Sci-tech

Google Home Mini is a fabric covered $49 Echo Dot rival

Google Home Mini is a fabric covered $49 Echo Dot rival”

The Home Max by Google appears to be the strong competition to the Apple HomePod. The ability to use Google Home devices as a speakerphone is coming to the United Kingdom later this week, and users will be able to associate their Google Home with their mobile phone number for caller ID. The Google Home Mini responds to tap gestures on its top to play or pause music, change volume, talk to Google Assistant or switch off the microphone. Its fabric enclosure is durable, yet transparent enough to let through both light and sound. This is apparently coming soon, but the Home Mini wins out here - if you have a £30 Chromecast Audio or other Cast-enabled speakers, it'll give you voice control of house-wide Spotify streaming.

Google's Home Mini will retail for Dollars $49 and can be pre-ordered today with a full release scheduled for October 19th. The Google Home Max features Bluetooth and Aux connectivity and features integrated Google Assistant.

Google is also adding to its hands-free calling feature for Google Home. It uses AI to alter the sound according to the environment you're in, automatically tuning itself to optimise the audio.

With Sonos and Apple emerging as competitors and Amazon launching new models in its Echo line, the market for voice-activated assistants is more crowded than ever. The Google Home Mini is also more stylish than the Echo Dot as in comes in Chalk, Charcoal and Coral colour variants. It packs in a pair of woofers for powerful bass, as well as a feature called Smart Sound that Google says can tune the speaker so you get the best sound in any situation (even if you stick it in the corner of the room). Isabelle Olson takes the stage to comment on the hardware technology of Google Home. This price tag also includes a 12-month subscription to YouTube Red, mostly for access to YouTube Music. Also, Google's free-of-cost Hands Free Calling is coming later this year to the United Kingdom as well. The Google Home Mini is priced at the same $49 as Amazon's Echo Dot, though the company didn't mention package discounts like Amazon regularly offers when purchasing three Dots.



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