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Report: Google's 2019 hardware plans include Pixel 'Lite,' Home refresh, new Nest cameras, and wearables

Google's first-party hardware options may be set to ramp up this year according to a recent report. Based on the details, we might see new product lines as well as refreshes of existing ones. In addition to the already knownupcomingcheaper Pixel "Lite," Nikkei is reporting that Google plans to release its own wearables (plural), a Google Home refresh, and security cameras this year.

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Five improvements we want from the Google Home 2

The original Google Home speaker launched all the way back in late 2016. A lot has changed since then — Assistant has become more powerful and multi-lingual, the Home Mini has been a wild success, the Home Max became a great option for audiophiles, and dozens of third-party Assistant speakers have hit the market.

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Google Assistant is now your multilingual interpreter

During CES last month, Google announced its Home speakers and smart displays with Assistant would be capable of becoming virtual interpreters and translate live conversations between people speaking in different languages. The feature seems to be rolling out to the masses as an official support page has been set up, and several devices are now capable of translating discussions.

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Woo your valentine with these Google Store deals, including Pixel 2 and lots of smart home tech

Valentine's Day is coming up and you still don't know what to get your significant other? Think no more; Google has you covered with bundles and special deals on the Pixel 2, several connected home devices, and accessories.

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Joe Pesci sucks all the joy out of Google's Home Alone Assistant ad

This past holiday season, Google tapped into some serious 90s-kid nostalgia by delivering a Google Assistant ad featuring none other than Macaulay Culkin as Home Alone's Kevin McAllister. While we got to see Kevin all grown up and spending the night by himself, the two Sticky Bandits were absent. Now a fresh video featuring Joe Pesci reminds us of why Google left him out in the first place.

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[Update: Smart display support] Google Home can now add sound effects and music to story time with certain children's books

Some of Google Home's best features are the ones that are just for fun, like playing the "I'm feeling lucky" game show, listening to different animal sounds, and asking for interesting facts. Google is expanding on that repertoire with storytelling sound effects for certain Disney stories. Parents in the US can activate the new feature by saying "Hey Google, let's read along with Disney." Their Home device will then listen along and play appropriate sound effects and music for the chosen story, which can be selected from a library of 11, with more to come.

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This Google Home and Amazon Echo hack lets you change your voice AI hotword — but it's far from elegant

Google and Amazon are both constantly improving the capabilities of their voice AIs, but there are some issues that tech giants have little incentive to fix. For instance, from a branding standpoint it makes no sense to let people change their assistant hotword from "Okay Google" or "Alexa" to anything else - even if that's what users want (and it definitely, definitely is). It's this consumer desire, along with the issue of user privacy, that prompted designers Bjørn Karmann and Tore Knudsen to create a Google Home/Amazon Echo hack called Project Alias.

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Google Assistant gains flight check-ins, hotel booking, Interpreter Mode, and broadens lockscreen support

Google Assistant is the belle of the ball at CES 2019, with hardware partnerships popping up left, right, and center. What better time, then, for Google to announce a slew of shiny new features for the increasingly (artificially) intelligent helper? Among the updates comes flight check-ins, hotel booking, a new language interpreter mode, and the extension of Assistant on the lockscreen to all Android phones.

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D-Link announces 5G home router plus Google Assistant-compatible water sensor and smart plugs

CES 2019 doesn't officially start until tomorrow, but you wouldn't know it if you checked the tech news today. Announcements have been falling left and right, and we almost missed this one from D-Link, which slipped by on Friday. The company is expanding its smart home offerings and introducing a new 5G home router.

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C by GE announces new Made for Google color bulbs and accessories

C by GE already makes white, dimmable smart lights designed specifically to work with Google Home — there's even a starter kit with a Home Mini — but now the company is adding a full-color LEDs to the range, along with some additional smart products.

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