Items tagged with google home

Smart speakers are still very popular devices and are high on the wish lists of folks looking to bring more automation and AI-powered assistants into their home environment. Both Best Buy and Target are offering outstanding deals on the Google Home smart speaker with Google Assistant. The deals knock a significant amount off the MSRP and could represent the perfect time to get a Google Home in every room of your home or office, if you're looking for that level of connectedness. The regular price for the Google Home smart speaker is $99.99, but Best Buy has a deal right now where it is offering $70.99 off the purchase price. That brings the price for the Google Home smart speaker to $29, representing... Read more...
Select owners of Google Home smart speakers have over the last few days reported issues that are related the Google Home preview program. That preview program provides users access to test early firmware releases for the smart speaker. Multiple participants in the preview program have reported that after applying the latest firmware release, their smart speaker has become entirely unresponsive. Some hit with the issue report the first indication of a problem is a flashing orange LED on the top along with a speaker that is unresponsive to the "Hey Google" hot word. For many of these people, the first attempt at fixing their device was a factory reset that changed the blinking orange LED to a solid... Read more...
There's no question that Amazon is the dominate player in the smart speaker realm, and that is even more readily apparent by the latest sales data coming from Canalys. The analytics firm monitored smart speaker shipments during Q3 2019 and found that the market exploded by 44.9 percent compared to the same quarter last year. At the top of the heap, as usual, was Amazon with 10.4 million Echo smart speakers shipped during the quarter. This represents a 65.9 percent annual growth rate for Amazon, giving it an overall 36.6 percent share of the smart speaker market. Canalys attributes much of Amazon's strength during the quarter to the release of the affordable, display-equipped Echo Show 5. The... Read more...
It's bad enough we have to worry about sharks with frickin' laser beams attached, but now we have to be vigilant against the threat lasers present to smart home speakers and other devices with digital assistants. How so? Security researchers at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo and at the University of Michigan warn that relatively cheap laser points can be modded to inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice assistants. This method of hacking affects all of the popular voice assistants, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Facebook Portal. "The implications of injecting unauthorized voice commands vary in severity based on the type of commands that... Read more...
Google has made a lot of inroads with its "Home" family of Google Assistant-powered smart speakers that include the Home, Home Mini, and Home Max. However, in recent months, some users have been left with non-functioning devices due to faulty firmware upgrades. After a failed firmware update, the affected devices will seemingly reboot normally, yet show all four LEDs lit up. Once this happens, the device is no longer responsive and will not answer to any voice commands. However, according to Android Police, some users were able to get their Homes to break free of this failsafe mode by powering cycling the device.  In addition, some users have been able to factory reset their devices... Read more...
Smart speaker owners beware—attackers have found a clever way of exploiting devices offered by Amazon and Google to both listen in on your conversations and dupe you into forking over private information, such as your account password, credit card details, and other details that should be kept close to the vest. What makes this possible are flaws that allow third-party app developers to leverage Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices in malicious ways. This is not an entirely new scheme, but while Amazon and Google have patched similar security flaws in the past, new ones keep popping up. Security Research Labs (SRLabs) notes that one such vulnerability consists of adding a long audio pause... Read more...
Google Assistant-powered devices like the Google Home have increased in popularity over the past few years and have grown to be competitive sales wise with the Amazon Echo family in the smart speaker realm. Today, Google is looking to further the appeal of its Google Home and Nest Hub devices with the introduction of a new feature called stream transfer. When people purchase their first smart home device, it’s often hard to stop at just one. Google knows this, and stream transfer is meant to help users manage media content as they move throughout rooms in their home. Using just your voice, you can all upon the Google Assistant to transfer music from the Google Home in your bonus room, for... Read more...
A shocking report by a news agency in Belgium claims that contractors paid by Google to transcribe audio recordings uploaded by Google Home smart speakers have also been able to hear private conversations that should have never been recorded in the first place. The recordings run the gamut from bedroom conversations to professional phone calls containing private information. We already know that Google thrives on data collection. That is how the company is able to tailor its services to users, including obviously its search engine, but also its AI assistant. In a related FAQ, Google explains that it "collects data that's meant to make our services faster, smarter, and more relevant, and more... Read more...
