Google Home User’s Guide

The Google Home, priced at $130, is a voice-activated speaker that will compete directly with Amazon’s Echo. It is powered by Google Assistant, artificial intelligence that learns from user habits and from Google’s neural network. Google Home’s applications include playing music, checking your schedule, and asking questions. It can sync with other Google devices like Chromecast and is compatible with other smart home devices, including Nest and Hue. Though it has no visual interface and relies on the Google Home smartphone app, the top of the Google Home is a touchpad that  allows users to manually control the device. You can tap the center to pause music, long-press the center to prompt Google Assistant, and can run your finger in a circle to turn the volume up and down.

Set up requires the Google Home App to be installed on your smart phone. After connecting the device to the power adapter, it will automatically boot up and prompt you to the Google Home App to finish setup. In the app, tap the devices icon in the top right and then press set up. To allow the Google Home app to discover and set up devices, allow the device to access location. If no devices are found, make sure you are in close proximity to the Google Home and that it is plugged into a wall outlet before pressing try again. Once the app discovers your device, press play test sound to ensure that the device properly connected.

Next, choose a name for your Google Home and the Wi-Fi network to which you want to connect. Google Home can automatically retrieve the password for the network your phone is connected to, or you can manually enter a password and can choose a different router. Once online, the device will fetch and install updates.

After the updates install, you will be prompted to sign into your Google account, but you can currently only have one account associated with the device. If you do not sign into a Google account, the Google Home can only be used as a speaker and you will not be able to use Google assistant. Additionally, you must allow Google Home to access your personal information to get the most from Google assistant, such as information from your calendar. In order to provide local weather and traffic conditions, Google Home requires that you set the location. For music, any Google Play Music or YouTube Red subscriptions will already be linked to your account, and Pandora, Spotify, or other services can be connected by pressing link and then signing in. You can choose your default service by putting a blue dot next to it before pressing continue. Once your preferences are set, you can access a tutorial and start using your Google Home.

To connect your Google Home to other smart devices, make sure that they are connected to the same Google account and to the same Wi-Fi network. In the Google Home app, press the menu button in the top left, then go to more settings to find your connected devices. Follow prompts to add your new device.

Reviews:

CNET gave it a 7.9 rating, writing that the Google Home has a great deal of potential but is not yet as versatile as the Amazon Echo.

Digital Trends gave it a 7/10, asserting that Amazon’s speaker is more capable at the moment, but the Google Home is the clear choice if you have Chromecast.

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Jake Steele is a sophomore at Georgetown University studying finance and management. During his time at Consumers’ Research, he has examined developing trends in finance and technology.

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