Amazon has been dominating the smart home market for a while now, with the Echo and cheery Alexa seemingly ubiquitous in homes and offices and new versions coming out quite regularly. Google says that doesn’t have to be the case, however, and recently unveiled the new Google Home Hub – an all-in-one smart home device with Google Assistant integrated right in that looks suspiciously like an iPad.
Google wants the Home Hub to help you create a “more helpful, thoughtful home” – one that makes your life easier and helps you feel entirely at ease – throughout the entire day. Voice Match recognizes your voice and automatically displays your own personalized updates, such as traffic, weather and calendar reminders. Use it all day to do all your usual activities, too, like setting appointments, checking commutes, turning the thermostat up or down, and of course watching Youtube videos. And when night falls, simply say “Hey Google, good night,” and Assistant will automatically turn off the lights and set your alarm.
A cool feature about the Home Hub’s large screen is that you can actually see the responses Google Assistant gives you, and not just hear them, as you do with Alexa. Ask it for recipes or even baseball stats, and Assistant will pull up the answers you need to be displayed right there in front of you in the kitchen.
Everything you need to control your home is available right in front of your eyes as part of a new feature called Home View, a single dashboard with all of your smart home devices integrated neatly into one place. Also, thanks to integration with Google Photos, when you’re not using Home Hub for checking sports updates and the weather, it functions as a photo gallery and virtual picture frame with Live Albums.
Finally, the Home Hub functions as a speaker, allowing you to listen to all your favorite tunes and playlists from Spotify, Pandora, etc. And we can all agree this is the most important function of any device, right?
The Google Home Hub will retail for $149, which right where we would expect it to be, and is now available for pre-order; it’ll ship October 22. Expect to see it become a popular, and worthy contender, to the Amazon Echo, and start making smart homes even easier than before.