A Month with Google Home

1 minute read

Casa Karpinski picked up a Google Home during the Black Friday sale from Best Buy (god their shipping is horrible compared to Amazon Prime). It found its way into our Kitchen. I picked Home over Alexa (even though our house was practically a black hole of shipping boxes for Amazon Prime), based on its promise, and the reviews from Wirecutter. We have multiple Google Cast devices, with a Chromecast on the TV Living Room, and a Chromecast Audio, so this made the promise of multi-room audio intriguing; sadly the TV can’t be part of a group.

Things we use a lot

  • Hey Google, play “X” (on Spotify)
  • Hey Google, set a timer for five minutes
  • Hey Google, [next song],[I like this song],[I don’t like this song]

Things I thought we would use more

  • Hey Google, turn on/off the lights (our smart switches are in the basement)

Things I did not expect

  • The dog is afraid of the Google Home voice, because it is similar to the Nest Protect voice. The test alarm caused the dog to cower in fear. Note to self, turn off auto-test.

Things which need work

  • Playing Netflix is involved “Hey Google, watch Luke Cage on Living Room”, should be able to set a default TV
  • Switches aren’t quite right; It considers my Smart Home dimmers ‘switches’ instead of lights so I can’t say “Turn off the basement lights
  • “Hey Google turn on the Heat” doesn’t kick the heat on, it only sets the Nest to Heat mode.
  • Spotify sometimes takes two commands to play something. Not sure if its Google or Spotify, but its annoying.

Overall, we’re keeping the Home, especially as a speaker in the Kitchen which turns on faster and responds to voice commands. We’re training the Dog to be OK with Google with treats and she seems to be much better already.