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Google unveils Home Max and Mini

05 October 2017

Just look at that macaron-shaped sweet slice of Google Assistant control - especially in its orange finish (or "Coral" if we're using Google speak).

And there's a good reason for that! You might not have been interested in smart speakers until now, but if you got one free with your new phone, you'd try it out, right? Google showed off the speaker by trotting out Diplo, a DJ who's especially popular with audiophiles. This sits £80/$80 lower than the regular Google Home and is competitively priced, as the latest Amazon Echo Dot costs £50/$50, too. It's a beefed up version of the standard Google Home with more audio muscle and a rectangular design that works in either portrait or landscape mode. Google is also rolling out linked family accounts for Home, so that the device can make household-wide announcements for children in the mornings, to give one of Chandra's use cases. With Broadcasts, you can send a message to your Google Home speakers and have it spoken out loud by the Google Assistant to everyone in the room.

Max supports YouTube Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn, and will play music via Cast, Bluetooth, or stereo aux input from a home stereo. It has a white polycarbonate casing and a custom "acoustically transparent" fabric speaker grille that's available in Chalk or Charcoal.

The Home Max speaker itself is exceedingly minimal. For now, the majority of Google's revenue comes from advertising, but that could change as its parent company introduces hardware devices that require services to run.

Both speakers are capable of all the same machine learning-powered tasks that the original Google Home can do through the Google Assistant.

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Additionally, the Google Home will also be sold in Japan coming soon, and Japanese owners will also be able to take advantage of features like multiple users, just like the above-named countries.

Unfortunately, Google is making this a US-exclusive for now.

You'll find it available through other retailers on 19 October.

If the Dot is the Home MIni's biggest rival, then Google has Amazon beat on sound quality.

Google unveils Home Max and Mini