Google to Release an Update to Fix Slow WiFi Problems with Chromecast and Google Home

Google Home

Google is set to roll out an update to Google Play Services tomorrow aimed at addressing the slow WiFi issue that some users of Chromecast and Google Home have experienced.  The issue cropped up a couple of weeks ago and at first, was thought to be an issue with the new Google Home Max.  It turns out that Google Play Services was the culprit.

For those that haven’t encountered the problem (good!), it comes down to Android devices on your network as well as Chromecast and Home devices.  Essentially what was happening is that Android devices on the same network would see the Cast enabled device and flood your network with packets.  That would cause slowness or instability.  It was effectively an internal DDoS attack.

Continue reading “Google to Release an Update to Fix Slow WiFi Problems with Chromecast and Google Home”

The Google Store is Now Selling a Google Home Mini Wall Mount by Incipio

Incipio Google Home Mini Wall Mount

The Google Home Mini has become one of Google’s most popular devices for a lot of reasons, price and size chiefly among them.  The donut sized device lends itself to be tucked away in any room to give you access to Google Assistant whenever you need it.  But for some rooms, having the Home Mini mounted on the wall makes more sense and frees up counter space in your bedroom or kitchen.

Incipio has been making a wall mount for the Google Home Mini almost since its release.  It’s been available directly from them on their site but it got a big boost this week with it now being available on the Google Store.  On either site, it is $14.99 and comes with everything you need to mount your Home Mini to a wall in your home.

Continue reading “The Google Store is Now Selling a Google Home Mini Wall Mount by Incipio”

Google’s Presence at CES Will Be Heavily Focused on Google Assistant

Google Assistant

For the first time in many years, Google will be at CES in Las Vegas this coming week.  It is the first time the company has had any real presence at the massive electronics show since 2015 but it has been a lot longer than that since they have had a booth.  Not only will they have a booth, a massive one in the Central Plaza, but it looks like they are going to be heavily focusing on Google Assistant during the show.

The company made a blog post yesterday, highlighting the growth of Google Assistant and Google home over the course of 2017.  Assistant is now available on 400 million devices and in a doze different countries.  But the takeaway from the post was the last paragraph.

No matter where you are, the Google Assistant is here to help you make the most of 2018. And next week, we have even more things in store for the Assistant at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. If you’re at CES, stop by the Google Assistant Playground (Central Plaza-21) to check out some of our new integrations, devices, and the newest ways you can use your Assistant

It would appear that next week, we are going to see some announcements about Assistant and, potentially, some new hardware.

Continue reading “Google’s Presence at CES Will Be Heavily Focused on Google Assistant”

Touch Controls Coming Back to Google Home Mini

Google Home Mini

When the Google Home Mini was announced back in October, one of the highlighted features of the device were touch controls.  These controls would all you to not only adjust the volume with a touch of either side of the device, but would also allow you to long press to play or pause music amongst other things.  Unfortunately it was discovered that the touch controls could be activated without actually touching them, prompting Google to disable the feature (save the volume up and down side touches) via a software update.

It appears now that Google has sorted out a potential resolution and will soon be re-enabling the touch controls of the Google Home Mini by bringing those to the side touch areas.  There is now a software update available to those in the Home Preview Program which is enabling long presses to pause or play music while short presses of the side buttons will remain volume control.  The top tap control however remains disabled and likely will remain so given it is as much a hardware challenge as it is software.

Continue reading “Touch Controls Coming Back to Google Home Mini”

Google Home Mini – A Welcome Addition to Any Home

Google Home Mini

In the year since its release, there is little room for debate on the growth that Google Home and Google Assistant have seen.  The smart speaker has sold well and with brains behind it, Assistant, has continued to grow in abilities on what it can help you with in your day-to-day.  I’ve had a Google Home in my home office for nearly a year now and it is so integrated into my day that I can hardly see not having it around.

If there has been one challenge with Google Home, it has been the size.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not huge at just under 6″ tall, but it is noticeable if you have it in a bedroom or family room.   That is where the $50 Google Home Mini comes into the picture.  Standing only 1.65″ tall and covered in an elegant fabric, the Home Mini is designed to go into various rooms of your home and just be there unobtrusively.  It is designed to blend in but remain always available and provide excellent sound quality.  The Google Home Mini truly is for the masses because of all of this and a price point that is hard to resist.

Continue reading “Google Home Mini – A Welcome Addition to Any Home”

Google Home Now Supports Sleep Timers

Google Home

Google has quietly added a great new feature to the Google Home lineup:  Sleep Timers.  According to an updated support page from the company, you can now set timers to play music for a specific duration of time as you prepare for bed or have Home play that lullaby for the little ones.   As with most Google Assistant commands for Home, it is pretty easy to setup.

The most basic way to setup a sleep timer with music is to say, “Hey Google, play (artist/genre/playlist) for (duration)”.  If you are just wanting a sleep timer, just say, “Hey Google, set a sleep timer for (duration)”.  You can also set up a sleep timer to stop at a certain time (say, 9:30 p.m.).  It is actually quite flexible in how you set up the timers.  While these fall under the category of sleep timers, you can use them for other purposes.  For example, you could set a time for 30 minutes with mediation music as you meditate in the morning.  Once the music stops, you know your session has ended.

Continue reading “Google Home Now Supports Sleep Timers”

Google Removes Touch Activation from Google Home Mini

Google Home Mini

Google has made a quick and significant decision to disable to touch activation of the new Google Home Mini.  The decision comes after reports of phantom touches activating the device with it listening or recording ambient noise or conversations without the users knowledge.  The reports of this happening are few and far between but Google is taking no chances.  An OTA update will be sent to all Home Mini devices to disable the touch activation feature permanently.

We’ve decided to permanently remove all top touch functionality on Google Home Mini. We made this decision to avoid any confusion and give you complete peace of mind while using your Mini. The update will be completely rolled out by end of day October 15, 2017.

This means that in order for you to access Google Assistant on the Home Mini, you will need to use the “OK Google” or “Hey Google” just as you do on Google Home today.

Continue reading “Google Removes Touch Activation from Google Home Mini”