Google Home

Google set to release new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones, insiders say

The Guardian

Google is set to release two new smartphones, the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, as well as a smaller Google Home Mini smart speaker on 4 October, the Guardian has learned. It will come in blue, black or white and have a metal and glass back, similar to last year's Pixel. Alongside the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, Google will also unveil a smaller Google Home smart speaker. Similar to the differences between Amazon's full-sized Echo and the Echo Dot, the Google Home Mini will not have the same speaker quality as the larger Google Home, but will perform most of the same functions through Google Assistant.

The rise of personal assistants


The Google Assistant is what powers the Google Home device, and it's also available on Android and iOS phones. It's the active use of digital personal assistants that I expect will reach 1 billion users quite quickly. Anyone can start working with these services to build their own app to plug into Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant, respectively. You can get a leg up by building some initial smart speaker apps.

Spoiler alert: Google's Pixel event will still be more exciting than Apple's iPhone X reveal


As expected, Google will be announcing several new products at its event: Google Home Mini, an updated Daydream View VR headset, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, and a new Chromebook Pixel that will apparently be rechristened Pixelbook. After all, Google's own teaser for the phone presents some pretty big questions it's supposed to answer, alluding to things like improved image stabilization, long-lasting battery life, and auto updates. It's all but confirmed that HTC is manufacturing the smaller Pixel anyway (complete with its side-squeezing Edge Sense feature). With Google Home, the Pixel phones, Chromecast, and Daydream, Google has a numerous product lines to nurture.

Apple HomePod faces tough odds against Amazon Echo in connected home market

Boston Herald

Connected speakers are part of a broader white-hot market for connected home devices, which Amazon, and Google hope to control against rival devices planned by number of others like Apple and Microsoft. CIRP estimates that Amazon has sold 15 million Echos, accounting for 75% of the U.S. market, while Google has sold an estimated 5 million Homes, or 24%. While sales of 15 million Amazon Echo units is a big number, as of last year there were about 125 million U.S. households. The HomePod speaker will be heavier than Echo or Google Home, and Kevin Tofel, a gadget enthusiast and blogger, said that means it will offer much better sound.

Amazon to release Alexa-powered smartglasses, reports say

The Guardian

According to a report by the Financial Times, the glasses could be revealed at a product launch event expected to be held soon alongside a home security camera, designed to tie in with its Echo Show video screen. Also, Google Home owners report using their devices daily or more often slightly more than Amazon Echo owners, across all these varied applications and uses." In 2016, Amazon began expanding the range, releasing the smaller Echo Dot, the Echo Look camera and the Echo Show with a screen. Alexa, the smart assistant that powers the range, also became integrated into Amazon's Fire range of video streaming devices and tablets, and is also available as a smartphone app and plugin for third-party products such as cars, speakers and TVs.

Price rumors swirl for Google's Echo Dot slayer


Google is rumored to launch a new tiny smart speaker to take on the Echo Dot at the Pixel 2 event next month -- and if a new leak is legit, we now have some more insight about the product's name, pricing info, and even a first look at the design. The device, which is a much smaller speaker than the OG Google Home, is expected to be called the Google Home Mini and cost just $49, according to Android blog Droid Life. The Home Mini report only cites "information we've viewed" -- but the details confirm earlier rumors. Here is the Google Home Mini, the Smaller $49 Google Home. The Home Mini will look to edge in on the market Amazon grabbed with the smaller, cheaper Dot, giving Google Assistant users a more affordable option to bring a smart assistant hub into their home.

What Google doesn't want you to know: Voice search is taking over display search, while Assistant…


In May 2017, Google announced that its Actions on Google platform was activated for all Android devices natively, meaning that voice search via Google Assistant and Action was fully enabled. Researchers at the Stanford Human Computer Interaction Lab found that with speech recognition, the English input rate was 3.0x faster, and the Mandarin Chinese input rate 2.8x faster, than a state-of-the-art miniature smartphone keyboard. Further, with speech, the English error rate was 20.4% lower, and Mandarin error rate 63.4% lower, than the keyboard. Content creators will have to partner with Google Assistant and Actions, as the new platform, or other interactive platforms like Amazon Alexa, Facebook Messenger, or Snapchat.

Google to announce $49 Google Home Mini in October: Report


Google is planning to release a mini version of its Google Home smart speaker, called the Google Home Mini, according to Droid Life. The announcement could come as soon as Google's Pixel 2 event on Oct. 4. The Google Home Mini will be available in Chalk, Charcoal, and Coral colors, the Android-focused blog reported. Competitor Amazon offers different size options for its Amazon Echo platform, including a small Amazon Echo Dot.

Your Google Home will now help you find dates


Plenty of Fish announced on Tuesday that it's launched an integration with Google Home, which will read your messages aloud to you and allow you to compose and send replies. So why the sudden rush to add home assistant integration among these dating apps? They've positioned themselves as "the leader in conversations," and they recently launched Spark, a feature which lets you start a chat based on a specific element of someone's profile. SEE ALSO: Unlucky-in-love penguin joins'Plenty of Fish' The company's CEO, Hesam Hosseini, explained in a statement, "We've found that a good conversation is the number one indicator of a great date, so both Spark and the Google Assistant integration were created to help people easily connect and get the conversation started."

Whiskey, Alexa, and me: A night alone in the woods with digital assistants


It was just me, a bottle of moderately priced whiskey, a tiny cabin filled with tchotchkes, and my robot friends Google Home and Amazon Echo. Alexa and Google Assistant -- the digital brain that powers Google Home -- answered question after question with something like, "My apologies, I don't understand." I found smart speaker games are best when they incorporate voice actors, sound effects, and music -- like radio you can interact with. Digital assistants are the future, and they're absolutely great at accessing media, controlling smart devices, and making phone and video calls.