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09-11-2016, 03:18   #1
bk
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Google Home FAQ

Table Of Contents
  • What is Google Home?
  • Can I buy a Google Home in Ireland?
  • How do I set up my Google Home?
  • How do I get the Google Home app working properly in Ireland?
  • Will I be able set my home and work location to my home in Ireland?
  • Will I be able to ask from commuting times for address in Ireland?
  • Will I be able to ask it the weather for my location?
  • Will I be able to play Irish and UK radio stations on it?
  • Will I be able to play Spotify Premium on it?
  • What other music services does it support?
  • Can I play music on it from my phone using Bluetooth?
  • Can I plug it into my Hifi, AV receiver or other high end speakers?
  • Can I connect Google Home to other Bluetooth speakers for better audio quality?
  • Does Google Home have a cheaper alternative similar to Amazon Echo Dot?
  • What Home Automation devices does it support?
  • Can I make calls via Google Home (like a speaker phone)?
  • Can I send text massages via Google Home?
  • Can it stream music to Chromecast Audio?
  • How do you get streaming to Chromecast Audio's in Ireland?
  • Can you play your own music that you have uploaded to Google Music?
  • Google Home in the US comes with 6 months of free Youtube Red, does that work in Ireland?

What is Google Home?

Google Home is a device that includes a speaker and microphones that sits in a room (e.g. living room, kitchen, bedrooms, etc.) and includes Google Artificial Intelligence that can respond to your voice commands, to answer questions, play music and control home automation devices like thermostats and lights.

Can I buy a Google Home in Ireland?

No, Google Home is currently only available in the US. However if you can buy one while in the US or import one into Ireland, then it mostly seems to work very well in Ireland with minor tweaks.

How do I set up my Google Home?

You use the Google Home app to set up the Google Home. See the next questions for more details to get it to work properly in Ireland.

How do I get the Google Home app working properly in Ireland?

On iPhone at least, the Google Home app only partly works in Ireland. In order to get it working fully, you need to temporarily change the iPhones region to US, here is how you do that:

1) Go to iPhone Settings
2) Go to General
3) Go to Language and Region
4) Change iPhone Language to "English (US)"
5) Change Region to "United States"

You will now be able to fully set up the Google Home. Once you are finished configuring it, you can then change it back to Ireland.

Will I be able set my home and work location to my home in Ireland?

Yes, any address that works in Google Maps (which is most) can be entered.

Will I be able to ask from commuting times for address in Ireland?

Yes, you will get much the same results as you would get from Google Maps.

For instance if you set your home and work address you can ask it:

"How long will it take to get to work [by walking/cycling/public transport]?"

Note it defaults to car journey times, but you can also specifying walking/cycling/public transport and it will adjust the result accordingly as you would get on Google Maps.

You can also ask it questions like:

"How long will it take to get to Cork from O'Connell Street Dublin?"

Will I be able to ask it the weather for my location?

Yes, for instance you can ask it the following and it will give you the result for your set home location:

"what is the weather like?"
"what will the weather be like tomorrow?"
"what is the temperature?"
"will I need an umbrella?"

You can also ask the weather in different locations:

"what is the weather like in Cork"
"what is the weather like in New York"

Will I be able to play Irish and UK radio stations on it?

Yes, tune in works very well on it, for instance you can simply ask it:

"play RTE 2FM"
"play Newstalk"
"play BBC Radio 1"

However unforunately RTE Radio 1 doesn't currently work.

Will I be able to play Spotify Premium on it?

Yes and it works very well. For instance you can ask it:

"Play rock"
"Play music"
"Play playlist Topsify UK Top 50"

What other music services does it support?

It also supports Google Music and Youtube Music, however I don't have these services myself, so I can't confirm that they work yet. Will update this guide once confirmed.

Can I play music on it from my phone using Bluetooth?

No, Google Home doesn't support Bluetooth. However if your apps support Chromecast Audio, then you can use that to cast audio to your Google Home.

Can I plug it into my Hifi, AV receiver or other high end speakers?

No, Google Home has no audio out port. However you can indirectly play music from Google Home out of better speakers by using Chromecast Audios attached to speakers. However there is currently a bug with Chromecast Audio working in Ireland, see below for more details and a work around.

