First detailed at Google’s developer conference in May, Google Home is a capable, sleekly designed voice-controlled speaker that’s presents the first real challenge to the Amazon Echo. Now, you can officially order one.
Home goes on pre-order today for $129, and will ship November 4. And while Echo has a significant head start, Home makes a pretty compelling case for earning a spot in your kitchen or bedroom come November.
It’s got a more elegant design, for one. You’ll be able to choose between different brightly colored bases, from purple to light blue to gray. We said previously that Home looks like a cross between a large salt shaker and a small vase, and that still stands. Echo’s not unpleasant, but it would maybe feel more at home on the Death Star.
Google’s banking on more than just looks, though. Home can tap into all of Google’s far-reaching resources, giving its owners access to a powerful voice assistant, and to contextual search, leveraging insight into your Gmail, Calendar, and Maps activity to anticipate the most relevant responses to needs.
At least, that’s the plan. Google Assistant can be terrifically useful, but as previewed in messaging app Allo, it can also be pretty dumb sometimes. The good news is that because it’s powered by neural networks, it should improve with time as more people use it. The bad news is that doesn’t help you much today.
Still, at a price that undercuts Echo by a decent chunk and the ability to tap into your entire Googlefied existence, Home has plenty of early appeal. It’ll have even more if its underlying Assistant can live up to its awesome potential.