Google kicked off its hardware event today with a couple of new additions to its line of connected speaker products for the home. The fabric seen on the front of the device was described as being "acoustically transparent" and feels extremely soft, seemingly being identical to the material covering the Google Home Mini.
Google pulled off a major surprise at the Made By Google event as they launched the Google Home Max.
It's available for pre-order right away, and available in seven countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK and USA, including Japan - the new country that was announced at the Google event. It also supports Chromecast, Bluetooth, and Aux In, so you can use the Home Max as your dedicated speaker for your phone, record player, or anything else. To help it fit into all the different types of home decor, the Home Mini will be available in three different fabric colors: chalk, coral, and charcoal.
"The first thing you'll notice is how we obsessed over the bass", said Rishi Chandra, VP of Google Home products.
Perhaps the most intriguing new feature is Smart Sound.
Google's live event at San Francisco is now commencing as we speak. The standard Google Home speaker costs nearly US$130.
Better still, the hands-free calling feature that was only available in the U.S. and Canada is now coming to the United Kingdom, too. Users can simply tap on the earbud to trigger the Google Assistant or change the track. It costs $249 in the U.S. and will be made available soon.
Its relatively low cost means it'll appeal to a wider audience and it's tempting to pick up more than one to really kick your smart home into gear.
But what's the difference between the Google Home Mini and its regular-sized alternative?
Like the Home, the Mini responds to voice commands and can answer queries as well as carry out commands such as streaming music and also controls other internet-enabled devices around the home such as smart lights, thermostats and TVs.