×

Google Officially Introduces Google Home, a $129, Smart, Wi-Fi-Powered Speaker

Google officially introduced Google Home, its answer to Amazon’s Echo smart Wifi speaker, at a press event in San Francisco Tuesday. Google Home will be available for pre-order starting Tuesday, and show up on store shelves on November 4. The device will retail for $129.

Google Home is essentially a Wifi-connected loudspeaker with multiple integrated microphones, which can give users direct access to their music and other audio via voice commands.

Some of the music services supported at launch include YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Spotify and Pandora. iHeartRadio support will be added in the near future. Users can set preferences for their favorite music services, so they don’t have to request songs from specific services. And music search is being powered by Google search, which means that users will be able to ask for a song from a certain movie without actually having to remember the song title.

The device also works in conjunction with Chromecast, Google’s streaming adapter. Users can simply use their voice to launch the playback of videos on their Chromecast-equipped television. At launch, this kind of “voice casting” will only work for YouTube videos, but support for Netflix will be added soon. Voice casting will also work for audio, meaning that users will be ale to control Chromecast Audio devices with voice commands.

Popular on Variety

Users can also ask Google for search requests, prompt it to translate phrases into different languages or look up businesses nearby. The device can also summarize a user’s calendar, add products to one’s shopping list or set timers.

Much of this is being powered by Google Assistant, the company’s attempt to make information discovery more conversational. Google wants to expand the functionality of Google Home as well as other devices and apps powered by the Assistant by giving third-party developers the ability to build so-called “actions.”

Google will also make it possible for hardware developers to add the Google Assistant to their own devices in the coming months.

Google first announced Google Home at its Google I/O developer conference in May. Variety was first to report last week that the company also has plans to add Google Home-like functionality to third-party speaker systems.

More Digital

  • GDC

    Next Month's GDC Cancelled After Companies Pull Out Over Coronavirus Concerns

    The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) scheduled for next month in San Francisco has been cancelled after multiple companies said they were sitting it out over fears of the coronavirus outbreak. However, GDC organizers said they planned to hold an event later this summer. GDC was set to run March 16-20 at the Moscone Center [...]

  • Netflix in Nigeria

    Netflix's Head of African Originals Lays Out Streamer's Plans for the Continent (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos and a team of high-level executives have spent the week crisscrossing the African continent, wooing local creators and touting plans to thrust the continent center-stage as the streaming giant’s first African original series, “Queen Sono,” drops worldwide on Friday. Sarandos took the mic at a splashy event in Lagos [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Everything Coming to Netflix in March

    Netflix is adding a robust line-up of popular programs to its slate in March. In addition to rom-coms like Matthew Mcconaughey’s “Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past,” “He’s Just Not That Into You” and “Always a Bridesmaid,” the streamer is also adding a few classics like “Goodfellas” and “The Shawshank Redemption” starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. [...]

  • Illustration of the video streaming company

    Coronavirus Spread Benefits Netflix, Other 'Stay-at-Home' Companies, Analysts Say

    Amid fears over a global economic slowdown from the widening coronavirus outbreak, companies like Netflix that provide in-home services are best positioned to withstand the storm or even see upside from the crisis, according to industry analysts. Netflix “is an obvious beneficiary if consumers stay home due to coronavirus (COVID-19 virus) concerns, and this has [...]

  • YouTube TV

    YouTube TV Is Dropping Fox Regional Sports Nets, YES Network After Sinclair Standoff

    YouTube TV, Google’s internet pay-TV service, said it will drop the Fox regional sports networks and the YES Network from customer lineups this Saturday, Feb. 29 — citing an impasse in negotiations with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns the RSNs. “We purchase rights from Sinclair to distribute content to you,” the YouTube TV account said [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content