I’ve owned a Google Home Mini for three months now — here are the 4 biggest issues I have with it

Kaylee Fagan, provided by Published 3:42 pm, Tuesday, February 27, 2018 Google/YouTube I've owned a Google Home Mini for three months now, and most days, it makes me want to pull my hair out. I most often use Google's smart speaker in combination with my Chromecast TV setup, which I am also not a huge fan of, but nothing quite compares to the rage I feel for my Google Home Mini sometimes. Before I get into it, I want to acknowledge that the technology is still in its early stages, and that is totally acceptable. There are several commands the Google Assistant can't handle yet, and it'll actually tell you when whatever you're asking is too advanced for its AI. I appreciate that level of honesty, but still, there's a handful of aspects of the Google Home Mini I just can't forgive. 1. Google Home Mini can't remember preferences, and it doesn't seem to get better at learning your previous commands LATEST BUSINESS VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing Amazon to Open Six More Cashierless Stores Wibbitz Mercedes-Benz AI-Based Infotainment System MBUX Dazzles at MWC 2018 Ruptly TV Samsung Reveals Galaxy S9 and S9+ at MWC in Barcelona Ruptly TV 'Fixer Upper' Star Joanna Gaines Says She Was Bullied As A Child Buzz 60 Bitcoin Buyers Tapping Currency Into Cars, Goods Associated Press Researchers Try to Unlock Clues to 'Super-Aging' Associated Press Sallie Krawcheck's Advice for Working Women Time Kim Kardashian’s Secret to Success Cheddar TV Report: These Airlines Have the Most Complaints and Lost Luggage Buzz 60 US Marijuana Job Growth Could More Than Double By 2021 Buzz 60 Google I am a simple woman. When I get home from work, I watch videos from the same three YouTube channels on my TV, and then watch one of two Netflix shows before bed. But for some reason, telling my Google Home Mini to perform all of the same searches day after day is a struggle. For example, no matter how many times I watch the BBC show "Planet Continue Reading

How To See The Weather On Chromecast Using Google Home Speaker

It’s been recently discovered that the Google Home smart speaker is now able to show visual information on TVs that have a connected Chromecast. This is the very first of the contextual visual responses that Google previously promised last year for its Home smart speaker. When users want to hear information about the weather, all they have to do is say “OK Google what’s the weather?” and listen to Google Assistant’s response. With Google’s new contextual visual responses activated, users can now tell Google Home to show them weather information by asking “OK Google show me the weather on my TV” or simply “show me the weather,” according to Android Police. Google Assistant will show the weather information on the user’s TV as long as a Chromecast device is connected to the TV. Users must also make sure that their TV and Chromecast are both turned on in order for this new feature to work. If a user has more than one active Chromecast in their home, they should be more specific on where they want to see the weather information. In Google’s updated support page, the company confirmed that this new feature won’t work if users have the first-generation Chromecast or Android TVs. 9To5Google also confirmed that this feature won’t work on TVs with built-in Chromecast or the Nvidia Shield TV. Google also confirmed that Home users will be able to ask for the weather for specific days or locations. For example, users can say “OK Google show me the weather in London this weekend.” Users can also request Google Assistant to show weather information in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit. Google appears to be slowly rolling out this new Home feature to all of its users. Users in the United States should have the feature right now. Redditors are saying that this feature isn’t available yet in all countries, so a lot of other Google Home owners will just have to wait for Continue Reading

17 of the coolest things your Google Home can do (GOOG, GOOGL)

