According to earlier rumors, it was suggested that Google had an Amazon Echo competitor in the works called Google Home, and sure enough the rumors were true. Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai officially announced the device at I/O and even gave a nod at the folks at Amazon who helped lead the way.
However it seems that instead of being a mere Amazon Echo competitor, Google Home will do what the Echo does but it will be able to take things further. For starters, it will support streaming music from the cloud, as well as being able to stream music to it via Google Cast. It will also be able to stream video also via Google Cast to your television.
Now we had previously assumed that Google Now would be the voice assistant on Google Home, but as it turns out Google announced the Google Assistant, which from what we can tell is essentially an upgraded and smarter version of Google Now. It is more conversational in the sense that you can ask complex questions and follow up questions to the previous question without having to be specific.
For example you could ask “What’s the weather like today?” and then follow up by asking “What about tomorrow?” and Google Assistant will understand you. Early voice assistants used to be unable to understand such queries and would treat each query as a standalone which is admittedly rather inefficient.
Google envisions that with Google Assistant, it will allow families to have “conversations” with Google Home. It will allow users to set alarms, timers, and will also support connected objects in the home like Nest (obviously). Google also expects that in the future Google Home will also support cars and other services, like maybe delivering flowers. This sounds like what Amazon is doing with the Echo by adding new features and services over time.
Google Home will feature a sleek design and will also be customizable. The base can be swapped around in different colors and materials, with users choosing from materials like metal or fabric. No word on how much Google Home will cost, but it is expected to be released later this year.