Google Home Hub four days in

Google Home HubAt four days in the Google Home Hub has been assigned to the kitchen and seems primarily to be used for recipes, how-to videos (how to peel a rutabaga, how to cook rutabaga,) displaying kid pictures, reminders, shopping lists, and music. There’s the occasional entertainment video too.

Kim has been using it for new and interesting things using recipes Google Assistant looks up, I tend to make improvisational veggie abominations and generally only consult the internet when trying to remember the world’s greatest pancake batter recipe so I use it more for entertainment and adding things to my shopping list when I discover the two younglings have chewed through another sack of bachelor chow.

Google does a fine job of letting you go step by step in recipes, backing up a step, going forward, watching a YouTube video on rutabagas, watching drunk cheffery on YouTube, etc. What it doesn’t do particularly well is work with YouTube TV, which is a bit of a pain as sometimes you just want to cook that thing you recorded.

What it also doesn’t do particularly well is stay clean in a kitchen environment. While wiping off some flower-laden fingerprints is a fairly easy task, the cloth mesh for the speakers concerns me a bit. I’ve moved it into a place it’s significantly less likely to suffer from accidental pizza sauce explosion though.

The visual Google Assistant OS is pretty sweet. You can see what it’s hearing which is pretty good for trying to figure out quickly what it’s mishearing. Kid asking for Mandy Moore’s “When will my life begin” you can see it’s misheard and it about to play something about preparing for when life ends.

Home Hub and YouTube TV

YouTube TV somewhat works here – I’d mentioned there’s no way to launch it from the Home Hub I can find, but I can open a phone, cast to the Home Hub as a display, and watch YouTube TV that way.

The main issue with that way I discovered is if you start casting something from Phone A and then Phone A accompanies person B to a store to grab flour and avocados, you’ll come back and Google Home Hub will have a message indicating that the content you’re watching requires payment.

What’s interesting is as long as the casting session is connected you can go and do different things and then say “ok Google, open YouTube TV” and that window will pop back. Once the cast is released, no YouTube TV for you.

Can you hear me now? Oh really? You too?

The far field microphones on the Home Hub are a significant improvement over the previous mics the Google Homes have used. Either that or I’ve just got it positioned in a perfect spot. I’ve had the Home Hub in the kitchen pick up living room requests more than once now.

I can walk into the kitchen and just reasonably say “Hey Google, how many quarks in a proton,” and it’ll rattle off the answer. I feel like the other Google Homes I have require vocal effort whereas this requires just talking.

May have to do with positioning, but the mics feel like they’re better.

Space oddity

I had a weird time when Kim was attempting to find her phone using this speaker, it didn’t recognize her. On the old setup as I recall I would associate an account with a speaker, on the new setup it appears I invite a home user.

Same basic idea, however it appears different wording.

I’m oddly enthusiastic

This is pretty good, but it’s not a whole lot of new. It’s just been assembled in such a way as to make it significantly more useful. I think the OS could probably be ported to pretty much any old tablet, although it wouldn’t sound as good or hear as well.

Yeah, I’m digging it. Also having a TV (cast device,) in my kitchen means my house domination of tech is almost complete. Just have to get that hallway without outlets rigged up somehow with some smart picture frames.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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