Official details and pricing for Google Home were released at the October 4th #madebygoogle event, along with a few surprise products that revolve around the smarter home.
The Google Assistant, first announced at Google I/O 2016, makes its debut on both Google Home and the new Google Pixel smartphone. Google Assistant will power the functionality of the Google Home device and help it control your digital life. The Assistant does not have a name, such as Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, and will still be activated by the default trigger phrase “OK Google”.
Priced at $129, Google Home pre-orders began today (October 4, 2016) at Google’s own online store, along with Best Buy and Walmart. The smart speaker will ship on November 4 and also be available in retail stores on that same day, with Target as an additional retail partner. Google Home is only available in the U.S., at least initially. Google Home pre-orders come with a free six-month membership to YouTube Red, which includes ad-free viewing and access to Google Music.
For those who will have multiple Google Home devices and Android devices in their home, the Google Assistant will use contextual information and special algorithms to determine which device can best hear the person speaking to increase accuracy.
An SDK for “Google Actions” will open up in early December for third-party services and apps to plug-in to the Google Assistant. This will vastly increase the usability of the Assistant for existing and new users that Google wishes to court.
Other devices that Google introduced that were a bit of a surprise were Google Wifi and Chromecast Ultra. Google Wifi are small round Wi-Fi routers that can also act as extenders, to ensure your home has even Wi-Fi coverage. The hockey-puck shaped devices also have Bluetooth Smart built-in, enabling Internet of Things functionality for Bluetooth devices. The new Chromecast Ultra now supports 4K video, HDR and Dolby Vision.
Google Wifi will be available for pre-order in November and be on-sale in December, Chromecast Ultra will be on-sale in November.
Learn more about all of the new Google products at http://madeby.google.com and pre-order at http://store.google.com
Watch the entire #madebygoogle event here: https://youtu.be/q4y0KOeXViI?t=25m33s
Android phone featured in this episode - BLU R1 HD 16GB.