Google Home Now Available in Austria, Ireland, and Spain

Google Home

A few weeks ago Spanish support for Google Assistant was added in what at the time looked like a precursor to Google Home being available in the country.  Today that has proven to be the case.  Now on the Spanish Google Store site, you can order a Google Home for €149 (roughly $172) and a Google Home Mini for €59 (roughly $68).

While Spain was expected due to the the Assistant support, the fact that Austria and Ireland also now has Home available came as a bit of a surprise.  Google had not previously announced these two countries, but given the rate of expansion that the Mountain View company has aimed for in 2018 both with Assistant and Home, it isn’t too big of a surprise.

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Buy a Google Pixel 2 XL and Get $150 in Store Credit Plus a Google Home Mini

Google Pixel 2 XL White

Over the weekend, I posted about the great deal the Google Store is running on the Google Pixelbook.  Now it seems they have put together a great deal on the Google Pixel 2 XL phone too.  Right now at the store you can pick up the flagship Pixel device for regular price but you get $150 in store credit to use later plus a Google Home Mini.  All you have to do is add both the Google Pixel 2 XL and the Home Mini to your cart and the price will be discounted.

While we all know that the Google Pixel 3 lineup is going to be coming later this year, that is no reason not to give the Pixel 2 XL a serious look.  It will be updated to Android R when it is released and you still get free Google Photo storage for two years too.  Oh, and it is a seriously awesome phone.

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Google Home and Google Home Mini Now Available in India

Google Home

The expansion of Google Assistant and Google Home globally continues with India becoming the latest country where you can buy the smart speakers.  The Home and Home Mini are now available there and support a wide range of apps and services found in country.  As for price, the Google Home is  ₹9,999 (roughly $154 US) while the Home Mini is  ₹4,499, or $69 US.  Both are available exclusively through Flipkart.

While Google recently rolled out Hindi support for Google Assistant, they aren’t supported in India on the Home devices just yet.  For now, users will have to use English (India) as their settings but Hindi support is expected shortly.

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Google Home and Home Mini Now Available in Italy

Google Home in Italy Google Store

Earlier this week I posted about Google Assistant now supporting the Italian language.  The question, as I posed in that post, was if it was a prelude to the Italian Google Store seeing Google Home coming soon.  Now we know the answer is yes.

On the Google Store site in Italy, you can now purchase a Google Home or Google Home Mini.  Home is €149, about $183 while the Home Mini is €59 or about $72 US.  They are on sale now and both models are available.

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Hands Free Calling Comes to Google Home and Home Mini in the UK

Google Home

Good news for those of you in the UK.  You can now make hands free calls to contacts through your Google Home or Home Mini.  The feature rolled out in the United States last August and allows you to leverage Google Assistant to place calls to contacts or business that can be found in Google search.

Using it is very easy.  Just say, “Hey Google, Call my son”.  Because I would have tagged my son in my contacts, Google Assistant will place the outbound call to my son.  If a contact has multiple numbers, you will be prompted on which number to place the call.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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