Avery Hartmans, provided by Published 7:00 am, Sunday, February 4, 2018 Hollis Johnson/Business Insider Since last October, many millions of people have purchased a Google Home device. Google sells three Home devices right now: The $50 Google Home Mini, the $130 Google Home, and the $400 Google Home Max, all of which have Google's artificially-intelligent Assistant built in. Last month, Google revealed that it had sold more than one Home smart speaker device every second since October. According to our own calculations, that means Google sold at least 6.8 million Home devices during the holiday season. Now that millions of people own Google Home devices for the first time, it helps to know what you can actually do with them. Some features are obvious — like asking for the weather — but others aren't so obvious. Here are 17 of the best Google Home features: LATEST BUSINESS VIDEOS Now Playing: Now Playing Trader: Dow 665-Point Swing "Normal Behavior" Associated Press Google Is Hiring Thousands for Data Center Locations Wibbitz These Self-Parking Slippers Roll Back Into Place After You Kick Them Off Ruptly TV Report: Whole Foods New Inventory System Is Making Workers Cry Veuer Roy Orbison to go back on tour... in hologram form Euronews American Airlines CEO Shares Thoughts About Recent Troubles Fortune This Airline Is Offering Free Airfare For Poetry Written On Airsickness Bags Buzz 60 Report: Whole Foods New Inventory System Is Making Workers Cry Buzz 60 1. Play white noise while you fall asleep. YouTube I prefer rain sounds to standard white noise, so I usually say "Hey Google, play the sound of rain." The device obliges with a steady downpour. The sound usually lasts until I fall asleep, but if you want to be sure it turns off at a certain point, you can also set a sleep timer. 2. Broadcast something to every Google Home device in your house. Google If you have more than one Google Home Continue Reading

Wi-Fi Problems? Chromecast, Google Home May Be The Cause

Having trouble with your Wi-Fi network at home? It could be the fault of Google Chromecast or the Google Home smart speaker. Users and experts alike have indicated the devices are causing trouble for wireless routers. A number of complaints have started to crop up on product pages and online forums in recent months suggesting that the introduction of internet-connected Google products into the home have caused disruptions including the internet connection dropping out completely. The first round of complaints focused on the Google Home Max—the company’s high-end speaker that has its Google Assistant built in—and how it interacted with routers from TP-Link, the world’s top provider of wireless networking devices. TP-Link quickly identified the issue , which stemmed from how the Google device would MDNS packets, which are used to identify individual internet-connected devices on the same network. Instead of sending the packets in a 20-second interval, as is the standard procedure, Google’s Home Max speaker would spam thousands of the packets at a time, overloading the router and causing the connection to drop. An engineer from TP-Link explained the issue extends throughout the Google Home and Chromecast line and typically occurs when one of the devices wakes up from a “sleep” state.  According to the engineer, “the longer your device is in “sleep”, the larger this packet burst will be.” In some cases the burst could “exceed more than 100,000 packets.” In response to the issue, TP-Link released beta firmware that can be applied to its routers. The firmware—an update for the hardwired software that tells the hardware of a device how to function—should help mitigate the blast of MDNS packets sent by the Google devices. Unfortunately, it seems as though TP-Link routers are not the only ones affected by the issue. Users online have complained about similar issues affecting Continue Reading

Google is taking on Amazon’s newest Echo smart speakers — with a little help from some friends (GOOG, GOOGL, AMZN)

Matt Weinberger, provided by Published 7:00 pm, Monday, January 8, 2018 Lenovo Google Assistant, the company's smart voice assistant, is now installed on 400 million devices, including the Google Home speakers and certain Android phones.  Google is teaming up with partners including Lenovo to make "smart screens" — voice-controlled tablets, like the Amazon Echo Show and Echo Spot. These smart screens will have YouTube. In December, Google pulled YouTube support from all Amazon devices.  Google Assistant is also coming to Android Auto, the search giant's connected car software. It's also coming to new headphones and speakers. Local Channel Now Playing: Now Playing San Antonio's Confluence Park seen from the sky mysa Woman hit by driver after running into North Side street mysa Mayor and others discuss the symphony's new schedule mysa Natural gas explosion at South Side motel hospitalizes 2 with severe burns mysa This tamale-making hack may change your next tamalada mysa Dog caught in middle of family's New Year's Eve fireworks mysa San Antonio child sings 'Remember Me' from Coco in heart-wrenching tribute to baby sister mysa Well-known San Antonio cook gunned down on his front porch, suspect at large mysa Man found dead in rollover wreck at busy S.A. intersection mysa Woman killed in fiery rollover crash on U.S. 281 mysa Amazon's Alexa voice assistant dominated last year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Now, CES is upon us once again, and Google is striking back — with a little help from its friends. First up: Google now says that Assistant, its rival to Amazon's Alexa, is on 400 million devices, including the Google Home smart speakers, certain Android phones like the Google Pixel 2, and other Google-powered gadgets. Amazon doesn't disclose a similar number for Alexa, but as of October, CEO Jeff Bezos had pegged it around 20 million. More importantly, Google is announcing a new Continue Reading

