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Google Home v1.26 reveals 'speaker pairs' for stereo casting, adds EQ settings, new Backdrop screen, and more [APK Teardown]

The Google Home app has seen some big enhancements lately, and with the rollout of v1.26, it's gearing up for some more. The latest update brings the notable addition of EQ settings for speakers and introduces a new screen for backdrop history. Users of Android 8.0 Oreo might also notice their app shortcuts are now sporting fresh adaptive icons. However, the main topic comes to us via a teardown that shows a new feature called Speaker Pairs will enable us to take two speakers and set them up to work in stereo.

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Weekend poll: Where do you use your Google Home?

This has been an exciting few weeks for the Google Home. Google's AI-augmented smart speaker got a ton of new features at I/O, as well as two new models. More recently, we've seen things cover the range from spooky to downright terrifying. All this has us thinking, where do you keep your Google Home?

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A coral fabric base is coming soon to the Google Home


The original Google Home is about to get some new family members. The smaller of the two, the aptly named Home Mini, will come in three colors: chalk, charcoal, and coral. In order to match the latter, Google will soon provide a reddish base for the regular Home so that your personal assistant decor can match each other.

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Google Home preview program is now available

Google Home is good at a lot of stuff, but it's also missing some very basic features. After nearly a year on the market, this smart speaker still can't set a reminder. Maybe it'll be able to do that soon, though. There's a new preview program rolling out if you want to try the latest software updates a little early.

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[Deal Alert] Google Home drops to $84 ($45 off) at Lowe's with coupon code

Google Home is currently $109 at the Google Store and a variety of other retailers, including Lowe's. That's not a bad price at all. However, Lowe's has a coupon code that lowers that $109 to just $84, making it one of the lowest prices we've ever seen for the Home. If you were thinking about purchasing one, now's the time to do so.

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Google's new personalized Feed starts rolling out with new home button in search results and bottom tabs

Google's been all over the place with its server-side rollouts in the Google app lately. Some people are seeing two tabs, some are seeing three, and some four. It's totally bizarre, but that's Google for you. Following the announcement of the upcoming, more personalized Google Feed several days ago, we're now seeing it materialize, and the home button that was in Google's screenshots is starting to pop up on some devices.

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[Deal Alert] Get a Google Home and Chromecast bundle for $99.99 ($65 off), or a Chromecast alone for $25 ($10 off)

Is your house missing some smart home essentials? Well now, you can knock that problem out for cheap. Google via eBay has both a Google Home and Chromecast 2nd gen bundle for just $99.99 - a savings of $65 over their combined MSRPs. And if you just want a Chromecast, you can pick up either the standard 2nd gen model or the Audio for only $25, which is $10 off the regular price.

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Google Home v1.24 prepares to give Google Home users an option to automatically cast to specific TVs and speakers without naming them each time, Bluetooth support coming soon [APK Teardown]

Quite a few Google apps were given minor version bumps today, but nothing has been all that interesting until it was teardown time for the latest release of the Google Home app. It doesn't seem to have any changes in the live interface quite yet, but there are a couple of things from the resources that deserve a look. To begin with, we have a status update on the subject of Bluetooth pairing. On top of that, it looks like it will be possible to set default TVs and speakers to be used as output devices for Google Home.

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[Update: New details from Recode interview] Essential Home is Andy Rubin's answer to Google Home and Amazon Echo

Android co-founder Andy Rubin finally unveiled Essential's much-anticipated new phone today, the almost bezel-less PH-1. In an industry besieged by leaks, it's rare for any device to be launched these days without knowing exactly what it'll look like. Not only did Essential manage to keep the PH-1 pretty much a secret, except for the teaser images they released themselves, they also manage to complete conceal the fact that they would be announcing another full-fledged product at the same time. Much to everyone's surprise, we've now been introduced to Essential Home, the company's smart assistant competitor.

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The Google Home app now features customizable user-defined shortcuts for Assistant

One of the draws of having a personal assistant is being able to control various things through it. Alexa is popular partially for this reason and Google Home/Assistant has been slowly catching up since its launch. Just a few weeks ago, our very own Cody noticed that Google was implementing direct support for IFTTT in the Google app for user-defined actions. Well, this has finally appeared in the Home app in a "Shortcuts" menu in the Assistant section.

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