apple joining Google and...