Google just revealed a $49 answer to Amazon's Echo Dot

Posted October 05, 2017

The puck will be available all Google Home markets and deliver the full-sized Google Assistant experience.

The Max is an enhanced version of Google Home with stereo speakers, and positioned very much as a rival to the Apple HomePod.

Amazon had also announced something similar for its Echo speaker line last week. Now the focus is hands-free calling on the Google Home.

The Google Home Mini appears dialed in to take the fight directly against Amazon's ubiquitous Echo Dot device.

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If you'd like to control the speaker by physical touch inputs, you can do so by simply tapping or holding the side of the speaker to increase and decrease the volume.

The Home Max was announced at a Google media event in San Francisco on October 4.

It is capable of making calendar appointments, searching the web to answer questions, controlling your smart home appliances and music streams, and is created to be scattered throughout multiple rooms in the home. No more imposing cylinders with AI voices, it's much, much, smaller and just less "tech". In addition, users can search their connected smartphone by simply ringing it when asked to "find my smartphone".

With the Home Mini, Google also debuts Voice Models. It supports "Smart Sound" technology, which auto-changes the sound balance based on where the user is standing in the room.

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Pre-orders for the Home Max open on November 13. Both free and paid Spotify accounts were highlighted, as were YouTube Music and Google Music. Furthermore, it can connect with Chromecast audio devices. It comes in two colors: chalk and charcoal.

A good pair with the smartphone are Google's new Pixel Buds. You get tips and tricks and suggestions for Google Assistant in the Discover section and suggestions for content consumption in the Browse section. They come in a pocket-sized charging case, which also charges the earphones.

In the USA the Max will cost $399. Google is doubling down on bass, while Apple is just being Apple and saying it's awesome. "An assistant can only be truly useful if it knows who you are". The app is available on iOS and Android. It costs $249 in the U.S. and will be made available soon.

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