[Update: Assistant hits more countries] Sonos will roll out Google Assistant to the One and Beam next week, 19 months after it first teased it

Update 1: 2019/05/14 6:03am PDT

Google and Sonos have announced that a software update will roll out today in the US to the One and Beam speakers, adding built-in support for Google Assistant.

Update 2: 2019/07/02 3:50pm PDT

As promised, the countries that Sonos said would receive the Assistant update in July are now getting it. Those countries are Australia, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and the

In October of 2017, Sonos introduced the One speaker with Alexa built in, but it promised Assistant would be coming the next year. Read More[Update: Assistant hits more countries] Sonos will roll out Google Assistant to the One and Beam next week, 19 months after it first teased it was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Blast your favorite tunes with $100 off Google Home Max

The Google Home Max is a top-tier smart speaker, with amazing (and incredibly loud) sound. If you’ve wanted to pick one up but you’ve been understandably deterred by the $399 MSRP, now could be your chance: the speaker is $100 off basically anywhere you can find it.

In his review, Ryan said the Google Home Max is the best smart speaker you can buy. Still, 400 bucks is a lot to spend on one speaker, no matter how great it sounds. Read MoreBlast your favorite tunes with $100 off Google Home Max was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Assistant ‘Home Alone Again’ commercial with Macaulay Culkin is pure genius

In a moment fans have waited on for almost 30 years, Macaulay Culkin has recreated some of Home Alone’s most famous scenes. The 38-year-old actor returns in a new commercial as Kevin McCallister – and while the feisty eight-year-old is now fully grown, he’s up to the same tricks previously displayed in the beloved 1990 Christmas classic.

The ad, which advertises Google Assistant and its Google Home products, begins with an establishing shot of the sprawling McCallister house, which in Home Alone becomes the site of Kevin’s ingenious booby traps as he defends it against a pair of robbers.

In just one minute, the video manages to tick several major Home Alone boxes.

“Grown up” Kevin has the house all to himself – which is slightly less of an issue than it was in the original film – and relishes in some alone time.

He runs out of aftershave, echoing the famous scene in which Kevin shaves his face then applies some of the product onto his cheeks, before screaming when he realises it burns his delicate skin. This time around, Kevin simply asks his home assistant to remind him to add aftershave to his shopping list.

Kevin then jumps on his bed, a simple pleasure he enjoys in the 1990 comedy after realising his family is gone.

He watches his favourite movie, the fictional Angels with Filthy Souls, and as he does in one of the most iconic sequences of Home Alone, uses some of the film’s dialogue to talk to a pizza delivery man.

All in all this is the perfect Christmas advert both heartwarming and painfully 2.0 – I won’t spoil all the great moments though. You should really watch this for yourself.

Happy Holidays!

Possibly the best idea for a Christmas movie reboot. What do you think?@madebygoogle and @IncredibleCulk can we make this a real movie for 2020?? #GoogleHomeAlone— Darren Millar (@darrenmillar) December 20, 2018

Ikea's cheap Tradfri smart outlets are now available in a few countries

Ikea’s Trådfri (I just discovered that my keyboard has this weird å character) line-up is one of the cheapest smart home lighting systems, costing only a few bucks per light bulb on average. It started out with limited bulb options, but has expanded to offer light panels, drivers for LED lights, and has just added smart outlets as well. These were announced a while back, but weren’t available to buy until recently. Read MoreIkea’s cheap Tradfri smart outlets are now available in a few countries was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Home supports Brazilian Portuguese, Assistant adds 4 Indian languages beside Hindi

Google Assistant’s language expansion is continuing on. Google had promised that 38 countries and 17 languages would be added in 2018 and many have already launched over the past months. But the year is nearing its end and we’re still a little far from those numbers. Recent additions bring us closer though, as Assistant can now speak four more Indian languages and has expanded Brazilian Portugese’ support to Google Home speakers. Read MoreGoogle Home supports Brazilian Portuguese, Assistant adds 4 Indian languages beside Hindi was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Target's Black Friday sale will include $50 off Google Home and Home Hub

Believe it or not, it’s just two weeks and change until Thanksgiving — and more to the point, Black Friday. Target’s ad is out, and the retailer has got some solid deals on Google goods: $50 off the Home and Home Hub, plus money off the Google Home Mini and both Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra.
It seemed obvious Google’s new Home Hub would be discounted for the holiday season, and those who waited will be rewarded. Read MoreTarget’s Black Friday sale will include $50 off Google Home and Home Hub was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

TV commercial is spreading unsolicited Christmas Cheer via Google Home devices

Today I noticed something odd when I returned home from my morning croissant and hot chocolate. There was Christmas music playing throughout my house on my Google Home speakers. Eager to find the source, I took to Twitter and quickly found out that I wasn’t alone:

So the Currys Christmas advert starts with “OK Google, play Christmas music”. Yeah, that’s not going to get annoying fast
— Rob Game (@RobGameUK) November 2, 2018

