Which products and services work with Google Home?
Google first introduced Google Home to the world back in May at Google I/O 2016, later revealing the final product alongside the Pixel in October. From everything we've seen, Google Home seems primed to eventually link up with any smart device in your home and allow you to control everything with just the sound of your voice.
Google has announced which products and services will be supported at launch, but there's sure to be plenty more to come in the future. Continue to check back to this article in the coming months, as we'll surely be updating this list as more products and services are added. We've broken things down into two categories — home automation products and supported services.
- Home automation
- Supported services
It should come as little surprise that Google Home works with Chromecast. Google hit it out of the park with their compact, Wi-Fi enabled dongles for video or audio that you simply hook up to your TV or stereo and allow you to stream media straight from your phone, tablet, or laptop.
Google Home takes things to the next level by allowing you cast video and audio from its supported services using only your voice. As if Chromecast wasn't convenient enough already. I can think of many scenarios where I might want to pull up something from YouTube or change a playlist while I'm busy in the kitchen or otherwise preoccupied. Currently only YouTube is supported for video, but expect more services to be added — Netflix, Hulu and the like — as time goes on. We've linked to the 2015 model below, which remains a fantastic value at only $35... but it only displays at 1080p. If you're interested in some higher definition, Google is set to start shipping a new Chromecast for 2016 — the Chromecast Ultra — which costs twice as much but supports 4K video.
Chromecast-enabled TVs and Speakers
If you're looking to upgrade your home theatre setup and would like streamline things with less dongles, there's a growling selection of Smart TVs with Chromecast built right, with 4K sets available from the following brands:
For streaming audio, the biggest gap currently is a lack of support for Sonos. There doesn't appear to be any timetable for adding Sonos into the Google Home ecosystem which is frustrating for anyone who's invested in — or looking to start building out — a Sonos system throughout their home.
But you still have options. Nine brands currently offer Chromecast-enabled speakers, soundbars and subwoofers:
Nest is one of the best known manufacturers of smart home automation products, which include self-learning, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors and security cameras.
With Google Home and a Nest thermostat, you'll be able to effortlessly control the temperature of your home using only your voice. Nest also works well with other smart products, such as lights, doorbells, and smart locks.
Samsung's SmartThings is a very capable and customizable home automation system that features five different smart sensors for home monitoring, all linked together wirelessly via the Hub. The SmartThings Home Monitoring Kit comes with a Hub, two Multipurpose Sensors, a Motion Sensor and an Outlet. You can configure them however you like in your home, then get instant notifications if anything is out of the normal. You can also buy additional sensors, including an Arrival Sensor and a Water Leak Sensor.
SmartThings is incredibly versatile as it is, but we're super excited to see what integration with Google Home will look like.
Phillips is one of the leading manufacturers of wireless LED smart bulbs. The Phillips Hue lineup features a multitude of different lighting options for around your home, which must be configured through the Phillips Hue Bridge via. You're able to connect up to 50 lights to one Bridge and then configure and control them in so many different ways.
We should expect Google Home to work just as well with Phillips Hue lights as it does with Apple Home Kit, meaning you'll be able to set and adjust your Phillips Hue lights throughout your house without leaving the couch, or easily turn off all the lights when you're leaving the house or it's time for bed.
IFTTT is a free web service that lets you create chains of conditional commands, called "recipes," to automate processes between apps and smart home devices. IFTTT is an abbreviation of "If This Then That", and that's exactly how the recipes function. For example, say you're concerned about your teenager getting into the liquor cabinet when you're away. If you have a SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor on the liquor cabinet door, you can create an IFTTT recipe that goes "if the liquor cabinet door is opened, call my phone," so you'll know instantly if something's up.
IFTTT is compatible with a ridiculous number of IoT devices, applications, and online services — including Google's OnHub router — and is something you should definitely check out with or without Google Home.
Over 100 million people use Spotify for all their music streaming needs. Of those, 40 million are paid subscribers. The point here is that Spotify is massively popular and if you aren't already using it, you probably know a bunch of people who do.
With Google Home, simply say "OK Google", followed by your favourite artist, album, song, or playlist, and your music will almost instantly start playing through the Google Home speaker. This is absolutely perfect for playing music in the kitchen when your hands are too messy to be handling a phone, or for setting the right mood for a party or intimate evening. We're also eager to see how smooth it is to use Google Home to cast your Spotify music to your Chromecast Audio-enabled speakers for an even better audio experience.
Pandora is a fantastic music recommendation platform which is used by over 200 million people in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand. It's a customizable internet radio streaming service that allows you to curate your own streams using algorithms that recommends new music it knows you'll love based on your musical tastes and how you've rated other music.
With Google Home, you'll be able to throw on your favorite Pandora station using just your voice. In its current iteration, Google Assistant is unable to identify songs like Shazam or other apps of that sort, but we'd hope to see your Google Assistant give you the information about a song you've just discovered on Pandora, just by asking "what song is playing?" as well as an option to rate songs and skip if necessary.
Google Play Music
Kind of a no brainer, but Google Home will obviously play well with Google Play Music. And that's great news, since Google has slowly build its core music app to encompass a full-fledged streaming service featuring 35 million songs available on-demand (with a subscription) along with mood- and activity-based stations (you may have known it as Songza), along with being a great option for podcasts. A natural fit with Google Home, you'll definitely want to get a Google Play Music subscription if you don't already have one.
Believe it or not, but some people actually prefer to listen to the radio. TuneIn is absolutely the go-to app for accessing online radio, music, and talk stations. Even with the free version, you get access to over 100,000 radio stations from around the world, along with over five million podcasts as well. If you decide to upgrade to the premium subscription, you'll also get access to live NFL and MLB play-by-play, along with a large library of audiobooks.
It will be really interesting to see how third-party streaming services such as TuneIn are integrated into the Google Home experience via the Google Assistant, whether you'll be able to make a broad request ("Play a top-40 radio station from the UK in TuneIn") or stick to more specific requests based on your app usage ("Play my favorite local radio station in TuneIn").
YouTube is another obvious starting point for Google to incorporating video search and playback controls with Google Home. Some might be disappointed with a lack of support at launch for Netflix, Hulu and other video services, but with so much content available on YouTube and natural alignment within Google's existing ecosystem (hello, Chromecast), it's a great place for Google to fine tune their voice searching capabilities before opening things up for other video services.
Google Assistant on the Pixel currently only works well with YouTube for video — you can ask to open up Netflix or other apps, but have to navigate the rest of the way from there. But we're likely not too far off from being able to come home, say "OK Google, cast The Office on Netflix to the living room" and binge watch the night away, for better or for worse.
YouTube is also the world's largest music streaming service, becoming such a primary destination for lovers of music that they came out with the YouTube Music app. A subscription to YouTube Red is required.
The YouTube Music app isn't available for everyone just yet, but it too is listed as being compatible with Google Home. The Pixel's Google Assistant frequently completes music requests using YouTube, so we'd imagine it to be just as smooth an experience with Google Home.
What do you think?
Are there any services or products you're hoping to connect and control via Google Home? Let us know in the comments!
This article was originally published in October 2016. It was updated in January 2017 with list of Smart TVs and speakers with Chromecast built in.
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