The Digital Home Magazine

Smart tech reviews, how-to's and more

Google offers its family of home devices as part of its connected home offering. The devices are an alternative to the echo devices from Amazon. The family consists of the Google Home , Nest Mini, Home Max , Nest Hub, and Nest Hub Max .

All Google Home devices have the power of the Google Assistant , just like Echo devices offer Alexa . This feature is everything you need to know about Google Home and Nest devices, including what they are, how they work, what devices work with them, and where to buy these speakers.

What is the Google Home, Nest Mini, and Home Max?

Google Home, Nest Mini and Home Max are Wi-Fi speakers that also serve as smart home control hubs and personal assistants for the whole family. You can use them to play entertainment around your house, manage everyday chores, and ask Google for any questions you want to know.

The three devices differ in terms of speakers and specifications, design and cost, but all offer the same functionality when it comes to Google Assistant, Smart Home Control and music playback. You can find out how they differ in our separate function.

All three devices have LED lights that indicate when they have heard you and are responding, and all have a physical button to turn the microphone on and off.

Google Home Vs Nest Mini Vs Home Max: What's the Difference?

What is Google Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max?

7 inch display / 10 inch display

Google's Nest Hub and Google's Nest Hub Max both have the same functionality as Google Home, Home Max, and Nest Mini, but add an ad to the mix, making them ideal for smart home control and video playback. The Nest Hub has a 7-inch display, while the Nest Hub Max has a 10-inch display and an integrated Nest camera.

For example, on the displays you can watch YouTube videos, read news snippets, control smart home devices via the touchscreens and view Google Assistant-compatible camera feeds. Of course, they also offer the Google Assistant so that you can control everything with your voice just like you can with the other home devices, but the displays bring everything to life.

As with home devices, these have a physical button to turn off the microphone.

How do Nest and Google Home devices work?

Music and video playback

Nest and Google Home devices are Wi-Fi speakers, so they can stream music straight from the cloud. You can access songs, playlists, albums, artists, and podcasts from your favorite music services with just your voice. You can also send music from your Android or iOS device through Google Cast if you want.

With the help of Google Cast, you can also use Nest and Google Home devices to control other connected speakers in your home. You even get playback in multiple rooms. This means you can add one or more Nest or Google Home devices to a group of speakers so that you can enjoy music throughout your house, if compatible.

Nest and Google Home devices can also control your video content through Google Cast. For example, let's say you want to watch your latest episode of Daredevil on Netflix or a cat video on YouTube. Give a voice command to the Nest or Google Home device, and the content will appear on your TV. However, this only works if you've set up the devices in the Google Home app.

Smart Home Hub

Nest and Google Home devices can be a control centre for your entire home. They enable you to do the basics like setting alarms and timers and managing to-do lists and shopping lists. However, they also connect your smart home and support common network systems. It's worth mentioning that you'll need the Google Home app to set everything up.

Once you've set up your Nest or Google Home device and all of your smart devices in your home in the Google Home app, you can control them. This applies to smart lights from various companies, switches, plugs, other Nest products (such as Nest Hello or Nest Cam IQ) and pretty much any compatible smart home device .

It is also possible to control things outside the home, e.g. B. Book an Uber or order dinner. Remember, however, that you need to make sure that everything is set up first. The best part is that all of this is only done with your voice. However, as mentioned earlier, if you have the Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max, you can also use the display to control your smart home devices.

Doubling up on Google Home: How to Use Multiple Google Homes

Ask google

With Nest and Google Home devices, you can ask Google anything from the weather to specific facts. Google's years of search experience are behind the Google Assistant, so you can ask specific questions, such as: B. "How much fat does an avocado contain?". or, "What's Wayne Rooney's jersey number?", but the Google Assistant can also have conversations so you can also answer follow-up questions like "Where did he go to school?" without repeating "Ok Google" or "Hey Google". Awaken the words before the follow-up question.

Nest and Google Home devices can combine the "er" pronoun to your previous question about Rooney or whoever for an accurate answer.

You can also ask complex questions, such as "OK Google, what was the US population like when NASA was founded?" Nest and Google Home devices give you instant answers every time and can read the relevant parts of the web pages to you or display them on the Nest Hub or Nest Hub Max.

What services do Nest Hub and Google Home support?

Nest Hub and Google Home work with a wide variety of music services, including YouTube Music, Deezer, Spotify , Pandora, Google Play Music, and TuneIn. The list has grown significantly since the original home device was first announced. Nest and Home devices are also compatible with various news outlets including the BBC, Telegraph and Guardian in the UK.

You'll need to link your accounts for these services in the Google Home app to your Nest and Google Home devices. However, you will be asked to do so when you set up your Nest or Home device. Connect as many accounts as you can for the best experience possible.

With support for these various services, you can ask, "OK Google, play that Shakira song from Zootopia." Without having to name the song, Nest and Google Home can find out and play it through your favourite app. Thanks to the Google Assistant and its machine learning capabilities, Nest and Google Home know you and your preferences and learn over time.

Nest and Google Home devices also work with a wide variety of smart home companies. The list isn't quite as extensive as Amazon's, but it's growing and there are many compatible services. Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue, IFTTT , Ikea, TP-Link, Arlo, Hive and Netatmo are among the compatible services. This means that you can control these smart home devices and activate your IFTTT recipes with your Nest or Home device.

Nest and Google Home devices also act as Chromecast audio receivers. We know we're repeating ourselves, but you'll need to set these up with the Google Home app too.

What is the Google Assistant in Google Home?

Google announced the Google Assistant in 2016 as an adaptation of Google Now and OK Google. The service improved the two-way conversation experience of previous offerings with AI and machine learning.

These advances essentially add context to your questions. For example, if you say "OK Google" and then "What's on tonight?" Say, Google Assistant is showing movies in your local theatre. However, if you add, "We plan to bring the kids," the Google Assistant can provide playtime for kid-friendly movies.

You could then say "let's see the jungle book" and the assistant will buy tickets. You can even ask, "Is the Jungle Book any good?" And then the wizard will display reviews, ratings, and a trailer. The Google Assistant can string your questions to get context and provide the right information.

It can do basic things like getting your itinerary, daily schedule, commute time to work, package delivery information, and much more. Nest and Google Home devices aren't the only devices that have access to the Google Assistant, however. The assistant is available on a variety of devices, including Android smartphones , Android Auto, and third-party speakers .

The assistant on Nest and Google Home devices is the same as the Google assistant on your smartphone. Data is shared across your devices.

When and where can you buy Nest and Google Home devices?

All Nest and Google Home devices are available in the US and UK, and in many countries internationally.