At Wednesday's event, the company shared two new home speakers, the Mini and the Box.
Fresh off Google's Press Conference yesterday where they announced their new Google Pixel 2, Google Home Max and also Google Home Mini, they also opened up Pop-Up around the country where you can win free donuts and even a Google Home Mini in one of its three colorways.
The Home Mini can function as part of a whole-home coordinated audio system, and if you have multiple speakers, only the closest one will respond. Both speakers are due in December. You won't have to wonder about where your phone has gotten to anymore, as long as there's a Google Home nearby.
If the convenience that comes with locking your private home life into Google's product cycle and advertising machine feels worth it, then you're in luck. If Google had its druthers, I'd imagine the company would prefer its Google Home customers to use all Google and Google-affiliated products: Google Play Music, Google Shopping, YouTube, Nest, Google Calendar, Android, the list goes on. However, aligning with Google may have given Walmart the fastest, most scalable way of getting there. Google has been training the Google Home Max in the wild on thousands of rooms to develop models of these environments and their acoustic qualities, and is using this training data to tweak the speaker's output in real-time.
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Sonos said yesterday that its beginning to roll out a test version of this functionality to some existing customers. The company plans to open up its software platform for developers to create new integrations as well.
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With the launch of Google Home Mini, Google now has rough parity with Amazon in terms of market-penetrating low-end affordability of its smart speakers, but remains at a competitive disadvantage in two obvious dimensions.
At $399, the Home Max isn't really competing with anything from the Amazon Echo line (which tops out at $229) and is even more expensive than the upcoming Apple HomePod ($349).
Neither of these smart speakers is created to play room-filling music.
"As you can imagine, the Mini is a petite speaker that's about 4" in diameter.
"For example, if you order Tide PODS or Gatorade, your Google Assistant will let you know which size and type you previously ordered from Walmart, making it easy for you to buy the right product again", Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google's senior vice president of ads and commerce, wrote in an August blog post.