We also got to see Android Wear 2.0, what Instant Apps look like, what google thinks the next phase of messaging apps and video calling will thanks to Allo and Duo, and even unveiled Daydream, the company’s big push into virtual reality (VR). On top of that, Google also took the wraps off Assistant, which is basically going to let you talk to a bot in just about anything and everything related to Google and Android in the future.
Part of that goes into the other product that Google announced, called Home. This was rumored about quite a bit leading up to Google I/O, and it’s a product that will sit in your home, like in your living room, and work like Amazon’s Echo. Both products are voice-activated, allow you to ask queries, and make commands like, “Play music,” and choose which third-party service you want to do that from.
Basically, in the case of Google Home, it’s a smart hub product that has the power of Google Search and Google Now, without the cards to poke at.
Home was the most exciting product announcement for me, and not because Google was the first to get a device like this out there in the wild. Amazon obviously beat them to that, but this is Google here, and the fact that with Assistant we’ll be able to have conversations with the personal assistant shoved in that interestingly designed box is pretty great. Honestly, Home is something we’ve all seen coming for quite some time, because it just makes sense for Google to make. It’s one of those things that you can’t help but ask, “Why didn’t this come out sooner?”
No, the reason why Home is the coolest announcement from Google I/O is because it’s just one more step for this type of technology becoming completely standard practice. How many sci-fi movies have you seen through the course of your life that have devices like this, where we’re just talking to the pieces of technology in our lives and getting things done?
In the future, which isn’t too far off thanks to Assistant and Home, I can ask Google when a movie is playing at my local cinema, and even reserve myself some tickets, without ever touching my phone or tablet. (Despite the fact I’ll be able to do the same thing on my phone, I probably won’t, because I still liking tapping my phone’s display, thank you very much.)
We’ve got Google and Amazon going head-to-head in this market right now, and how much longer do you think it’s going to be before Microsoft puts Cortana on something similar to Home or Echo? We can already talk to Cortana on Windows PCs running Windows 10, and Cortana’s integration into the Xbox One will only get better over time, I imagine. I have no doubt that Microsoft is working on figuring this out, and now that Google and Amazon are knee-deep in this type of market, the race is on.
I don’t think Apple necessarily has to jump in, but could you imagine if they did? Apple’s brand has a tendency to shove technology and devices and platforms into the limelight, and millions of people adopt it in turn. Even if you know you’d never buy an Apple product that’s similar to Google Home, it’d still be great for the niche to see its arrival.
Google Home’s the best part of Google I/O for me because it means we’re inevitably stepping closer to this technology being cheaper, more readily available — even if Google Home isn’t cheap right out of the gate. But hopefully it is. After all, in Google’s demo video for the product the family had like 17 of the things littered around their house, so, hopefully the product isn’t priced through the roof.
What was your favorite announcement from Google I/O? What do you think of Google Home, and do you plan on buying one, depending on price? And, perhaps most importantly: What do you think Android N should be called? Let me know!