I finally got my Google Home and have enjoyed setting it up. This page details things that I’m trying to figure out how to do or have done.
Tweet me @bwagy with thoughts, questions.
Why not Alexa? No issue with Alexa but my feeling was my data would be more protected with Google so I went with that.
About the device itself
Challenges of Google Home:
- The biggest challenge is the lack of interoperability with my existing Apple infrastructure AND sonos.
- Limited integrations and at present lack of an open app marketplace.
- IFTTT provides the in route for most solutions.
What can they improve?
- Audio is good but not great.
- Would like to see a second version with better audio.
- Or acquire Sonos run it as the high end line.
Would I recommend buying one?
- The voice recognition works well, I can yell from upstairs and get a response.
- Design is great. The IOS App works seamlessly.
- It’s a great piece of tech even if you’re not an early adopter.
- It is the kind of thing you’d get your parents etc.
Google Home Use Cases
What I have done:
- Hooked it up to Uber. Built in integration.
- Enabled, find my phone via IFTTT.
- Changed to Celsius. 1. Open up the Google Home app -> 2. Tap the three lines in the upper left hand corner next to the word “Home” -> 3. Tap “More Settings” -> 4. Scroll down and tap “Personal Info” -> 5. -> Tap “Preferences” -> 6. Change your weather temperature units to Celsius.
- Used the timer whilst cooking. ‘set a timer for 6 minutes’.
- Asked for the weather or Will it rain tomorrow?
- General knowledge.
- Add items to my shopping list in Evernote. Use IFTTT to create a recipe, and create the note in Evernote.
- Lodge tasks with FancyHands. | Use Google Assistant + Gmail to email a request to FancyHands.
What I want to do:
(And fair comment is -> how much of this can you already do with Alexa)
- Play Sonos. | Not sure how to do this yet.
- Find out how many bikes in the citibike dock near me. | Think can use their public API calls for the docks near me, then maybe hack a solution via IFTTT.
- Read out what got achieved from ASANA overnight. | Maybe an API call.
- Give me bank balances. | Not optimistic here at present.
- Make a call and/or text.
- Change Google Homes accent.
- Store recipes in it, and I can ask what next, i.e. I’m hosting a cocktail dinner and have 3/4 recipes. | No idea here.
- Integrate with Hello Alfred, to add things to my todo list. | Same, need to get a API to do this. Maybe I can do via IFTTT. Awaiting info from their team around how to add to the list.
- Have it understand my accent.
- Ordering food via Seamless/Caviar/Maple etc.
- MARSBOT! Let me hit the FourSquare Marsbot app to find recommendations. | Think I can do this via a text interface.
- OpenTable, can you find me table for 2 tonight.
- Notify my wife (when she wants to know) how far from home I am.
Things I can see bundled or created specifically for Google Home.
- A personalised daily radio run down, tells me the weather, what’s done overnight, any pressing issues. As I get ready.
- Daily run down when you get home, from Gyroscope, you travelled X km today, via bike, train, this many steps, 85% productive, 6 hours online. etc.
Thoughts on where the platform is going
Google Home Vision
- The slack of voice assistants.
- Easy enough to pull in your own ‘actions’ to add extra features.
- It connects and routes you to the right information (like Google does).
- It helps when you’re moving, when you’re going out or coming in. So it’s about homestages, settling in, or heading out. Making that process handsfree.
- It removes the need to open and check your phone as much ideally.
- Strong overlap with Apples new wireless Earpods I suspect, they will open up Google Home like features on the go.
- You end up saying thank you, as a matter of courtesy. Be a nice touch if it acknowledged that.
- Be amazing if you sneezed it said bless you.
- I can imagine ‘OK Google’ are going to be some of our kids first words at this rate. Is that a good thing? I’m not sure as yet.
How you can use IFTTT to create your own apps/bots for Google Home.
The Google Home SDK launches in December.