Android Central 314: OK Google, Home is a good start | Android Central

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So much to talk about, we asked Google Home for some help!

In this episode, Alex, Andrew, Jerry and Daniel talk about the post-Pixel releases of the year: Google Home, Chromecast Ultra, Daydream, and the new (and improved) Android Auto! There's so much to like, but many of the feature feel like half-measures.

Also, Nougat is on the verge of getting released broadly, other than the Pixel and a couple recent phones you won't find it beyond beta.

Finally, the Mate 9 is coming soon, but did Huawei do enough to make EMUI usable? Oh, and the HTC Bolt — a Sprint exclusive, but also a good indication of HTC's carrier-focused future.

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Reader comments

Android Central 314: OK Google, Home is a good start

21 Comments

This is my favorite crew/combination of A.C. writers for the podcast! Would like to hear Ara joining you guys too. Thanks guys!

I have 5 Homes. All the reviewers only have 1? The killer feature is synchronized music. It's worth it for that single capability but none of you guys discuss this since you don't have more than one or grouped with a Chromecast audio?

I think the only reason to have multiple Homes is just so you can have full "OK Google" coverage, when I start outfitting my abode with them, I probably will only have 2 (I only have an apartment) and will pair them with a Cast-ready speaker such as the Vizio Crave Pro/Crave 360. I think I will prefer the sound. But that is absolutely one way to go about it.

Yeah I agree. Most people who want whole-house (or multi-room) audio are going to have 1 Home and then various Chromecast Audios or Cast-ready speakers elsewhere.

Unfortunately for us, Google Play Music kind of just does things on its own — we don't manually manage that feed. GPM is usually delayed, should be up soon.

Still listening to the show and the Keep debate, I think I big point that was missed is that there will be ios users who use a Google Home. Apple would never pre install a third party app

You also have to install the Google Home app, though, which is tied to your Google account. You don't need to have the Keep app installed for a Home tied to an iOS phone to add things to Keep.

I use 'Pocket Casts' and all of the new episodes show up there just fine... I can manage the downloads, deletions etc. from within the app.

I think it's a good 1st version.

I agree it's frustrating not being able to set reminders, alarms and such basic fundamental stuff. Especially since Google Now already has some of that up and running. It makes me think they are still working on what would be the best direction to establish links that would work across a broad platform...

I hope they keep it simple. Then expand off of that.

Thumbs can only type so many words...

I get frustrated when Jerry pulls at straws to make excuses for a product or service. So it's tough for Home to decide where to put a note or reminder, but a shopping list automatically created in Keep is easy?

Why wouldn't it just make a reminder in my default email address, just like it does if I create a reminder using a Google search while logged into Google on any browser?

Why doesn't it just create a transcribed note, with an audio attachment, in Keep? You can add additional choices later, but for now they can do the same thing they do with shopping lists.

I understand that developers have tough jobs and are working hard at them, but let's not be intentionally obtuse just to ignore where they obviously dropped the ball, for whatever reason.

If Jerry wants to be an evangelist for Google, I'm OK with that. It's his opinion, and he is entitled to that.

As an ex part time developer, I agree with what you said on the software side... A lot of the programming side has already been done - in one certain fashion. The fact that they left it out should say something.
It could be different classes, different methods etc etc. Don't know.??? Exploring different options???
Time will tell.

I'm hedging on its a totally new AI, and the programming has changed.

I am curious - if they would open up to a beta program...

My humble GH review: I'm an owner of 5 Echoes, 2 Dots , a Tap and a brand new Google Home (Don't judge me, I like gadgets.). I really like my Google Home. Although it's missing a few of the "skills" that Alexa has it has lots of horse power under the hood. GH/Smartthings setup was simple and GH does a great job controlling my home automation gear. The only thing I miss compared to the Echo is "routines" control but I'm sure that's coming. The voice recognition is much better on GH and it seems to understand more. I asked my Echo and my GH "what was the thermostat set on?" GH knew how to respond but my Echo was not sure how to answer that. I also like having access to my eclectic Google Music library of 20K+ songs (I've done a lot of uploading over the years). But the feature that I'm most surprised by and enjoy is the IFTTT applet. For example, when making an applet for a simple phrase you can put in 3 different phrases to trigger the applet. You also get to choose what response you would like the Google Assistant to use. I made an applet for shutting down the house and locking the doors with 3 different trigger phrases. I then had the Google Assistant tell my wife "Good night and that she looks incredible". +1 husband point for me and maybe even +1 gadget point for the GH from my wife.

I'm not ready to dump my Amazon products but if GH gets Audible integration (I know that's probably a long shot), Smartthings routine support and a simple podcast solution I might consider re-rolling my setup.

Even if you change the launcher on the pixel you don't get rid of the ugly, lazy made, round icons. You have to install icon packs in addition to a different launcher to get rid of the ugly roundness. I wish the icons were tied directly to the launcher and didn't require an icon pack to go back to the old look. As far as I am aware there are no icon packs that will put all icons back to the way they look on like the Nexus 5X so it isn't as easy as just installing a new launcher if you want the old icons back.