Tag Archives: Google Home

Pump up the jams: New music streaming services now available on Google Home

Cue the music: You can now ask your Google Assistant on Google Home, Mini and Max to play some of your favorite songs with Pandora Premium and Deezer.

Both services are now available on the Google Assistant across supported devices like Google Home, Smart Displays and more. Pandora Premium subscribers can search and play their favorite songs, albums and playlists, just by using their voice. 

Plus, Deezer now allows you to stream music hands-free with access to more than 36 million HiFi tracks from around the world. So if you’ve got a Google Home Max, get ready to turn it all the way up.

To play music from Pandora or Deezer, link your accounts in the Google Home app. Then all you have to do is say, “Hey Google, play my Chill Vibes playlist on Deezer,” or “Hey Google, play my Chill playlist on Pandora.”

If you have a Google Home, you can try Pandora Premium free for 90 days. Deezer on Google Home is available for HiFi and Premium users in the U.S., Canada, Italy, Australia, U.K., France and Germany. Check the Google Home app on Android or visit store.google.com to see if your region is eligible for a special 90-day Deezer Premium trial offer

With the addition of Pandora Premium and Deezer, you have even more choices when it comes to music streaming services. So, next time you’re throwing a party or hanging out with friends, we’ve got the DJ booth covered.


The Robinsons are “Lost in Space” and Google Home can help

Hello, this is Will Robinson of the 24th Colonist Group. My family and I were headed to Alpha Centauri when we accidentally crash-landed on an unfamiliar planet. Mom, Dad, Penny, Judy and I trained for this mission and had all of the provisions for a long trip but ... it hasn’t quite turned out as planned.

Our spaceship, the Jupiter 2, is sinking in ice, and we could really use some help. Everyone’s trying to be brave, but I think we’re all pretty scared. It helps that my new robot warns me when there’s trouble—so far the only thing he says is “Danger, Will Robinson!” but I don’t think it’s enough to get us out of here.

That’s where you come in. Luckily, the wiring in our spaceship still works, so we’re able to communicate with Earth. You can radio me on your Google Home to give us a hand. Just say, “Hey Google, play the Lost in Space Game,” and I’ll answer right away.

If you can give my mom some tips on how to melt ice around the spaceship, decode scrambled messages from The Resolute (our spaceship) for Dad, help Penny escape from alien creatures, and give Judy directions while she’s searching for fuel—you might just be able to help us get off this planet.

Over and out.
Will

P.S. You can follow all of our adventures from your home planet. Just say, “Hey Google, play Lost in Space on Netflix”, to watch from your TV. (You’ll need a Netflix subscription.)

Get Coachella-ready with a little help from Google Home


It’s almost time for Coachella-goers to descend upon the desert. At Google, we’ve been cooking up a few ways to help you get festival-ready, so you won’t miss a beat.

Using your Google Home, Mini, Max or the Google Assistant on your phone, here’s what happens when you say “Hey Google, talk to Coachella.”

  • Discover new artists:You know your must-see artists for the weekend, but this year’s lineup is flush with amazing acts that you may not be familiar with. This new feature allows you to discover new artists playing the festival, and gives you exclusive playlists to get you up to speed with the 2018 lineup.
  • Create your festival schedule: Once the artists’ set times are announced, you’ll be able to ask the Google Assistant what time your favorite artists are playing, then add them straight to the Coachooser app. 
  • Get answers to festival FAQs:You can get performance times, travel info, what’s allowed into the festival  and all that jazz. 
  • Get the backstage experience:Whether you’re tuning in at home or in person at Coachella, you can listen to backstage interviews with some of your favorite artists once the festival begins. 
  • Test your Coachella knowledge: Which artist got a surprise celeb kiss on stage during a 2015 headlining performance? Play trivia to test your knowledge of memorable Coachella moments and performances, and get excited for what may happen this year.  
Once you’ve done all that, it’s time to ride the legendary Coachella ferris wheel. But this year, there’s a Pixel twist. We’re turning a few of the Ferris wheel gondolas into Pixel photo booths— complete with iridescent backdrops for stunning selfies above festival grounds.

You can also tune in to Coachella's YouTube channel from April 13 - 15. From headliners to some of the biggest artists on the rise, livestream performances  will include Beyoncé, The Weeknd, ODESZA, Post Malone, The War on Drugs, Kygo, Chromeo, Alan Walker, BØRNS, alt-J and many more. If you’re watching from home, the VR180 livestream (also on Coachella’s YouTube channel) will make you feel like you’re there—you can view select performances using Google Cardboard and Daydream View.

