Tagged With voice assistants


If talking out loud to Alexa (or your digital assistant of choice) feels unnatural, you're not alone. I've had Siri for as long as she's been alive, yet I can count on one hand the number of times I've spoken to her. It's always seemed easier to open an app on my iPhone or type in a Google query and get exactly what I'm looking for, rather than navigating a line of verbal questioning that eventually leads to my desired answer — or not.


With the handful of new smartphones, voice assistants and accessories announced by Google yesterday, it makes sense to collect a few opinions before diving in and buying whatever your favourite search engine company announces. Sure, some products might look good on stage, but how do they hold up when you get your hands on them? There are surely a few reasons you'd want to drop $79 for a tiny Google Home, but could the $US399 ($512) Google Home Max be the voice assistant speaker for you? What about the Pixel 2 XL over its smaller companion, the Pixel 2? Should you even consider importing a Google Clips camera to record your mundane existence? Well, unsurprisingly, a lot of people already have thoughts on the subject. Below are the early reviews for the major new products and features announced this week.


Sometimes all I need in this crazy world is a brisk walk to clear my head and some good music bumping through my headphones. But when that simple pleasure is interrupted every morning by my partner issuing voice commands while I'm out of the house, silencing the music in my headphones, it can be a tad frustrating. It's especially irksome when the root cause is the multiple user preferences of my Google Home, a voice assistant that is there to, ostensibly, make my life a little easier.


The Amazon Echo is useful to have around the home. It can play podcasts, take reminders and notes, tell you the length of your commute, even control other appliances in your house. But it's unavailable in Australia, and importing it is an expensive proposition if you're not sure you'll use it. Good news though, you can make a fully-functional one using a Raspberry Pi.