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5 ways Google Home Alexa stole my heart


The weird clarity of the Google Nest Hub ad is almost enough to make you fall in love with it.

Inset photo of Angela Lang / CNET

I am going to share a confession with you. What started as an affair has grown into a full-blown relationship with me Google Assistantand it happened the same way Alexa and I had been strong for a few years and had just gotten used to mine Amazon Echo. Falling in love started quickly and I was in love with another intelligent speaker before I could say “Alexa, goodbye. “

It was easy – after all, Alexa’s screens look old and tired compared to the The beautiful displays from Nest Hub, and mine Google Nest Mini immediately clicked with the rest of my smart home devices. The brain powered by Google behind these pitch-perfect speakers and glossy LCDs also played an important role in luring me away from the oh-so-average Alexa.

How do i love you google home Let me count the ways. Here are the top five features that got me excited about Google Home.

Google Home knows when to end

If a timer or alarm is triggered on a Google Home smart speaker or display, all you have to do to switch it off is “Stop!” Say. Unlike Alexa or Siri, you don’t need a wake-up word to cancel timers and alarms with Google Home. This little change doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re busy with multiple timers in the kitchen, as I often do, seconds count.

Google Home Assistant Hero Final 3-1

If an alarm or timer is triggered in Google Home, you can simply “Stop!” Say. without using the wake-up words “Hey” or “OK, Google”.

James Martin / CNET

This is similar to another Google Home feature that I love, called Continued Conversation, where Google Assistant listens for a few seconds after each voice command so you don’t have to repeat the wake-up word for follow-up. Alexa devices have a similar trick up their sleeves, but to take it off, they mute the volume of everything that’s playing for an annoyingly long time. Google Home does it much more seamlessly.

Google Home is a great smart home maker

Even if Google Assistant is primarily one voice Assistant, some tasks are even better done with touch – like Smart Home Control via the Google Home app. Sometimes it’s easier to scroll and tap through a list of devices to turn them on or off than to rattle a long list of voice commands. Routines can automate certain functions and group them in a single command, but I still want to be able to see a list of my devices with control options (on, off, brightness, color, etc.).


Your Google Home devices like this Mini and Smart Home devices like this Wemo Mr. Coffee machine will be displayed in alphabetical order in the Google Home app when you sort them into spaces like “Kitchen”, “Bedroom”, etc.

Dale Smith / CNET

As soon as you take the time to set up rooms and groups, the Google Home app organizes your smart home devices logically and attractively, so that controlling smart homes directly via the app is more of a pleasure than a pain. (If you’ve ever seen Amazon’s Alexa app organize smart home devices, you know how painful it can get.) Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max from Google Home ($ 229 at Crutchfield) Smart displays have the same intuitive smart home controls as the app, capitalized.

I love sleeping next to my Google Home

My bedtime routine is anything but routine. If I need a little more time to relax, I may connect my phone to Google Home via Bluetooth and listen to a podcast (or 2 or maybe 10). Or I listen to ambient music or other sleeping noises to relax. But one element that stays constant night after night is that I hear brown noise when the rubber hits the street.

You’ve heard of white noise – the static and sonic version of an untuned television screen. Brown noise is the same, only less static in the upper area and much more in the bass register. Think of thunderstorm sounds, but no rain and a thunderstorm that never stops.


Google Home is a great bedside companion.

Taylor Martin / CNET

I find the quiet rumble of brown noise much more soothing and sleep-promoting than white noise. (There is also pink noise somewhere between white and brown.) To trigger brown noise, I say: “OK, Google, please help me sleep, play brown noise.” You can ask Help Me Sleep for white, pink, and brown noise, as well as water, nature, and baby sounds.

Waking up with Google Home is a pleasure

Every day when I wake up there are two things I want to know immediately: the weather forecast so I know what to wear when I take my dog ​​out first and how bad the traffic will be on my way.


You can change Google Home routines in the Google Home app.

Taylor Martin / CNET

I’ve set up the Google Assistant standard “Good Morning” routine to display only this information. A short news program can then be played. However, you can add as much or as little to your good morning routine as you want. How to build your own:

1. Open that Google Home app, Tap the settings, Tap More settingsThen tap on the top menu bar assistant.

2nd Tap at the bottom of the list Routines Then tap Good Morning.

3rd Add or remove actions, including smart home and thermostat controls, light scenes, weather, traffic, calendar events, and reminders.

4th Decide whether you want Google Home to end the routine by playing music, news, radio, podcasts, audiobooks, or nothing.

Google Home hosts the best dance parties

Even though the only dance parties I still host are between my 6-year-old daughter and me, it’s still fun to tell Google Home to play music on every speaker in my house (a total of five, including one in their room) ).

It is remarkable how well the music is synchronized. So when you move from room to room, you don’t experience the same shaky sense of orientation that I felt when I used other platforms like Amazon Alexa and Apple iTunes to transfer audio. Here are our detailed instructions for setting up an in-house audio system with Google Home.


You can mount your Google Home or Nest Mini on the wall for better sound.

Dale Smith / CNET

A music library is required for a proper dance party. So set up your music subscription services in Google Home properly with this guide. You will also get better sound and space on the surface if you mount your Google Home Mini correctly on the wall.

Regardless of whether you want to add a display like Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max to your Google Home array, or already have one, you’ll find everything you need to know to set it up quickly.

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