Google Home is a 'smart home' gadget that responds to your voice commands in a variety of ways. Nine months after its debut in the US, it is finally available to buy in Australia - complete with a dinky-di accent. Here are the release date and pricing details for Google Home (along with Google's new Wi-Fi Mesh Router.)
Google Home: What is it?
Google Home is a voice-controlled digital assistant, speaker and smart home hub rolled into one. It is capable of reminding you of appointments, reading the day's news headlines, answering questions and playing music - with instant access to thousands of songs via YouTube Red. It can also be connected to compatible smart home services, gadgets and IFTTT recipes, so that everything in your house is controlled through Google. (This isn't as scary as it sounds. Probably.)
To get the Home's attention, you simply say "Okay Google" and issue your command.
Google reckons the Home's inbuilt high-excursion speaker is capable of delivering high-fidelity audio over WiFi. Meanwhile, its far-field microphones and natural language processing allows the device to hear and understand you even over loud music.
While it has been possible to purchase Google Home from overseas sellers, the local launch coincides with a software update that's specific to the Australian market. In addition to giving Google Home a proper Australian accent, the update also boasts improved understanding of the way we talk - including slang. ("It’ll understand you when you’re talking about brekkie, mozzies or trying to find the nearest servo," Google promises.)
According to Google, a single device can understand up to six different voices tied to six separate Google accounts. This means it can distinguish your voice from other family members or housemates and keep your personal appointments private. You can check out the official Google Home video for more info above.
Google's latest gadget is an always on, always listening little speaker called Home - and its officially available in Australia from today. It's a cute design, a friendly little blob of a thing that looks like a half finished cartoon character. Here are our first impressions.
How much does Google Home cost?
As we previously reported, Google Home will retail for $199 in Australia. That's a $70 markup compared to US pricing, although once GST and the exchange rate are taken into account, the difference isn't quite so galling.
Google Home availability
Google Home officially launches in Australia on July 20. It will be available to buy from the Google Store, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Telstra and Optus. (Two versions are available: copper or grey.)
Google Wifi is a wireless router that provides reliable internet throughout your house via a mesh network of individual Wi-Fi points. This helps to eliminate slow Wi-Fi and dead zones, no matter what size or shape your house might be.
"Within our mesh network, each Google Wifi point creates a high-powered connection, and they work together to determine the best path between points for your data (no Ethernet cables required)," Google explains.
"The result is fast Wi-Fi everywhere in your house, not just right next to the router. You can even roam throughout the house while on a video call or streaming a movie without the signal dropping."
Google WiFi will be available from July 20 from the same stores as the Google Home. One pack retails for $199 while a three-pack will set you back $499. Here are the chief specifications and features:
- AC1200 2x2 Wave 2 Wi-Fi
- Expandable mesh Wi-Fi
- Simultaneous dual-band Wifi (2.4GHz / 5GHz) supporting IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
- Two 1-Gigabit Ethernet ports per access point. WAN and LAN on primary Wifi point; both act as LAN ports on additional Wifi points
- 24/7 customer support
You can find out about the Google WiFi in the video above.