Google readies new phones, gadgets featuring its software


All these companies are chasing the smart-home market, which could grow to be a $71 billion global industry by 2018, up from $33 billion in 2013 and $25 billion in 2012, according to Juniper Research.

So, you can ask it to play stuff suited to your mood and taste. They are the first phones to have the Assistant (which is triggered by pressing the home button), as well as to be created exclusively by Google, rather than another manufacturer like the Nexus phones were.

Foster is joining Google’s hardware division as a VP of product engineering for its hardware group. The Google Home device, which looks a little like an air freshener, is expected to go on sale later this month.

Borrowing another page from Apple’s book, Google is backing its expanded product lineup with the biggest marketing campaign in its 18-year history. Apple’s Siri was one of the first examples, but while simple voice control works well, the company has struggled to significantly improve its voice-activated assistant, leaving users frustrated.

Two years ago, Amazon introduced the Amazon Echo, an unassuming, $180 cylinder that sits atop a kitchen counter or bookshelf, acting as a personal assistant that listens to you and does your bidding. From web search to mobile to artificial intelligence, our eyeballs keep moving to the next thing, and Google wants to be there.

How many of these services supported by Echo do you use?

Google’s new digital Assistant-aptly called Assistant-is packed into Google Home to bring you the best hands-free experience possible. Amazon’s voice-controlled device plays music, answers questions, reads news, books and weather out loud and can control certain smart-home devices.

Google Assistant on the Google Pixel phone. Even while you jam out to music, it can easily hear you from across the room, thanks to two omnidirectional microphones and neural beamforming.

You can connect your Prime Music, Spotify Premium, TuneIn Radio and Audible accounts, and further menu items allow you to adjust your timer and alarm settings, peruse the music in your Now Playing list, and also check out your Echo’s Skills list (more on that shortly).

“Our goal is to build a personal Google for each and every user”, Pichai said.

Google Assistant represents a quick and easy way to access a wealth of features, but discovery may be hard. “Whether you’re tinkering with a Raspberry Pi in your basement, or you’re building a mass market consumer device you’ll be able to integrate the Google Assistant right into what you make”. In your home, your vehicle, wherever. For now, Google Home will only interface with the Nest family of products, Chromecast, Philips Hue light bulbs, SmartThings products, and IFTTT.

Google says that its Home device packs best in class voice recognition.

Google Home pre-orders start today at just $129.

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