So, whether you’re packing your bags for Indio or tuning in from your couch, we’ve got you covered.

Google Home and Bluetooth speakers make the perfect pair

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of your Bluetooth® speakers playing the song you requested—across every room in your house. We brought this feature to life after hearing how much you wanted to amp up the sound with your Google Home Mini.


Now any of your Google Home devices can connect to other Bluetooth speakers so you can control your entertainment experience simply using the sound of your voice. Turn up the beats in the living room, listen to a podcast while you cook or finish a few chapters of your audiobook before bed—even in rooms that don’t have a Google device.


To get started, pair any compatible Bluetooth speaker with your Google Home: Open the Google Home app, head to device settings and follow the pairing instructions to make it your default speaker. Then give it a whirl. Say “Hey Google, shuffle my workout playlist” or “Hey Google, turn up the volume.” The music will automatically play on your Bluetooth speaker—without you having to tell Google the name of the device.


You can double the sound with half the effort. Add any Bluetooth speaker you want to a group in the Google Home app and—voilà—you have multi-room audio. Turn on background music at dinner and have it follow you into the living room for dessert. Or catch up on your podcasts as you move room to room tidying up.


These features work across the entire Home family. Note you'll still need to talk to your Google Home device—not the connected Bluetooth speakers—for queries like asking questions, getting weather updates and using smart home commands.


Together, Google Home and Bluetooth speakers make the perfect arrangement for amping up the music throughout your entire home.

We’ve got your playbook for football Sunday

Just in time for the coin toss, we’re here with some ways your Google Assistant can help you prep for game day, as well as some trending recipes state by state.


“Hey Google, let’s make buffalo wings”

The Google Assistant's recipe feature, available on speakers like Google Home, is a host’s best friend: you can send a recipe straight from mobile search or the Assistant on your phone (iPhone and Android) to your speaker. From there, just say “Hey Google, start recipe,” and you can follow hands-free step-by-step directions as you go. You can also ask questions like “what’s a substitute for chipotle chili powder?” or “how many grams of cornmeal in a cup?” and then go right back to the recipe by saying “Hey Google, next step.” Set multiple timers at once and even name them (cornbread, simmer); listen to music and podcasts to get your game face on.


You can also try one of these questions with your Google Assistant to get game day details, highlights and a few surprises:


  • “Hey Google, give me a game prediction” 
  • “Hey Google, coach me”
  • “Hey Google, let’s play Lucky Trivia Sports” 
  • “Hey Google, touchdown!” 

And since the Google Assistant is available across devices, you can keep up with the game no matter where you are. If you’re running late to the party, ask the Google Assistant in your Android Auto car for the score. Walking to the corner store to stock up on snacks? Your Assistant on your phone or headphones will have the latest. And if you’re at home looking to fill the time between plays, ask the Assistant on your speaker to play sports trivia.


Now we’re cooking

Whether you’re a Philly fan, a New England diehard or just there for the commercials, good food is non-negotiable. With data from the Google News Lab, here’s a look at the most uniquely-searched game day recipes by state. Turns out the two rival teams’ home states are both chowing down on chili, but from “bacon shrimp” in Montana to “calzone” in Kansas to “crab dip” in South Carolina, maybe these unique searches will inspire you to go beyond chips and dip! You can check out more on Google Trends.
game day recipes 2018

BRB, game’s almost starting.

New Google Assistant updates, made just for you at home

The Google Assistant is all about you. And with Google Home, Google Home Max or your other smart speakers, the Assistant can help do everyday things like call your mom, turn on compatible living room lights,  plan your day and even show you your photos from the holidays. Now, it’s getting even better, by helping you wake up, find a show and listen to your favorite songs (for some content, you might need a subscription).  

Waking up is hard to do...

And waking up to a wailing alarm doesn’t always help to start your day off on the right foot. Luckily, the Google Assistant can help you wake up more peacefully.

All you have to do is say “Hey Google, set an alarm for 6 AM that plays [insert favorite musician💃]” to the Assistant on Google Home (or your other Assistant-enabled speakers) and you can set an alarm and wake up to your favorite song, playlist or radio station.