Can I connect Google Home to other Bluetooth speakers for better audio quality?

First of all, Google Homes audio quality is pretty good, probably as good as most Bluetooth speakers. But in case you have really high end ones, then the direct answer is NO as Google Home doesn't support Bluetooth. However if your Bluetooth speakers also have an audio line in, then you could indirectly use Chromecast Audio to cast (stream) the audio from Google Home to the bluetooth speaker via Chromecast Audio.

Does Google Home have a cheaper alternative similar to Amazon Echo Dot?

No, not for the moment.

What Home Automation devices does it support?

For the moment the list is short, but likely to grow in time:

- Philips Hue (lighting)
- Nest (Thermostat)
- Smartthings (lights, security systems, etc.)
- IFTTT

Can I make calls via Google Home (like a speaker phone)?

No support for this for the moment.

Can I send text massages via Google Home?

No, not for the moment.

Can it support multiple accounts? For instance different Spotify accounts, todo lists, calendars, etc. for different family events?

No, not for the moment.

Can it stream music to Chromecast Audio?

In the US yes, but there is currently a bug with this feature in Ireland. See below for more details.

In the US, you can stream music from your Google Home, to multiple Chromecast Audio's, to create a multi-room audio system similar to Sonos.

How do you get streaming to Chromecast Audio's in Ireland?

Unfortunately streaming to Chromecast Audios isn't working in Ireland. The reason for those is that the Chromecast Audio's need to be upgraded to Firmware 1.21 in order to get this functionality, but this firmware update hasn't been rolled out to Ireland yet and they are currently stuck on firmware 1.2.

There is a work around however. If you use a US VPN service and connect your phones and Chromecast Audios and then reboot them, they should then receive the required firmware upgrade.

Can you play your own music that you have uploaded to Google Music?

Sort of. Google Music allows you to upload up to 50,000 of your songs to their service for playback, but at the moment this is only partly working with Google Home.

You can't play songs you have uploaded by name, artist or album, but you can add them to a playlist and then play that playlist on Google Home.

Google Home in the US comes with 6 months of free Youtube Red, does that work in Ireland?

No, Youtube Red service isn't currently available in Ireland and thus you can't make use of this deal.

Last edited by TCP/IP; 18-11-2016 at 10:29. Reason: Latest Updates From BK
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21-11-2016, 11:54   #2
kciaran
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Great list - I LOVE mine and even find the wife and kids using it extensively - high praise as they don't do tech a lot of the time.

The RTE Radio 1 thing is driving me barmy though - cannot figure out how to do this by voice alone and there doesn't seem to be any decent explanantion for it.

I am sure it will eventulally though
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22-11-2016, 11:40   #3
darth_maul
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Can someone try saying "play 88.5 RTE radio one on Tunein radio"
This works with google now on android
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22-11-2016, 13:11   #4
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Yup that works - well done and thanks.

What a faff though compared to

"Play 2fm"

which works perfectly well.

Cheers

Ciaran

PS

"Play 88.5" also works
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22-11-2016, 13:46   #5
darth_maul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kciaran View Post
Yup that works - well done and thanks.

What a faff though compared to

"Play 2fm"

which works perfectly well.

Cheers

Ciaran

PS

"Play 88.5" also works
Cool I can try get one now, that was a major stumbling block
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22-11-2016, 23:32   #6
bk
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Been playing around with it tonight and have learned lots of new things about it.

First, it seems the Chromecast Audios have now gotten the update, without the need for the VPN trick. Working well now for multiroom audio.

Set up IFTTT and it seems to be working great. I've created a bunch of IFTTT apps to control my Logitech Harmony and can now turn off tv, turn on tv, turn on now tv, turn on shield tv, turn on chromecast audio (along with AV and speakers), etc.

I also have a Nvidia Shield TV, which is an Android TV and Google Home works with it, I can say:
"Turn on Shield TV" (IFTTT -> Logitech Harmony)
"Play <video name> on TV" and yup it will start playing the video from youtube on the shield TV.

Will the video is playing you can then say "pause video", "resume video", "stop", "next video", etc.

It is a cool demo to impress the inlaws, though I admit it is off only limited real use, at least for now. In reality you are going to browse youtube with the remote, but it does come in handy when playing a play list and you are skipping past videos/songs, etc.

