The Google Home App is an all-encompassing app that takes the place of every other app in your smart home arsenal. For instance, if you have different lights, cameras and music, you don’t need to search through three different applications to control them, Google will do it for you. You can ask your Google assistant a question, turn off the lights in your kid’s room and browse Spotify’s suggestions right from the Google Home App. Below we’ll go through the basic functions of each tab on the app.
How Much Does it Cost?
The application itself is free and works on both Android and iOS devices (Android has a few extra, non-essential features). The cost of this system comes from the smart devices themselves with a basic Google Home Mini, a great introduction to smart home tech, costing you $50 and all the way up to the Google Home Max at $300. Google has included everything you can imagine with smart home technology and you can easily spend $1,000 on different devices, but we’ll go into more detail about that below.
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What Are the Functions of the App?
The Google Home App can do just about everything for your smart home devices. Follow below for the basics of each tab moving from left to right on the screen:
The home tab of the Google Home App is where you will spend most of your time because you can access all of your devices. You can add devices, talk to people in other rooms, group devices together, change the temperature on the thermostat and give other members of your family access all from one page. This section of the application takes all guess work out of smart home technology. You won’t have to scroll through bunch of apps looking for the Nest camera app, it will show everything all on one page.
This section of the app will let you know exactly what is going on around your home. The Google Home App will tell you what music is playing in what room, what lights are on outside, see what is playing on you Chromecast, etc. It will also give you some suggestions about other products or applications you may like. You can also add devices to the Google Home App right from the Discover tab. Google will detect a device and notify you about setting it up.
Google is famous for their algorithms and the browse tab is where those algorithms shine. It takes everything you watch on YouTube, Netflix and Chromecast, everything you listen to on Spotify, Pandora or Google Play Music and gives you suggestions as to what you may like to see or watch. For the right person, this is a beautiful feature.
The settings tab is nothing special. It has all the basic functions you would expect from a settings menu. All that I can say, and this goes for all Google products, is make sure you are connected to the correct account. If not, you will change settings and features on devices that aren’t yours and get really angry because the app isn’t doing what you expect it to do.
What Devices Work With the App?
The Google Home App is only as good as the devices it is connected to. And when you are looking for devices, make sure they are compatible with Google!
Google’s suite of products includes all Nest products (thermostats, cameras, hubs), JBL speakers, August smart locks, Phillips Hue lights, and–of course–all Google products. There are a ton of other devices that you can connect but these are the all-stars.
Every smart home device comes with incredibly intuitive setup instructions and connecting them to the Google Home App is a breeze. Where some of these hurt you is the price. A standard Google Home may be cheap but everything else is not. The Nest suite of products will easily get you spending $1,000 and the further you get down the wormhole, the more expensive you get. Smart plugs can run you $14 a pop, and you will buy a bunch of them. Even the Orbit B-hyve smart faucet timer can get up to $100.
In the end, you put in what you get out. If you are willing to pay for extra security and comfort, then go for it.
Is it Well-Designed?
In my opinion, everything Google is much more innate, cleaner and smother than other smart home brands. The scrolling dashboard that is the home tab gets right to the point. No extra clicking through pages to find that specific light you want to turn off. No questions about what group you are looking at or what room you need to control. And, if you have more Google products (even Gmail), you are probably already familiar with the look. Google takes minimalism and intuitive UX to the next level, never compromising anything and always making it easy for the user. A person of any age can get through the Google Home App with no problem.
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