Google just took the lead with a 2-hour keynote address.
Google I/O 2017 marked a massive improvement in Google Home’s capabilities, the importance of which should not be underestimated. With less than a 30 minute slice of the two-hour long keynote address, Google rolled out fresh Google Home features that improve daily functionality of the connected speaker and completely change the possibilities for both requesting and receiving information from it.
Amazon should take note.
Adding push information
It becomes harder and harder to ignore Google Home’s presence.
In what may have initially come across as a small development, Google made an important change to the way Google Home works by introducing what it calls “proactive notifications.” Up to now, Google Home was always listening and waiting for your input — now, it can pulse its lights to let you know it has something to tell you. When you notice the lights, simply say “hey google, what’s up?” and it will give you the timely information that you’ll hopefully find useful. Google says what it pushes will be limited to only the most important information, and if done correctly it can be extremely useful.
This is a huge change to the way you’re expected to interact with Google Home, and has the potential to dramatically increase use by the average Home owner. By proactively pushing useful information, it becomes harder and harder to ignore Google Home’s presence, which creates a loop of using Home more often.
Calling without a catch
One large feature that caught everyone’s eyes in the wake of Amazon’s recent Echo announcements was free calling from Google Home. You can now simply ask Google Home to call any of your contacts, so long as they have a phone number associated with their contact entry in your Google account. This critically bests the Echo in that