You just got a Google Home, and after unwrapping it and setting it up, you've asked about the weather, requested a few songs to play, and set a timer for 5 minutes to see how it rings. Now what?
I've been covering Google's smart speaker for more than a year now and I've owned a couple of Google Homes for about a year, yet I still feel like I'm not using them to their full potential. Every week brings new features and integrations that make it tough to remember all that can be done, so for those of you who don't know what to ask beyond playing music, those who are getting confused by hearing a different voice sometimes from the speaker, those who are always wondering why some actions work for them but not other members of their household, this is the most accurate tutorial I can write right now. Read More
Now that Google has added multi-user support, the ability to set reminders, and other key functionality to the Google Home, there's not much to complain about. One remaining issue was that you could only say one command at a time. If you wanted to turn off the lights and play something on your TV, you would have to say "turn off the lights," wait for the Home to respond, and then follow up with the casting command. Read More
There are just a handful of video services that support voice controls on the Google Home, like Netflix and Google Photos. This allows you to start playback of content on a Chromecast, Android TV, or other Cast-enabled device using Google Assistant voice commands. I'm still waiting for Hulu to add support, but in the meantime, you can now use it with YouTube TV. Read More
Today's Google event isn't just about new Google-branded products. The company announced today that Nest cameras would have deeper integration with the Google Home and Chromecast. Read More
Samsung's controversially received assistant, Bixby, has rolled out its voice command features in Korea and the US, but if you've been just dying to try out in other countries, you're now in luck. Samsung says that the voice commands are available in 200+ countries worldwide including the UK, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and more.
You will still be limited to speaking in US English and Korean — tough luck if you wanted to use it in other languages — and you will need to own a Galaxy S8 or S8+ to have Bixby in the first place, but once those requirements are met, you just have to press and hold the Bixby button to activate the feature. Read More
Yesterday was a busy day with the official announcement of Android Oreo and our sun playing a short game of peekaboo behind the moon. Yesterday also saw the release of a brand new version of the Google app to the beta channel. After a bit of digging, there aren't any notable changes jumping out at us, but a teardown of the APK provides a monstrous amount of information about a mystery device called Bisto. There's plenty here, so let's dig straight into the juicy bits! Read More
One of the more controversial features of the Galaxy S8 is Samsung's 'Bixby' assistant, which has a dedicated button to activate it. But Bixby isn't very helpful, partially due to Samsung delaying English voice command support. But if you're in the United States and have an S8, you can sign up for Samsung's new Bixby Early Access program to try out voice commands. Read More
Google launched Assistant last year in Allo, and then it came to the Pixel and Google Home. The period of exclusivity for Google is over now with Assistant on tons of Android devices, and there's even an API for developers to implement on just about anything. Case in point, there is now a version of the AutoVoice Chrome extension that can call upon the power of Assistant. However, the setup process is quite a slog. Read More
Bixby was supposed to be one of the Galaxy S8's defining features, but it was far from ready at launch. Instead of the voice commands Samsung promised when it announced Bixby, we got a news feed, reminders, and some borderline useless computer vision gimmicks. Now, Samsung is aiming to endow Bixby with voice commands. They're only available in Korea right now, but it's a start. Read More