Google Home is a well educated personal assistant. The voice controlled speaker not only brings good sounding music and the knowledge of the internet into your home. Google Home can also control your smart devices. Compatibility for Google Home as been growing daily. Voice control is a great feature to add to your home automation. As long as it is responsive and reliable.
Google Home is a great personal assistant. Its conversational responses are a pleasure. Backed with the knowledge of Google and Wikipedia it really rivaled my long time friend with the blue ring right out of the box.
I was a little worried when I first started using Google Home. As I stated briefly, there was limited support form smart home products when the speaker was first released. That has quickly changed. As of now, Google Home is compatible with a long list of devices and growing. Google Home is compatible with the leading smart Hubs, Wink 2 and Samsung Smartthings. Compatibility with smart hubs is key. A home automation hub like the Wink 2 is what really brings everything together.
Adding the Google Home into my home scheme was very easy. As with the
growing number of smart home devices, it is as easy as connecting the accounts. I was easily able to navigate into the Google Home app, open the menu and select home control, click the + sign and select Wink.
Once I selected to connect my Google Home to my Wink 2 hub, I was prompted
with a login page. I input my username and password for my Wink account and within seconds they were connected. Once I added my Wink 2 hub, all of the lights and switches that are connected to my hub became available to use with Google Home. The names were also imported.
I was able to control all of my lights and switches right away. Using the same names that I use in my Wink app and with other personal assistants. One thing I do like about Google Home is that its responses are more conversational.
Every command gets a brief response. When I say,”Hey Google, turn on the table lights.” I will get the response,” Sure, turning the table lights on.” Google Home will also tell me if something is not responding. When I ask Google Home, ” Turn on the Master Bedroom.” Google will respond with, “turning on 2 devices, the closet light is not available. ” There are three devices in the master bedroom that should turn on. In this case, the light switch for the closet smart bulb was off. As the bulb is smart and not the switch, it really wasn’t available.
I do like that Google Home will tell you that you have a device in a group that is not responding or available. Other assistants will simply respond with an OK, and nothing will happen with the item that is unavailable. They don’t respond unless you ask to control that specific device. Another advantage to the responses the speaker delivers is the information it provides.
Google Home works very well at providing voice control for your devices. There are only 2 mic holes that I noticed on top. The speaker still responds and hears my commands well enough. The reaction time to saying the command and having the light turn off and on was pretty quick for the most part. There was a time or two every so often where instead of a 1-2 second delay, it was a bit longer.
If you would like to see the screen shots of connecting the Google Home to the Wink 2 and the Nest thermostat, please take a look at the picture viewer below. The process was very similar.
One of the cool things that I noted while connecting devices was that Google app would end each connection session with a success page that contained specific commands for the devices that were just added. When I connected the Wink 2 smart hub, I received commands about controlling lights and changing the brightness.
As I added the Nest thermostat, I received commands about controlling the temperature. It was good to see some thought put in to the process and it was just a cookie cutter ending.
The Google Home speaker does a great job of controlling your home when you are within its listening distance. What if you are not? As long as you have access to Google Assistant, you can still control your devices.
One of my favorite apps for road trips is Android Auto. Its a nice dashboard for your phone that is specifically built for driving. It uses Google Assistant to read txt
messages and send messages. As well as respond to voice commands to call contacts and play music.
As its Google Assistant, once you have your devices connected you can control them from anywhere. I can be driving down the road, and with an OK Google. I can turn on my front porch light, turn on the kitchen lights, or even crank up the heater.
I will get the same voice responses from the Google assistant as I do from the Google Home Speaker. After all, it is the same Google Assistant.
It is nice to have voice control over your devices from your phone. Should you be sitting in the back yard swinging in the hammock, why get up? As simple, Hey google, will get some things done. Lights music and more.
If you are an IOS user, there are Google apps that allow you to access the Google Assistant using the Google Allo app. Although the app is for messaging and the like. It is Google Assistant.