In the fantastic fantasy world of Google I/O, Google just reinvented phoning your mum.
The clever bit is that you and your spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend/flatmates can all say “phone mum” and get a different result, ie: their mum, not yours. Cos if that didn’t work, that would be embarrassing.
You can then speak to your mum, or indeed anyone else, just like you’re talking to them on your phone.
This is similar to what Amazon is pushing with its Echo Show, but without the video element. This is not a million miles removed from what you can do with your phone, but it is an interesting addition to Google Home’s skill set.
Also unveiled were access to free Spotify via Home, as well as the previously-supported premium version, support for Deezer, which is great for the 7 people who use that
Perhaps more usefully there’s the ability to link your phone and other devices to Home via Bluetooth, so it becomes a Bluetooth speaker.
The sound quality of Google Home is not great, even compared to Amazon Echo, but that is definitely a useful function.
Also announced were greater voice control over video channels, with the ability to access your Youtube home page and ‘watch now’ lists, and the ability to order food, in supported areas.
As Home and Echo’s skill sets converge more and more, it’ll be interesting to see how one outdoes the other but for now, Echo in the UK remains comfortably ahead on most fronts, with Home playing catch up.
In the USA, Home is already breathing right down Echo’s neck.