...Finding your shows and music shouldn’t be

The Assistant can already help you learn about actors or play a TV show, and now it can help you keep up with the TV shows you’re into right now. Just say “Hey Google, what channel airs The Flash” or “Hey Google, when does The Flash air next.” And don’t forget, you can set a reminder so you never miss the show, ‘Hey Google, remind me to watch Riverdale every Wednesday at 8 PM.” And when it's time to tune in, it's easy with voice casting and YouTube TV. Just say "Hey Google, watch Riverdale"

We've worked closely with Netflix to make your Netflix casting experience more personal. The first step is to link your Netflix account in the Google Home app or via the Google Assistant on your phone. From there, just choose your Netflix profile and get right to the things you want to watch. Thanks to Voice Match on the Assistant, you can just say, “Hey Google, play Stranger Things on Netflix" and it will pick up right where you left off. And same for your roommate or partner.

Finally, if you're a Google Play Music user, you can now enjoy all the music that you’ve purchased or uploaded to your music library. It’s as simple as asking for your favorite artist, song or album and singing along to the beat. So grab your Google Home Max from the Google Store, Verizon or Best Buy and you can sing and dance your heart out in no time.  

The She Word: Frances Kwee turns up the volume on Google hardware

Editor’s Note: The She Word is a Keyword series all about dynamic and creative women at Google. Now that Google Home Max has hit the shelves at Best Buy and Verizon, we sat down with Frances Kwee, an audio engineer who spends most of her time working on our smart speakers in a sound studio at the Googleplex. 

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How do you explain your job at a dinner party?

As an acoustics engineer, I’m responsible for building audio systems that go into products like Google Home and Google Home Max.

What sets Google Home Max apart from other speakers on the market?

Though we design our audio systems in special sound labs at Google, we recognize that we’re not selling speakers to operate in sound studios. They’re going into all types of living spaces, where the sounds will reverberate differently. So we created Smart Sound, which uses machine learning to adjust to whatever space the speaker is in. Since all homes are different, we trained our machine learning model to recognize thousands of different room configurations. This helps Google Home Max to adapt to the setup of your room: if you move it from your bookshelf against the wall to an end table across the room, it can evaluate its new surroundings and will automatically adjust.

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Here’s Frances in the sound studio (official term is “anechoic chamber”) with Mike Asfaw, an audio hardware engineer.

Break this down for the non-experts: how do you ensure high-quality sound in the speakers?

With Max, one of our goals was to increase volume but limit distortion. Think about when you play music on your phone’s tiny speaker at top volume. It sounds raspy and muffled—not what you expect from a premium smart speaker.


So we used a computer program to simulate the speaker performance in dozens of scenarios, which helped us predict what the speaker would sound like before we built it. We also used a 3D printer to make prototypes to test out different buckets and grills. We ended up creating nearly 100 different 3D printed versions of Google Home Max before we landed on the final design!

How do you make products broadly appealing?

As a mom, I ask myself, “How can more families benefit from our products?” I step back to think about the different ways a family would use a smart speaker.

We’re also trying to bring these products into homes of people who might be intimidated by technology, but we’re showing them that it’s easy to use. My parents have a Google Home—before I worked on the product, I never would have thought they’d be able to figure out how to use it. Now, they’re total pros.


Tell us about some of the early products you worked on.

Early in my career I worked on the 3G RAZR flip phone—my first foray into building smooth audio before anyone had smartphones. It was pretty revolutionary at the time, being able to put a decent sounding speaker into such a slim phone. In a way, it’s similar to Google Home Max. Though Max is big for a smart speaker, we packed in two 4.5-inch woofers that have 22mm of excursion, which means it can hit a wide range of low frequencies.  


Choose to work on the really hard projects—they are risky, but entirely rewarding.

Who has been a strong female influence in your life?

My mother immigrated on her own from Indonesia to Canada after high school. She got a chemical engineering degree in 1975, and was one of only two women in her class. She taught me how important it is to work your hardest and never quit.  

What advice do you have for women starting out in their careers?

Choose to work on the really hard projects—they are risky, but entirely rewarding. I once spent an entire year on a project that never made it out the door. It was a risk, but I don’t view it as a failure—the lessons I learned from that project set me up for success in building the smart speakers that I work on now.

Are you into music outside of work?

I’m professionally trained in piano—I’ve been playing since I was four. And I used to play lead guitar in a cover band in Chicago. We played everything from Stevie Wonder to The Clash to Britney Spears, but my favorite song to perform was “What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner.

Do you have a favorite band?

Radiohead. Jonny Greenwood is a guitar god.

What’s one habit that makes you successful?

Being able to multitask but never lose focus on the big picture.