Well thank you @curryspcworld Your ad is now activating our @Google Home to play Christmas music! Not funny! It’s not even December! 😡
— Bradders! (@Bradders_71) November 2, 2018

Hey @curryspcworld, your TV ad just triggered my Google Home to start playing Christmas music quite loudly at 10PM. At least get in touch with Google to blacklist your ads like they do with their own.
— antsu (@4ntsu) November 2, 2018

This may just be an innocent attempt to spread some early Christmas cheer, but in a society where even the smallest of things can offend almost anyone, is this an invasion into our personal lives or even a blatant violation of our privacy.
As home smart assistants become increasingly popular, shall we surrender to the fact that it’s something we’ll have to deal with on a daily basis? I can’t help think it’s one of the most intrusive forms of advertising. I’ve already had to ask Google to stop playing the music 4 times today.
The offending TV commercial is included below. I expect we’ll see a few more of these as holiday commercials ramp up over the following weeks.  Have you been affected by unsolicited Christmas cheer?

Our new 2018 Christmas TV advert is here! The Magic of Christmas, upgraded.Shop the Magic of Christmas at Currys PC World here; https://t.co/eIH6rloIoF #ChristmasUpgraded pic.twitter.com/7Legg6Iy6O
— Currys PC World (@curryspcworld) November 1, 2018

Update: It looks like Google is on the case.

Hey Darren, we’re sorry for the trouble — we’re looking into it. If this happens again, you can file a feedback report with the keywords “Home Ad Triggered”. https://t.co/ocLD88nIQW
— Made by Google (@madebygoogle) November 3, 2018

 

Google Home can now add sound effects and music to story time with certain Disney children's books

Some of Google Home’s best features are the ones that are just for fun, like playing the “I’m feeling lucky” game show, listening to different animal sounds, and asking for interesting facts. Google is expanding on that repertoire with storytelling sound effects for certain Disney stories. Parents in the US can activate the new feature by saying “Hey Google, let’s read along with Disney.” Their Home device will then listen along and play appropriate sound effects and music for the chosen story, which can be selected from a library of 11, with more to come. Read MoreGoogle Home can now add sound effects and music to story time with certain Disney children’s books was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Google Home Hub is built to be the center of your smarthome

Google’s next iteration of its Google Home hardware was unveiled today, the new Google Home Hub. The device is Google’s take on the Smart Display device’s that just hit the market last month. The Google Home Hub features multiple speakers and microphones like other Google Home devices, but its main attraction is its large display that’s big enough to be seen from across a room.
With Google Home Hub, Google Assistant can now identify the voices of everyone in your house so that it can deliver personalized answers to your questions. Gone are the days when you ask for your next calendar appointment and you get an item from your wife’s calendar.
Since the display is pretty large, Google also made sure it wouldn’t become an eye sore. The display will automatically adjust its brightness and screen temperature based on the lighting in the room. If you turn down the lights to watch a movie, Google Home Hub will adjust accordingly so that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.
The Home View feature gives you a look at all of the devices that are connected to Google Home, allowing you to see the status of each device so that you can control it or change settings. As you’d expect, 200 million devices from over 1,000 brands. Since not all Google Home users will be upgrading to the Home Hub, Google is also enabling Home View through an app on your phone.

Naturally, there’s deep integration with Nest products. As an example, Google Home Hub’s screen will automatically switch to your Nest doorbell camera as soon as someone rings the bell.
Hub will also work with a new Live Album feature from Google Photos which updates as you take new photos of a specific location, object, events or people. Live Albums can be shared with friends and family so that they can also see your pictures as soon as they are taken. It will filter out blurry shots, duplicates and other images that aren’t perfect for sharing.
Google Home Hub is available for pre-order for $149 starting today and it comes with 6 months free access to YouTube Premium so that you can listen to music without interruption.

Google officially unveils the Pixel 3, Pixel Slate & Google Home Hub

Ladies and gentlemen, Google has officially unveiled the Pixel 3 Pixel 3 XL, Pixel Slate and Google Home Hub. The three new devices match everything we’ve heard about them from their numerous leaks and rumors.
The Google Pixel 3 features a 5.4-inch 1080p display with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC with 4GB of RAM, 12MP main camera on the back, dual cameras up front (with a secondary wide-angle lens for better portrait shots), and Google’s amazing AI-driver computational photography algorithm to deliver the best photography experience offered on a smartphone. The Pixel 3 XL comes with all the same features while sorting a larger 6.3-inch display (yes, that notch is as big as the leaks made it look).

Google Home Hub is the next iteration of Google Home which gives you a display so that the Google Assistant can show you information rather than just talk back to you. It comes in four colors, a floating display that’s large enough to see from across the room and does not feature a camera so that user’s don’t have to worry about it spying on you. Hub will also recognize individual voices so that its responses are tailored to each individual in your house.
Google is still on stage, talking about their unique capabilities and design, but we’ll we putting together a detailed post for each product to give you a closer look at their specs are features.