Friday, 5 January 2018

Google Home Mini

I ordered a google home mini on a black friday sale after seeing a commercial and decided we needed it.  It played music and you could send recipes to it and all kinds of fun stuff.  As it turns out, the commercial made it sound way better then what it was.  The girls love it and use it all the time so in that sense it was definitely worth the $40 I spent on it.  
  • The girls check the weather and time in New York (Penelope) and Paris (Finley) daily as well as here in Calgary.  
  • They love asking it for animal sounds - especially a fox.  
  • They get it to tell them jokes all the time and you can be specific with the type of joke it tells you.  Like if you want a math joke, you can say hey google tell me a math joke and it does.  The reason I used math as an example is because Greg always asks it for a math joke.  I hate math and would never do such a thing. 
  • You can tell it to add to your grocery list but it does it through the google home app which I then have to go through to get it onto my superstore click and collect app.  I wish it would sync to all apps not just the google supported ones. 
  • Apple got the google calendar app and I love it so much.  I use it to keep track of things digitally because I don't carry around my paper planner or calendar which are my favorites to use.  So I can ask google home what my day is like and it will tell me the weather, everything on my schedule and then gives me the latest news at a ear piercing volume.  
  • I can't stream my apple music on the google home mini and I find that to be infuriating. Apparently with the Home Mini, I can only stream from Google Play + Spotify.  Both have free streaming services but google's is awful and Spotify's is only slightly better.  Some research has shown me that the Amazon Echo is the same way in that you can only stream Amazon music but that would have worked better for me considering we have Amazon Prime and free access to their streaming services although I haven't been able to ever find the free music.  I wish this is something that they would change.  I also find it difficult to get her to actually play what I want her to play via spotify too. 
  • If you have a chromecast, this google mini works well for that which is really good for me considering I have no idea how to chrome using my iphone and the chromecast itself haha.  If you are not familiar with a chromecast, it is basically a little device that allows you to view various streaming service apps from your smart phone or tablet onto your tv.  
  • If you have the nest or ecobee for your furnace and lights it will work with that too. I would like to have stuff like that but Greg doesn't see the benefit of things like that. If you know him you will  understand what I mean when I say stuff like that hahaha.
  • Google home doesn't access Google Docs which is infuriating because that is where I store all of my recipes that I have collected over the years.  When you ask it to find a recipe on google docs it will give you some weird explanation on what it does and is.  
  • If you ask google for a recipe it will find you one.  I have noticed that it tends to always find ones from and it makes me wonder if it is somehow connected to google but have yet to be bothered to do any research about it.  I have also noticed that when I am googling a recipe on my iphone, it will have a `send to google home` option which is kinda nice.  If you ask her to find a specific recipe from a specific website it does not or at least hasn't  yet for us.  It does do a really good job of reading the ingredients and instructions to you though.
  • The google home comes in handy when you are curious about something and can just ask them something and then they find it on the internet for you.  Sometimes it will say that it is doesn't understand and that it is still learning and sometimes it will surprise you and answer your question.  For example, we asked it how the dab came to be and it turns out it was originally started by a rap group out of Atlanta but made famous by Cam Newton, quarterback of the Carolina Panthers.  The more you know right?
There is probably more features that I haven't discovered yet but for now that is what we use it for.  If it could just stream apple music, I would be the happiest human around.  Or if I could make a youtube playlist and then have that streamed by the mini since I believe youtube is owned by google......perhaps some more research is needed haha. 

For $40, it isn't a terrible product but I certainly wouldn't pay a penny more for it then that.  I have friends who have multiple minis and the larger sized one and run their whole house through it but seeing as I how I am primarily apple based and refuse to change, I don't get as much use out of it as I thought I would.  I would love the Apple Home Pod or whatever it is called when it is released this year, but I saw that it was going to be sold for $349 USD which means even more $$$$ in Canada, which I think is just ridiculous.  My hope is that sales are low and prices get cut hahah because I think I am more better suited to that then this one.  

Do you have a google home system?  What do you love or hate about it?  Any special things it can do that I might not know aboutÉ

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