Stick to your New Year’s resolutions with a little help from Google Home

In 2018, I’m committed to getting in better shape. As with all New Year’s resolutions, the hard part will be actually sticking to it. But this year, I’ll have help from my Google Assistant. No matter what your resolution is, here are a few ways your Google Home, Mini or Max can keep you on track:

  • Meet your fitness goals: Use your Google Home to play your workout playlist,, set alarms for working out, or cast workout videos from YouTube to your TV with Google Home and Chromecast. 
  • Get better sleep: Tune out noises from the apartment next door or help get your kids to bed by saying, “Hey Google, play white noise.” You can also set reminders to help you stick to a consistent bedtime. 
  • Explore new places: Try asking, “Hey Google, how much are flights to Rio de Janeiro in June?” or ask “Hey Google, what currency is used in Brazil?”
  • Find time to relax: Set an alarm for a 20-minute power nap or even do a short meditation by saying, “Hey Google, talk to Headspace.”
  • Stay in touch with family and friends: Never forget to call by setting a reminder, just say, “Hey Google, remind me to call Aunt Mary every Sunday.” You can even check in with loved ones by making hands-free calls while you’re multitasking. If you’re in the U.S. or Canada (911 calls not supported), just say “Hey Google, call Mom.”
  • Limit screen time: With more than 50 games and activities for families, the Assistant on Google Home can provide more fun for the family without TV, tablets or phones. And when it’s game time, you can broadcast the message to all Google Home devices in your house.
Thanks to my Assistant on Google Home, 2018 is the year I’m actually sticking to my resolution.


How Google Home and the Google Assistant helped you get more done in 2017

Both the Google Assistant and Google Home had a very big year in 2017, with new devices, new languages and new features. The Assistant is now available on more than 400 million devices, including speakers like Google Home, Android phones and tablets, iPhones, headphones, TVs, watches and more. We brought the Google Assistant to a dozen countries, from France to Japan, offering help in 8 languages around the globe.

With Google Home Mini and Google Home Max in addition to our original Google Home, we brought you even more ways to use the Assistant in your home. So it’s no wonder we’ve sold tens of millions of all our Google devices for the home over this last year. And in fact, we sold more than one Google Home device every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October.

As we’ve added more features—like Voice Match,  Broadcast and Hands-Free Calling—the Google Assistant has become even more helpful. Your Assistant now gives you the power to voice control more than 1,500 compatible smart home devices from over 225 brands. With all these choices, you've connected millions of new smart home devices to Google Home every month. All told, Google Home usage increased 9X this holiday season over last year’s, as you controlled more smart devices, asked more questions, listened to more music, and tried out all the new things you can do with your Assistant on Google Home.

No matter where you are, the Google Assistant is here to help you make the most of 2018. And next week, we have even more things in store for the Assistant at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. If you’re at CES, stop by the Google Assistant Playground (Central Plaza-21) to check out some of our new integrations, devices, and the newest ways you can use your Assistant.

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Lights, camera … control your home with the Google Assistant

It’s usually pretty easy to flip a light switch. But when you’re out at night and realize your dog is sitting at home in the dark, or want to set mood lighting for movie night from the comfort of the couch, it’d be nice to have some help. The Assistant on your phone or smart speaker, like Google Home, can help you control your home—whether it’s turning on the lights or turning up the heat—with more than 1,000 compatible devices.

  • Let’s start with the basics: Lights. C by GE bulbs are now compatible with Google Assistant. So you can light up, turn off or dim the lights in your home from any room. Setup is easy so you can set the right mood in every room of your home.
  • Find the perfect temperature. Winter is just a day away and with the Google Assistant and ecobee or Nest, you can make sure your home is just the right toasty temperature. And, if you like to have a fan on year round, Bond can help you control your fan.
  • Keep your kitchen under control. With Smarter, you can control your kettle, while Whirlpool takes care of your microwaves and ovens, so you can make sure your drinks and food are served a temperature that’s just right.
  • Washers, dryers, refrigerators and more. LG can help you keep tabs on your home appliances, so you can see when the washer is done, or get an alert when your fridge door is left open. Plus you can connect with ranges, vacuums, air conditioners and more!
  • Keep an eye on your home. It’s easy to get a full screen view of what’s happening around the home with Google Home, Chromecast and your connected cameras, like Logitech Circle. Just ask your Assistant “Ok Google, show the nursery on my TV.”
home control

Pro-tip: Since it's the holiday season, don’t forget that you can use your smart plugs like Insignia, Caséta by Lutron and TP-Link, to help bring holiday cheer to your home! Just connect these smart plugs to your holiday lights and you can easily turn them on and off, so no more crawling around a tree or accidentally leaving your lights on during the day.

And these are just a few of the new integrations. There are lots more ways to control your compatible lights, thermostats, cameras and more, right with your Google Assistant. Check out the ever-growing list.