Google readies new phones, gadgets

Google Home

The Pixel devices are available in three colors and are available for preorder immediately. For customers thinking of buying a smart speaker for the holidays, which one is the better choice? Home runs through Google Assistant, which the company hopes has the power to provide a better experience than Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana.

Google launched an aggressive challenge to consumer electronics giants like Apple and Samsung on Tuesday, introducing a new line of smartphones called Pixel and other gadgets created to showcase a digital helper the company calls “Google Assistant”.

Other than aesthetics, the biggest difference between the two speakers is multi-room support.

The Amazon Alexa voice control service is similar, but it doesn’t deliver the same set of features. The device includes much of the same technology, such as far-field voice recognition, and uses as that of its competitor, the Amazon Echo.

Google Assistant will continue to draw on the company’s data as well as information from users’ connected accounts to alert them to relevant information like flight information, weather warnings and appointments.

He or she has yet to be given a proper name, but Google Assistant is just as useful as those virtual assistants that already have one, if not more.

It will launch in the USA in November, and while Google has no plans to launch Home in the United Kingdom at this time, the company has confirmed it hopes to make it available in the future.

When the whole system is in place, users can use their voices to call up YouTube videos on their televisions or ask for a specific song to play through their non-Google speakers.

This time, Google may have a competitive edge with Chromecast, but Amazon has been in the market for a longer time.

The company will release more information about Assistant for developers in December, and it will also unveil an Embedded Assistant SDK next year to make it easy for hardware makers to integrate the service into their products.

So what made me instantly pre-order the Google Home, despite already having an Amazon Echo which fully suits my needs?

Price: It’s cheaper than the Amazon Echo, costing only $129.

At Google I/O, Google praised Amazon for getting the formula right with voice controls and the Echo. Consumers will be able to use the app to “discover new content and manage (their) Google Home assistant and Cast devices”, according to Google.