The smart speaker now offers Netflix voice controls.
Google has announced several new features for its Home smart speaker. As part of the update, the device now lets customers control Netflix playback and access Google Photos with voice commands.
In order to enable voice controls for Netflix and Google Photos, Home owners will need to pair the speaker with a Chromecast. Once the Netflix app is linked to the Google Assistant (instructions here), users can simply say things like "Ok Google, play Stranger Things from Netflix on my TV" or "Ok Google, play Love Actually on Netflix on my TV" to access shows and movies. Likewise, customers can also control playback with commands like "Pause this episode" without having to use a remote.
In addition to Netflix, Home can control Google Photos on Chromecast-connected TVs as well, allowing users to say commands like "Ok Google, show my photos of Lake Tahoe on my TV" or "Ok Google, show my photos of selfies at Christmas on my TV" to access specific albums and search for images. Finally, Google has added a few holiday themed features as well, allowing users to play festive songs from various music apps by simply saying "Ok Google, play Hanukkah music" or "Ok Google, play Christmas music." Likewise, customers can also track Santa via Google maps by saying "Ok Google, where’s Santa right now?"
The Google Home smart speaker features a high-excursion driver with a dual passive radiator design, offering clean highs and deep lows for Hi-Fi streaming audio. The device also includes hidden LED lights and a capacitive touch surface on its top face, and buyers can customize the base with different colors and finishes. Using the new Google Assistant experience, Google Home lets customers ask questions, enjoy entertainment, stream music, and manage everyday tasks through conversational speech commands. Music support includes playback from services like Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, and YouTube Music. Likewise, users can also stream audio directly from a smartphone to their Google Home by casting tracks from 100+ Chromecast-enabled apps on Android or iOS devices. In addition, customers can get real-time answers to various questions through their Google Home using integrated Google Search, offering easy access to weather forecasts, stock market info, traffic updates, sports news, and more.
Google Home is now available for $129 from the Google Store, Best Buy, Target, and Walmart. And as an added bonus, buyers who purchase a unit before the end of the year will also receive 6 free months of YouTube Red.