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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Red Bull TV Joins Google Home as a Casting Option in The US

Red Bull TV Logo

Red Bull TV has joined the ranks of HBO Now Netflix and CBC All Access as being casted to your Chromecast enabled TV from Google Home.  Now using Google Assistant, you can ask for content from the service without having to manually do so from your phone or tablet.  Even better, no account linking is required.

To try it out, just say, “Hey Google, play How to MTB on my TV” and the show How to MTB from Red Bull TV will be casted to your television.  If you aren’t familiar with RBTV, you can check out all their shows here.

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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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Google Assistant Now Speaks Italian

Google Assistant Logo

Buone notizie! Assistente Google ora parla italiano.

For those that don’t speak Italian, Good news!  Google Assistant now speaks Italian.  More specifically, it speaks Italian on Google Home, which is not actually sold in Italy.  This quite little addition to Assistant is the strongest indicator yet that Google Home devices are coming to the country.

Officially, Google Home does not show up as a supported country in any of the Google support documentation which isn’t surprising.  Google only releases Home in countries where the language is supported in Assistant.  Since it is just now rolling out, and early reports indicate some limitations, it is likely going to be a few more days or weeks before Italians can order a Home in country.

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Reminders Set on Google Home are Now Location Aware

Google Home

This is a feature that a lot of Google Home users have been wanting.  Location aware reminders has now rolled out to Google Home, meaning that if you set a reminder on your Home device, a reminder will be sent to you on your phone when you arrive at that location.  It is pretty slick and most certainly handy.

How it works is straightforward.  If you are at home and say, “Hey Google, remind me to buy milk when I’m at the grocery store”, the reminder will be set as any other reminder on Google Home.  But, when you leave the house and you arrive at the grocery store, you will get a notification on your phone with the reminder.

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New Report Suggests Nearly 20% of Americans Have a Smart Speaker

Voicebot Smart Speaker Adoption USA Chart

A new report from Voicebot.ai suggests that 19.7% of Americans have at least one smart speaker in their homes with nearly 72% of them being Amazon Echo devices powered by Amazon Alexa.  The report goes on to suggest that by the end of the year, nearly 50% of households will have at least one smart speaker in their house.

The reports is based on a survey of 1,057 US adults and extrapolated from there.  While it may not be the largest sample size, it does give a solid indicator of where smart speakers going in the market and their adoption rate.  While Echo adoption was at 71.9%, Google was a distant 2nd at 18.4%.  The likes of the Hardon Karmon Invoke, powered by Microsoft Cortana, falls into the “other” category which accounted for 9.7% of devices.

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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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Google Assistant Can Now Show You The Weather Forecast on Your Chromecast

Google Assistant Visual Weather on Chromecast

Google has begun rolling out a feature Google Home visualization feature today, allowing you to ask Google Assistant to display the weather forecast on your Chromecast enabled device.  The new feature is a cloud-side change so there is nothing for you to do.  You will know when you have the feature on your account when you ask Assistant on your Google Home, “Hey Google, show me the weather on my Chromecast”.

Visualizations with Assistant and Home were shows last year at Google I/O as a way to improve getting personalized content.  In the case of the weather, you can visually see the weather forecast instead of having to listen to Assistant read it back to you on your device or Google Home.

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