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Google Home

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[Deal Alert] Google now offering a free Google Home when you buy a Pixel or Pixel XL [Update]

Google might not have sold as many Pixels as we might have imagined, but it's trying to up those numbers. Earlier this month, Google started offering a $75 statement credit when you bought a Pixel with financing, but now it's swapped that deal out for a free Google Home ($129 value).

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[Update: Fixed] It's not just you—there's a widespread Google Home outage

Google spent a lot of time at I/O talking about Assistant and Google Home. In fact, it gave a free Home to everyone who attended I/O. Today, a lot of those devices are spitting out errors instead of controlling smart home devices and answering questions. According to multiple online complaints, there's a Google Home outage affecting a significant portion of users.

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[Deal Alert] Google Home is $109 ($20 off) at Best Buy, Google Store, B&H, and others

The Google Home was the first (and currently only) smart speaker with Google Assistant, introduced at Google I/O 2016 and released near the end of last year. Since then it has gained support for nearly every major smart home product, and Google added multi-user functionality as well. If you've been waiting for a price drop to buy it, now's your chance - the Home is $109 almost everywhere it's sold.

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Google Home is coming to Canada on June 26th, pre-orders available now via Google and Best Buy

Google Assistant debuted last year in Allo, but it wasn't until Assistant arrived on the Pixel and Google Home that we really got to see what it could do. However, Home was only available in the US at first. It came to the UK later, but America's neighbor to the north was left hanging. Not anymore—Google Home launches in Canada on June 26th.

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Google is adding an option to disable all network media notifications on Chromecast and Google Home devices

The addition of Chromecast network notifications probably seemed like a good idea at the time. They allow you to control media even if you aren't the one who started playback. However, you see those notifications on your device even if you're not watching or listening to the content, and you can end up with multiple cast notifications on a busy network. Google is finally making these notifications optional with a toggle that turns off all the network notifications for your Chromecast or Google Home.

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Google Home now streams TV content from many more services, including HBO Now and Hulu

One of the most interesting new features introduced during the Google I/O keynote has to be the integration between Google Home and Chromecast. The intelligent assistant can now show visual responses to interactions you have via any Chromecast connected TV. For a while now we've been able to play videos through our Chromecast via YouTube and Netflix, and now many more services are being added.

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Google Home will soon provide you with contextual visual responses

While Assistant on the Google Home is useful, there are certain things that are best expressed visually rather than via audio. Whether you're wanting to see your calendar information, check out what's trending on YouTube, or navigate to your next event, Home will soon provide you with visual responses on the appropriate screen.

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The Actions on Google platform spreads to phones, with new payment support and a ton of new features

Google has announced that its Actions on Google platform will be coming to the Assistant on iOS and Android. Previously the platform was just available on Google Home, but soon it will work on all your phones, too. This change significantly expands the number of third party services and tools you can access on your phone via Assistant. It even works across devices, so you can pick up your phone and continue your action there if you have to run away for a bit. There are even new tools for developers, as the platform is tied with a new payments API.

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Google Home to add hands-free calling, personalizes the experience

You'll soon be able to make free hands-free calls using your Google Home to any landline or mobile number in the U.S. or Canada. Google announced the feature today and leaped over the Amazon Echo with its ability to call anyone and personalize the experience. Since your Home can recognize who is talking to it, you'll be able to access your own contacts when making a call. So, when you ask it to call mom, it will call your mom and not your roommate's mom.

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Google Home will now let you schedule calendar appointments, reminders coming soon

One of my biggest complaints about the Google Home has been its inability to schedule calendar appointments or set reminders. I tend to forget little things like running a specific errand, cooking supper, or doing the laundry... I take after my father that way. From what I've seen across the internet and from you fine folks who read AP, I am not alone.

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