As expected, Google is launching a smaller smart speaker. It’s called Google Home Mini, and it’s a smaller sibling to the original Google Home.
The new model is covered in fabric to make it look good next to the furniture in any room in your house. But Google says the fabric was designed from the ground up to allow light and sound to pass through.
Google Home Mini goes up for pre-orer today for $49 and it should be available in stores starting October 19th.
Google Home Mini is a 360-degree speaker with 4 LED lights under the fabric that light up to let you know when it’s listening and/or “thinking.” And you can interact with the speaker by voice or by tapping the top of the speaker to do things like pausing music, adjusting volume, or talking to assistant.
Google Assistant is also getting some new features including the ability to automatically ring your Android phone to let you find a phone that’s fallen into the couch cushions. While there’s no ring-your-iPhone option, you can have Google Home call your iPhone, which should make it ring anyway (if your phone isn’t set to silent).
There’s also a new “broadcast” feature that will let you send a message to all Google Home devices in a house. For example, a parent can tell Home to send a “it’s time to get ready for school” message through the Home Mini speakers in any room where there is one. Google is also launching a new set of family features including games and additional content.
Later this week Google Home is also launching in Japan, bringing the total number of countries where Home and Home Mini will be available to 7.
The most interesting thing about the event today is that every time they demonstrated throwing something to a Chromecast they did not specify the device. I noticed that because it has become increasingly annoying to me that every time I Cast Netflix to my TV I need to specify that device. This is even though I have never specified any other device, ever. We use that feature daily. So that is a lot of repeatedly specifying my device.
It’s insane that I can’t set a default Cast endpoint on my Home.
This has bothered me enough but now I’m really annoyed to see that Google is obviously aware of it being annoying or they would not have bothered to edit the requirement out of their event.
So why don’t they effing fix it!? It isn’t rocket science. Wouldn’t take a milestone in machine learning.
It could not be more simple.
LET ME SET A DEFAULT!
Actually it should let me set three defaults. Video streams, Audio streams, System Responses.
I have to believe that they didn’t specify the device just to make the presentation cleaner. I don’t think that this is something they have changed with the assistant.
Of the new products they announced, the Home Mini is the one that I will likely buy. Already have a Google Home in the kitchen. I can see having a Mini or two in other rooms.
“There’s also a new “broadcast” feature that will let you send a message to all Google Home devices in a house. For example, a parent can tell Home to send a “it’s time to get ready for school” message through the Home Mini speakers in any room where there is one”
The kids won’t abuse that feature at all.
Why no 3.5 mm jack? I wants to connect my nice speakers!
So they can sell Google Home Max.
I’ll take 10! No seriously!
Been waiting for a cheap Home so I can have one in every room.
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