In an apparent effort to stay competitive in the smart speaker war, Apple today clipped $50 off the price of its HomePod, bringing the cost down from $349 to now $299. The new price applies to both the White and Space Gray models. For those who are interested, the $50 savings negates the cost of adding an AppleCare+ warranty, which is an additional $39 charge. Apple is not exactly known for slashing prices on its products without a new model being announced. It's possible that a HomePod 2 is on the horizon, but more likely, Apple is trying to bolster sales and be more competitive in an increasingly crowded field, albeit one that is dominated by Amazon and Google (in that order). Up to this point,... Read more...
Home smart devices have increasingly become multifunctional and serve consumers through screens, cameras, stereos, and virtual assistants. Google already offers a range of home devices, but its next device appears to follow this multi-use trend. Google accidentally revealed an upcoming product called the Nest Hub Max on its own website. The device will boast a 10-inch screen and improve upon a number of existing features from popular products. Image from Android Police Although the listing has since been taken down, we were able to learn a few things about the Nest Hub Max. The device will include a 10-inch smart display, built-in Nest cameras, and stereo speakers. Users will also be able to... Read more...
If you have a Google Assistant-backed Smart Display, but have been envious of the Continued Conversation feature available to standalone Google Home speakers, your moment in the sun has arrived. Google announced today that the handy feature is rolling out today to the Google Home Hub and other devices like the Lenovo Smart Display. For those not in the know, Continued Conversation mode allows you to make an initial request, then keep hitting your AI assistant with follow-up questions without repeatedly having to say “OK, Google” for a set period of time. This not only allows for a more conversational and less robotic interactions with a device like the Google Home... Read more...
No one thought that it would be easy to take on Amazon in the smart speaker market; after all, the company got the jump on the competition with its first Echo in late 2014. However, if any company stood a chance against Amazon, it was Google, and the newest numbers from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) show that to be somewhat true. According to CIRP's analysis of the U.S. market, there was a total installed base of 66 million smart speakers during Q4 2018. Of that total, Amazon accounted for a commanding 70 percent of installs with its Echo family of smart speakers according to the research firm.  The Google Home family of smart speakers was... Read more...
Christmas movie fans will undoubtedly know the classic flick Home Alone starring Macaulay Culkin. Google has teamed up with Culkin to reprise his role as Kevin McAllister in modern times. Google calls the new holiday film it cooked up "Home Alone Again with Google Assistant." The video has Kevin doing many of the same things he did 28 years ago when his parents forgot him at home and went away on a trip. The catch this time is that Kevin has a Google Home packing the Google Assistant to help him spend his days alone. Kevin has the assistant make him a shopping list for the aftershave that gave the flick its iconic hands on cheeks screaming kid poster. Kevin also has a custom routine to keep the... Read more...
Google has rolled out some new features for Google Home devices and Lenovo Smart Displays, some of which were announced back during I/O 2018. The new features include Pretty Please, Assistant notes and lists integration, Broadcast Replies, and visual lyrics for the Home Hub. Pretty Please is designed to help encourage good manners, which is a big deal for parents with kids. The way Pretty Please works is by encouraging you to say "please" and "thank you" in your commands. When Google Assistant hears commands with good manners, it will say "delightful responses" and "Thanks for asking so nicely." Since Google Assistant is a faceless bit of tech, using good manners when talking with it is easy... Read more...
Rumor has it that the new Google Home Hub may have a few security vulnerabilities. A hacker recently demonstrated that a Google Home Hub could potentially be forced to reveal information about its owner, but Google has now refuted this claim and contends that user information is not at risk. Security researcher Jerry Gamblin noticed that his own Google Home Hub appeared to be using several open ports. He used the command prompt on his computer to reboot his device, disable notifications, erase various settings, and delete the Google Home Hub WiFi network. Gamblin was not able to access user information, but he is concerned that those are the implications of his recent discovery. Google quickly... Read more...
