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google home

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You can now speak to Google Home in Hindi

Google Assistant gained support for Hindi in March, then Google Home and Home Mini launched in India in April. You would think that one is related to the other and that users in India were able to speak to Home in Hindi, but that was not true. Their phones supported Hindi as well as English (India), but their smart speakers only understood and spoke the latter. But that's changing now.

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Digital Wellbeing features starting to arrive on Google Home speakers

The beta Android app is now available on Android One devices as well as Pixels, and it seems that Digital Wellbeing features are also coming to Google's smart speakers. As you can see from the image above, the Digital Wellbeing webpage has said it was "coming soon" for a while, and now people are reporting seeing it in their app.

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Logitech Harmony direct control is finally live on Google Assistant (and Home), but there are some limitations

Harmony's history with Google Home and Assistant goes way back. When support for the service first rolled out, it was an Actions on Google integration (or Assistant app). That meant you had to "ask Harmony to do something" every time, which only worked with your own voice (no support for other home members unless they added the account in their own Assistant) and was very inconvenient. Sure, you could create shortcuts/routines to avoid having to say "ask Harmony" for every command, but even those were voice-dependent and you had to manually set up an equivalent shortcut for every action.

Direct integration for Harmony with Assistant — so it would work like Hue, Nest, LIFX, and others — was promised in May.

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[Update: APK Download] Google Home app gets smart home controls, intelligent actions, and household sharing

The Google Home app has been a mess for a while now. Instead of being a control center for your smart home, as the name suggests, the main focus is video content suggestion - a holdover from when it was the Chromecast app. We first saw evidence that a redesign was in the works a few months ago, and now the new app is official.

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Google Home is getting playback speed voice controls for podcasts and news

Any podcast app worth its salt allows you to change the playback speed. People speak at different paces; some podcasters are agonizingly slow and articulate, others talk very fast and are impossible to understand if you don't speak their language (and even dialect) natively. That's why it's important to be able to set the playback speed to a convenient rate for you. Google Home appears to be getting this feature soon - possibly even now.

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'Home View' and redesigned Google Home app will make smart devices easier to access

Smart home devices are an absolute pain to manage, especially if you use products from different companies. To help make the complicated smart home ecosystem a little simpler, Google is introducing a new 'Home View' for Assistant smart displays, and a redesigned Home app.

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Google Home Hub is official, costs just $149

As with everything in today's announcement, the Home Hub has been leaked more than once in recent weeks. Google's own-branded Assistant Smart Display, as expected, resembles a tablet glued onto a fabric speaker base, and it's sadly not removable so it can't be used as a standalone tablet.

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Google Home and Home Mini coming to The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark on October 24

At its I/O conference in May, Google announced that it would expand Home and Home Mini availability to seven new countries by the end of 2018. The smart speakers have already launched in Mexico, Spain, and, most recently, South Korea. Users from The Netherlands, Sweden, Demnark, and Norway will soon join the party.

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Google Duo v41 prepares contact pinning and calling Home devices linked to your account [APK Teardown]

The latest version of Google Duo has landed, but like so many other updates, it doesn't appear to change anything immediately upon installation. However, as tradition dictates, there are a couple of interesting things to see from a teardown. It looks like Duo will be adding support for pinning contacts to the top of your list for convenient access. You should also be able to begin making calls to smart displays linked to your account for an easy way to call home.

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JBL Link View review: Great sound from JBL, but Smart Displays still have a long way to go

Smart displays aren't for everyone. They're not exactly tablets, but they look like ones and are both less and more useful, depending on how you look at them. With far superior sound and always listening mics, they act as a smart speaker for your home; but without real apps or a fully functional browser, you hit some roadblocks while using them and wish they could do just a little bit more.

Over the past few months, every time I've read someone compare Smart Displays to crippled tablets, I've had the same reply: I want one because it would work for me.

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