The Google Home Max is too loud and too expensive — and you should absolutely buy it (GOOG, GOOGL)

Avery Hartmans, provided by Published 9:00 am, Saturday, January 6, 2018 Avery Hartmans/Business Insider The Google Home Max is loud. Like, really, really loud. It's so loud that it drowns out noisy roommates blasting an NBA game, or insistent sirens right outside. It's so loud that if you have it cranked up between you and another person, you probably won't able to hear them. There's more to the Google Home Max than its volume, though. It's nice to look at, dead-simple to use, and has the Google Assistant built in, the best smart assistant on the market. In fact, after using the Home Max for a few weeks, I'm struggling to find anything bad to say about it. Here's why: Local Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Natural gas explosion at South Side motel hospitalizes 2 with severe burns mysa This tamale-making hack may change your next tamalada mysa Dog caught in middle of family's New Year's Eve fireworks mysa San Antonio child sings 'Remember Me' from Coco in heart-wrenching tribute to baby sister mysa Well-known San Antonio cook gunned down on his front porch, suspect at large mysa Man found dead in rollover wreck at busy S.A. intersection mysa Woman killed in fiery rollover crash on U.S. 281 mysa Video of San Antonio dad's Christmas hover board accident goes viral on social media mysa Summers enjoying trip home with TCU Bexar County identifies woman killed in deputy involved shooting Fox7 The Google Home Max has the best smart assistant available, period. Avery Hartmans/Business Insider The Home Max has Google Assistant built in, which in my experience is the best smart assistant around. It seems to understand our natural way of speaking better than its peers, and can easily translate commands like "Hey Google, turn it up a little bit" or "OK Google, put on some relaxing music." The Assistant has a good memory, too. I was impressed by one scenario where I asked it what the weather was going to be like the next Continue Reading

Google sold more than 6.8 million Home smart speakers during the holiday season (GOOG)

Avery Hartmans, provided by Published 3:14 pm, Friday, January 5, 2018 Justin Sullivan/Getty Images Google says it has sold more than 6.8 million Google Home devices since October.  That's more than one device every second.  In a Friday post on Google's Keyword blog, head of product Rishi Chandra revealed that Google has sold more than one Home smart speaker device every second since October. According to Business Insider's quick calculations, that's at least 6.8 million Home devices sold during the holiday season. Google currently offers three Home devices — the original Home, the Home Max, and the Home Mini — but it didn't break out sales figures for the individual devices. Smart speakers, which use voice recognition and virtual assistants to let users find information, order food and listen to music, have emerged as an important new computing platform that some observers believe could eventually replace smartphones. $4 speakers Both Google and Amazon cut prices sharply for their smart speakers over the holidays, in order to gain market share. By some estimates, the price cuts were so deep that the companies likely lost money on each sale. Google reduced the price of its Mini from $49 to $29 during the holiday period. And retailer Walmart offered a $25 voucher for the device, which mean that consumers could essentially buy the puck-shaped Mini speakers for $4 each. While Amazon — Google's main competitor in the smart speaker space — hasn't revealed exactly how many Echo devices it's sold, it pegged the number of its competing Echo Dot sales in the millions. The strong sales of Google Home devices also came despite a rocky launch. Before the Home Mini began shipping in October, one reviewer discovered that the device was quietly recording his conversations without his knowledge or consent. Google was forced to permanently disable a button on the top of the that let users activate voice recognition, Continue Reading

Amazon Echo, Google Home push appeal of smart home technology

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017, file photo, Amazon Echo Spots are displayed during a program announcing several new Amazon products by the company, in Seattle. The round version of the Echo Show has its own 2.5-inch display that can provide visual information, such as the weather or a clock face. It also provides access to Alexa and supports optional video-calling support. Once people get their first smart product, they are likely to buy more. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) In this Dec. 9, 2017, photo, Sharonda Dozier, of Detroit, poses for a photo at Fairlane Town Center in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Mich. Dozier's boyfriend wants a voice assistant, but she's not so sure. (AP Photo/Jeff Karoub) FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, file photo, Google's Rishi Chandra speaks about the Google Home Max speaker at a Google event in San Francisco,. Once people get their first smart product, they are likely to buy more. They also tell friends and neighbors about them, or perhaps buy some as gifts. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File) FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, file photo, Maxime Veron, head of product marketing for Nest Labs, talks about the features of the Nest Secure alarm system during an event in San Francisco. As people get voice-activated speakers and online security cameras for convenience and peace of mind, are they also giving hackers a key to their homes? Many devices from reputable manufacturers have safeguards built in, but safeguards aren’t the same as guarantees. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File) FILE - This July 25, 2017, file frame grab from video shows the Nest Cam IQ camera. As people get voice-activated speakers and online security cameras for convenience and peace of mind, are they also giving hackers a key to their homes? Many devices from reputable manufacturers have safeguards built in, but safeguards aren’t the same as guarantees. (AP Photo/Ryan Nakashima, File) NEW YORK — Internet-connected Continue Reading

