GH Wall Mount Adapter: Here is a nifty adaptor to mount your GH on a wall. It is sold by Amazon and by a seller on eBay. I found by placing my GH between my kitchen and living room, I could cover the areas with one less GH.
This solved the problem of two GH's perking up on the wake word. The price is $15 and is quality made. The ring mid way up provides good security from falls. This product goes under the Humancentric brand name.
What does the future hold?
The near future of devices and features are usually leaked on some of the websites. Here are some that I heard about. Some might be on my personal wish list too. (dream on Dave)
Setting up Smart Plugs and wifi lamps with timers and alarms natively. This will not likely happen due to the many Home Control apps that can connect to the GH. But in the new app, you can turn on and off smart plugs and some lamps. If you have a Smart Display (Lenovo or Google Home Hub), you'll be able to control lights from the main screen. But alas, no setting up natively.
As of this writing (late August 2018), there is a flood of new product news for GH enabled speakers, and video screens. I'm adding a special section on the new devices that cross my doorway. (Update: I did buy the Lenovo 10 inch Smart Display after all because a store offered one for $100 off the regular price. I'm working on a page now to cover this product.)
Problems & Pitfalls (New 10/18)
Insignia Portable Speaker: Several, including myself found an issue with the battery operated Insignia speaker at very low volume levels. I had one at my bedside to lull to me asleep. At these low volumes, the audio was distorted to the point of cutting off. This no doubt is because they wanted to increase battery life by shutting off at low volumes. I recommend using the smaller Insignia or other GH device at your bedside.
GH app crashing: In mid summer 2018, I noticed the GH app on my Android boxes and Android tablet would crash when I attempted to adjust a routine. This was after Google added the timed routines feature. The suggestion by the Google staff was to delete all routines and start over. This was not what I wanted to do as I had over 100 routines.
Google also suggested opening a new account. That would have broken other features. I wasn't sure that any of this would fix the problem as I thought the problem was at Google Central. My iPad (and Android phone) still worked fine, so I kicked the can down the road.
In the meantime, I set up another account for a friend on the same Android box and routines worked fine. So I bit the bullet and deleted all routines (after making a list of what routines I had).
I had to use my iPad to do this, and then I added back the routines, using my Android box. Everything now works! I didn't add all routines back in as this was my chance to remove unused routines. It might be my imagination, but the routines now seem to work faster.
Links & Resources
Google App Instructions How to operate
the new Google Home App
Tech with Brett on YouTube
Chigz Tech Reviews on YouTube. Excellent Android TV box reviews.
Radio.Garden A great way to find stations by location.
9 to 5 Google Google Home info.
IoT Podcast Timely information on Smart Homes and Google Home and more…
My Google Home Empire (New!)
Here is what I have in my little 5 room house. Please don't call the Hoarders Show!
Speakers & Screens
Original Google Home — 4 speakers, 2 in use
Google Home Mink — 1 speaker, not in use
Small Insignia Speaker — 2 speakers, in use
Large Insignia Speaker — 2 speakers configured stereo, occasional use
Lenovo Smart Screen — 1 in use
3 Smart Plugs connected to fans (summer only)
10 Smart Plugs connected to lights
1 Smart built-in wall switch
1 Smart switch connected to humidifier (winter only)
1 Smart bulb porch light
1 Smart bulb behind tv set (bias lamp)
2 Smart bulbs I turn on when stove is on
1 Grace Digital Encore+ on standby
1 Grace Digital Mondo+ on standby
The power consumption of the always on devices are about 16 watts for the speakers and 9 watts for the smart plugs. That is about 220kWh per year.
At current rates that is about %46 per year.
Although not calculated, by better control of my lights and fans, I'm guessing the $46 cost is mostly offset by lights that are turned off when not in use.
The smart switch on the humidifier is there because the electric usage can be monitored.
Google Customer Service
In a word — Excellent! Let me tell you what happened. Over the weekend I found that my favorite radio station was gone. Yikes!
I am an independent kind of guy and like to figure out stuff for myself. I spent the next few days researching this problem. I found that the station was available on two other venues. While I was Googling this problem, I came across a Google help page. (I was actually researching which codecs were supported by the GH.)
While on the page, I saw a text chat window in the corner, asking if they could be of any help. I was hesitant as this wasn't important, in my mind. But I quickly stated the difficulty that I was having. Sam asked more questions, and had me try things like resetting. Nothing helped. But as we talked, he sensed that I wasn't quite a beginner and he adjusted his comments to my level.
When he ran out of ideas, he said he would senc this to the next level and offered that this person would call or e-mail me. So I gave my phone number and e-mail and signed off.
A while later I got an e-mail from another person and we discussed what was happening. An offer was made to call, and I agreed.
The next morning I was asked what time to call. But before I answered I tried the station and it worked! I said that everything was working. The person said there was a problem in one of their updates.
Wow! What service. In this day of click-buy-pay, real service is an anomaly. So I am grateful that first the problem was solved, but also that I got great attention to my difficulty. I've always been full in with Google but this is even more reason to stay so. (I did give them the url of this website and they thought it was terrific that I was helping people with their GH questons.)
Thank you all so much for visiting and actually making it through the pages! There is so much the GH can do, and the development hasn't stopped.
The GH had a somewhat slow start at the end of 2016. It was smart, but didn't do a lot around the house. But after each month or two, the updates would float in and it was like a whole new gadget.
Others may disagree with me, but I think the Google Home is way above it's competitors. The other gals built their machines mainly to sell you more stuff. Google does use your data, but in a friendly way (I think). You don't have to be in their eco system and walled garden.
With the Google Home, you have the freedom to wander around and try different services. You can use different computers to work with your device.
I think that in ease of use, the GH does need some polish. It's main long time competitor is not real super easy to use either. But all this will come as we go.
This article by no means completely covers everything your GH will do. These are my favorites. Nose around the app to learn more.
This article began in March 2018 as a one page tutorial for my friends who recently bought or who were planning on buying in to the Google Home eco system
This section is up to 6 pages including the screen and cast devices. When new features are added or changed, I'll be back to adjust the pages. Currently I'm revisiting the article about two times per month.
Anyway, enjoy your Google Home device, no matter who manufactured it! Dave