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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide: Google Home #HolidayGiftGuide #Google #GoogleHome #GoogleHomeMini #GoogleHomeMax

(product photo courtesy of www.google.com)

Google Home $79.99 (Holiday Special)

The Google Home, priced for sale right now at $79.99, is a home assistant that one uses to ask to play music, find directions, the weather, etc. It does so many things I cannot list them all here. I will try to do my best but it is literally impossible to list ALL the things a Google Home does, because it does so many things. 

When you get it, first unpack the box and plug it in. Then download the Google Home app from the App Store either on your iPhone or Android phone. The app will help to set up the device. It connects with it and you enter your wi-fi password, settings, which music app you want to use (it can connect to either Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora or You Tube Music. I chose Google Play Music because it is free and you do not need an account and I wanted to try it out and see how the stations were. I think I am going to change it to Pandora or Spotify, because whenever I try to listen to Classic Rock (my station of choice, it sends me to some kind of really old music that I am not interested in listening to at the moment). So I tried saying something like "Hey Google, play The Doors" and I get all kinds of classic Doors, live tunes, Led Zeppelin and Classic Rock. A lot of it is B sides that I have never heard which is interesting. 

It also matches your voice so that it knows who it is speaking to when you ask it,"Hey Google", which is how you wake up the device. The device asks for payment information to be stored in the Google Home app just in case you make any purchases, say from www.walmart.com or another store. All in all it took about 4-5 minutes to set up, which I thought was very easy. The app did the work, asked me all the questions I needed and voilĂ , my Google Home was set up and ready to go!

You can ask Google Home to set an alarm and wake you up everyday or just the weekdays at say 5 am. Ask it to play some jazz. Personally Dave Brubeck is my favorite. Ask it questions like you would www.google.com, such as "Who invented the internet?" or "What sound does a cow make?" I like to set up my alarm, ask it the weather for the next day and ask the latest news briefings. It also has hands free calling. You can even ask it how to say words in other languages! For me that is so much fun since I love to speak other languages. Add your Google Calendar, Reminders, make a shopping list, the choices are just about endless. 

Add smart home features with add-ons to your home that you can purchase from Lowe's or Home Depot. Set up your appliances, thermostat and lights so that they can work with Google Home and have them turn on or off at your convenience. 

New features are being added to it all the time, almost every day and week. That is the great thing about this device, it updates itself and keeps updating itself. Who knows what features will be added next... 
Google Home Max
Google Home Mini

There are other versions of the Google Home available too. There is the Google Home Mini ($29.00), which is just a mini version of the Google Home and the Google Home Max ($399.00). These are current prices and may reflect holiday deals. The Google Home Max was built for music and is the ultimate is high fidelity. It has smart sound, which uses machine learning to automatically adjust the equalizer settings to match the acoustics of your room. This gives you the most balanced sound, wherever you put it. The Google Home Max also has acoustically transparent fabric; dual 4.5" woofers for deep, balanced bass; rigid housing to keep the audio composed and custom tweeters for crystal‑clear highs. 

I'm very happy with the Google Home. It does everything I need it to do. I would like to get some of the smart features enabled to see how those work. My only concern is that those can be accessed through their wi-fi passwords easily, so I am a little uneasy but I think it might be worth it in the end to control a few devices in the house, such as the thermostat, at least. 

The Google Home would make a wonderful gift this holiday season. It is priced right and can be a great gift for anyone. And I mean anyone. Get yours from Verizon this holiday season, as they have dedicated staff that are very knowledgeable about the Google Home.

Happy Holidays!

Marie Papachatzis

(This was sent for consideration)

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