Google Home Max: Google’s max effort pays off in powerful smart speaker

If you care more about your smart speaker's sound than which digital assistant it employs, the new Google Home Max speaker should be on your holiday short list.After days of pumping an eclectic range of music through Google's $399 speaker — from AC/DC to the Three Tenors — it's clear the Google Home Max is in a class by itself when it comes to filling a home or apartment with sounds even an audiophile could appreciate. The downsides: It's big, heavy, cord-powered and not particularly portable.Admittedly, for many people the decision to purchase this or that voice-activated smart speaker has often boiled down to which AI-infused digital assistant you’re most comfortable engaging with in your home, most likely Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant. But when music is the priority, different features come into play. Certainly, at $399 there is a high price to pay for such sonic joy. The sum is way above the current $79 discounted price for the regular Google Home speaker or the comparably priced rival Amazon Echo speaker with Alexa, not to mention the $29 Google Home Mini.But while such less expensive speakers sound perfectly decent for what they are, the Max is in a different class altogether. With the volume at full blast on a thunderous track such as AC/DC’s Hells Bells or something as polar opposite as the Three Tenors in concert belting out Puccini's Nessun dorma, Google Home Max demonstrates the power to rock even a very large room.In fact, all kinds of music—jazz, classical, classic rock, hip-hop, pop, Broadway—sounded terrific, whether cranked up high or played at more modest volume levels.I was impressed with the deep bass across an eclectic mix of music as well, ranging from Rockstar by Post Malone featuring 21 Savage to You Know I’m No Good by Amy Winehouse.This bookshelf speaker is big and, at nearly 12 pounds, rather heavy, so it's not meant to be moved around a lot. Continue Reading

Live: Apple unveils $349 smart speaker HomePod

Hey Siri, ready to meet the HomePod?On Monday, Apple introduced the smart speaker HomePod during its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose. The speaker will ship this December in the U.S. for $349.Also, Apple revealed the first details of iOS 11, the latest version of its operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and other mobile devices.For a recap of Apple's WWDC keynote, scroll down below:3:25 p.m.: Former first lady Michelle Obama will appear at WWDC this week. Cook finishes the keynote. Thanks for joining us!3:23 p.m.: Cook steps on stage to wrap up. Not surprising, the HomePod costs more than rivals Echo or Google Home. Is the quality worth that price? Siri might help decide that in December.3:21 p.m.: Schiller says privacy is an important part of HomePod. All communications are encrypted and queries are sent anonymously. HomePod is priced at $349. It will ship this December.3:19 p.m.: Siri on HomePod will cover other areas like news, reminders, timers, traffic information, or send text messages. The big question: how will this compare to Alexa or Google Assistant?3:16 p.m.: Schiller says the HomePod works great when paired together. The speaker also includes a musicologist to suggest new tunes. The prompt "hey Siri" works on HomePod, to call up new music.3:13 p.m.: HomePod features a 4-inch Apple designed woofer, and features an A8 chip, which also powers the iPhone. "It sounds incredible," says Schiller. Music arrives wirelessly, and the speaker appears smaller compared to Echo, but closer to the size of Google Home.3:11 p.m.: Schiller returns to discuss a "breakthrough home speaker," combining smarts with really good sound. Apple's answer? HomePod, available in black or white.3:08 p.m.: Time for Apple's "one last thing." Cook starts with iTunes, then the iPod and iPhone. "We have such a great portable experience, but what about our homes?" Speaker time. "We want to reinvent home music," says Cook. 3:06 p.m.: iOS 11 will be available to all Continue Reading