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google home


How to preserve some privacy when you're using a Google Assistant speaker

Google Assistant speakers can be great tools, giving you an easy entry into voice-controlled home automation, but they can also feel like spies giving Google intimate insights into your life and daily routines. If you don't want to go without the convenience an Assistant speaker offers, there are at least some things you can do to make it less invasive.

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How to factory reset your Google Home, Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Chromecast, or other Assistant device

While smart speakers have rapidly become ubiquitous in many of our homes, there are practical things about them—like initiating a factory reset when you sell them—that just aren't intuitive without a bit of Googling. And since the Assistant (fortunately) won't abide your voice request to initiate one, that means this is one smart speaker and display feature that requires going hands-on. Fortunately, it's pretty easy in most cases for devices like Google Home, Nest Home, and Nest Hub.

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Google Home app update with better settings menu rolling out widely

The Google Home app has become this awkward monolithic thing over the years, expanding with more options, settings, and duties as Google's smart home ecosystem has grown. It can be pretty hard to find what you need without some sort of degree in Googleology — or at least some extensive searching. But an update that's now widely rolling out makes navigating through your home's settings a little easier.

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Five improvements we want from the next Google Home

The original Google Home speaker was released almost four years ago, and quite a lot has changed since then. Google has released several more smart speakers, like the Nest Mini and Home Max, and the third-party ecosystem of Google Assistant speakers has also taken off.

In all that time, the speaker that started it all hasn't received any hardware revisions. Sure, its software has been constantly improving, but it still sounds the same and has the same air freshener design. It's high time Google remodeled the Home (pun intended), and we've put together a few improvements that we'd love to see.

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Google Home finally lets you adjust 'OK Google' listening sensitivity

There's still a little bit of magic every time you say "OK Google" and all your smart speakers, displays, and Android handsets line up to respond with a cacophony of lights and buzzes. But while that makes for a fun little display, sometimes we wish that all these smart devices weren't so sensitive, and that things like Google Home were better about knowing when you were talking to them in particular. Thankfully, it looks like a new "Hey Google" sensitivity setting is about to arrive, letting users control how responsive they want their devices to be.

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There's a crazy Google Home sale happening, hurry to get one for under $30

Google Home speakers have become common household items over the last few years, and if you're looking to replace your old one, upgrade from a Mini, or add another to a new room, this is your week: almost every retailer has them on sale for just $30, a full $70 off their regular price.

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Google Home testing separate Assistant voice volume setting

One of the longstanding demands of Google Home users, myself included, has been the ability to control Assistant’s volume independently of the music’s. A new setting has started appearing for iOS users that lets you tweak the volume of your Assistant's voice — but it doesn't really work yet.

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Google Assistant adds support for router and network control

These days, you can control most of your smart home using only your voice — Google Assistant lets you adjust your bed, mow the lawn, open your closets, start your Xbox, control your TV, and so much more. Routers and networks are the latest new addition to the Assistant's library of natively supported actions, allowing for things like reboots, software updates, and parental controls on third-party networking devices.

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Grab a Google Home for just $49 ($51 off) at multiple stores

It has been nearly four years since the Google Home speaker was first released, but since all of its functionality lives in the cloud, it still works just as well now as it did in 2016 (but with many, many more features). Now you can get the air freshener-style speaker for just $49.00, a discount of $51 from the usual price.

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Google Home app gets Nest Cam events and improved smart outlet icons (Update: New lighting controls)

Google Home received an overhaul last year that reduced its number of bottom tabs from four to two — only home control and a feed remain. The latter hasn't been populated by too much content, but a recent update to version 2.19 changes that, at least if you own Nest security devices. The feed now shows you Nest Cam events in the form of highlights and makes the whole history available for viewing. The update also gives smart outlets icons that better depict which devices they're controlling.

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