NVIDIA's "do everything" SHIELD TV is an incredibly potent media streamer + gaming platform, and it already features native support for the Google Assistant. However, the current implementation of voice control with the Google Assistant leaves a lot to be desired and is quite limited in its capabilities. NVIDIA is rectifying this issue with a new update that provides "deeper integration" with Google Home devices currently on your network. You can simply call out to your Google Home and tell it to specifically play a movie or a TV show on your SHIELD. For example, you can say "OK Google, open Sling TV on SHIELD" or "Hey Google, set volume to 90% on SHIELD". As you might expect, you can... Read more...
Google just can't seem to keep a handle on all the leaks surrounding its upcoming October 9thhardware event. The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL have leaked so much that about the only thing that remains a mastery are the flagship Android Pie phones' price tags. Likewise, the third-generation Chromecast made an early appearance last week when a Best Buy employee sold the unreleased product to a customer (who of course posted about it online). Now, another retailer worker has leaked the next-generation Google Smart TV Kit. The bundle includes both a Google Home Mini and the third-generation Chromecast that we've already seen. Given that there is already a Smart TV Kit on sale as a Walmart-exclusive,... Read more...
We’ve been hearing talks about a Google-branded, display-equipped smart home device powered by the Google Assistant for several months. The rumors really started heating up once companies like Lenovo released its own Smart Display Google Assistant-based device (read the HotHardware review here). Now, we’re getting a look at what are allegedly the first images of Google’s upcoming product courtesy of MySmartPrice. The device is called the Google Home Hub and features a 7-inch touch screen. As far as appearances are concerned, it looks a Google Home Max with a display attached to the front. According to a leaked product page, the device will be available... Read more...
A new study published by Adobe Analytics that looks at the market for voice devices such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The study surveyed 1,000 consumers in the U.S. and looked at how people use the devices they own and what they use them for. According to the study, the most common use for voice assistant devices is music playback with 70% of owners using their device for that task. Weather forecasts came in a close second with 64% of owners using their device for figuring out what the weather will be like for the day. Asking fun questions was a common use for 53% of people along with conducting online searches, something that 47% of device owners have done. Getting news is a common activity... Read more...
We all know someone who uses their smartphone a little too often, whether it's a relentless barrage of selfies sent through Snapchat or an inability to log off social media in general. To combat this, Google introduced its Digital Wellbeing initiative at its most recent I/O event. It mostly consists of providing tools for users to monitor how much time they spend on their phones and watching YouTube videos, and some of the features are headed to Google Home and the Google Assistant. "We’re dedicated to building technology that is truly helpful for everyone. We’re creating tools and features that help people better understand their tech usage, focus on what matters most, disconnect... Read more...
When Amazon trotted out its Echo Show smart speaker with a display built in, almost everyone speculated that competitors in the AI smart speaker market would be bringing out similar products. That proved accurate at CES 2018 in January, when LG, Lenovo, and JBL all rolled out their own smart speakers packing a display. The company conspicuously missing from the smart display segment at CES was Google. The odd part is that Google is one of the biggest names in the entire smart speaker segment currently with its Google Home device.. In September we learned Google was working on a product for the segment. A new report published this week shows that the smart speaker market is booming in Q2... Read more...
More people are purchasing Google Home devices than Amazon's competing Echo products when shopping for a smart speaker, according to estimated data sales compiled by market research firm Canalys. Google now sits in the top spot of the worldwide smart speaker market in terms of growth, and appears to benefiting the most from what has become a boom market. The smart speaker market grew a staggering 187 percent the second quarter of 2018, with shipments reaching a combined 16.8 million units, compared to 5.8 million units in the same quarter a year ago. Google's Home smart speaker line accounted for 5.4 million of those of shipments, while Amazon came in second place with 4.1 million Echo device... Read more...
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