Google Home enables users to speak voice commands to interact with services through the Home’s intelligent personal assistant called Google Assistant. A large number of services, both in-house and third-party, are integrated, allowing users to listen to music, look at videos or photos, or receive news updates entirely by voice. Google Home also has integrated support for home automation features, letting users speak commands to the device to control smart home appliances. Multiple Google Home devices can be placed in different rooms in a home for synchronized playback of music, and an update in April 2017 brought multi-user support, allowing up to six people to engage with the device. The product itself has a cylindrical shape with 4 LEDs on the top for visual representation of its status, and the cover over the base is modular, with different color options offered through Google Store intended for the device to blend into the environment.
Google Home received mixed reviews. Its design and sound input/output received significant praise, while a lack of interoperability between other Google Assistant-enabled devices was criticized. Critics voiced concerns about Google’s intentions with the device, particularly whether features would be more tightly integrated into other Google products and one critic noted that Google Home’s functionality was more limited than those offered through the Google Assistant on other platforms. Reviewers had very different experiences with the setup process, with one critic praising it while another criticized it, and Google Home’s search-based answers was the subject of debate, with one reviewer praising its capabilities while another highlighted multiple bad-quality answers comparable to fake news.