I've gotten it working partly with my Netatmo Termostat via IFTTT. Unfortunately, the Netatmo IFTTT channel is a little limited, you can't ask it for it's current temperature, target temperature or if the boiler is on, nor can you set it to a specific temperature x that you define by voice.

However so far I've created two IFTTT recipes:
- Turn boiler * on - sets the thermostat to 22c for 2 hours (more then hot enough for me, by the way you can adjust the temperature and the length of time when setting up the recipe).
- Turn boiler off - sets the thermostat to it's default schedule mode, which in my case is pretty conservative and usually means off.

* I use the word boiler, as heat seems to cause issues as it is what expects Nest to be using I think.

I haven't created them yet (don't think I really need them), but it also looks like you can get it to set to away mode, frost-guard mode, therrmostat off and switch schedule.

Sp pretty good, but more limited then what the Echo can do with Netatmo and much more limited then Siri. But hopefully it will improve when Google officially open up the developer API n December.

I found you can change the colour of Philips Hue lights by saying:
"Change <light/room name> to red"

the one catch is it is hard to set them back to white! It seems you have to say "soft white" of "bright white", but even then, it doesn't seem to be understanding my accent well and is only working about 1 in 4 times for setting white.

Anyway, overall pretty cool so far
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23-11-2016, 09:25   #7
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Haha, I've created a IFTTT applet where the other half says "Food is ready" and I get a notification on my phone!
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23-11-2016, 12:47   #8
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Thanks for the feedback bk.

Have you tried using scene names for changing the light colours with voice? Or tried dimming/un-dimming lights with voice?

I'm trying to decide between GH and Echo, had decided GH based on your feedback re the radio stations, but if Hue is not great with it then I might think about going Echo.
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23-11-2016, 13:07   #9
bk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoardsMember View Post
Thanks for the feedback bk.

Have you tried using scene names for changing the light colours with voice? Or tried dimming/un-dimming lights with voice?

I'm trying to decide between GH and Echo, had decided GH based on your feedback re the radio stations, but if Hue is not great with it then I might think about going Echo.
Scenes don't currently directly work, but I believe you can get scenes working indirectly via IFTTT. I haven't tried yet, but I'll try this evening.

Yes you can dim/un-dim lights by voice, with a variety of commands:
- "Dim living room lights" - I think it sets it to 40%
- "Set living room lights to 20%" - Absolute
- "Dim living room lights by 20%" - Relative

Setting colours works easily and well too:
- "Set living room lights to red"
- "Set living room lights to blue"

It is only setting them back to white that I'm having a little bit of difficulty with. I figure I can work around that by using scenes via IFTTT.

On the whole despite this one issue (and lack of direct scene support) on the whole I think GHomes support for Hue works better then Echo due to slightly better voice recognition. Even though I've both the GHome and Echo in the same room, I'm now using GHome to control the lights.
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23-11-2016, 14:19   #10
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Thanks bk, that's really helpful input, much appreciated.
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24-11-2016, 08:01   #11
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If I pick pne up in the States, presume all I need is a plug adapter?
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24-11-2016, 08:41   #12
bk
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If I pick pne up in the States, presume all I need is a plug adapter?
Yes, plus change your phone region to US while setting up, all detailed in the FAQ above.
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24-11-2016, 15:23   #13
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Hi folks - has anyone come across reliable smart sockets like this that can be controlled by GHome?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-Link-Con...=wireless+plug

Something that could be voice activated for those hard to reach places would be great.
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24-11-2016, 15:26   #14
bk
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Belkin Wemo plugs supposedly work with GHome indirectly via IFTTT.

Also any smart plugs that work with the smartthings hub * as GHome supports the smartthings hub.

* Note you will obviously also need a smartthings hub.
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25-11-2016, 15:08   #15
stesaurus
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For anyone caught out ordering a Home before they went down to $99 there may be a chance. I rang Best Buy yesterday and they told me they would price match themselves and refund back the $30. Just need to ring them back on Monday as they are too busy to process at the moment.

I ordered one 2 weeks ago and have a friend bringing it over before Xmas. Between this and all the Hue stuff it's going to be a fun Xmas!
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