Google Mini, a Must-Have!
The google mini is a great starter for someone not sure if they want to turn their home into a smart home. Start with a Google mini (or two! They are very affordable-watch for sales & auctions.) And add a smart light bulb or two. The system is fairly easy to set up, nothing to it at all, if you are tech savvy.
I have several google minis in different rooms in my house now, with google assistant compatible smart bulbs in several of the same rooms. I can turn on my lights by voice command when I walk into a dark room and can turn the lights on and off when in bed. My google home is connected to my home security system (ADT) as well, so I can arm and disarm security and adjust my thermostat by voice.
I can broadcast messages across the different rooms which have google minis. Even when I am not at home. I broadcast my message to my cell phone google assistant app away from home and my message will be heard from each google mini in the house. (Great way to communicate with kids that forget to charge their phones or chronically leave their phones on silent! Or maybe they were just telling me that and they were really just ignoring my calls. Well, can you hear me now? Yes, I know you can, because the whole heard what I just said!)
The google mini is not the most powerful speaker out there, but it is perfect for home use. I have one in the bathroom to listen to while showering or getting ready for work. (Please note, they are not waterproof. Mine is mounted on the wall above my lightswitch. I have one in my bedroom to listen to news and use as an alarm clock. When doing housework, I will broadcast my playlist across ALL the google mini speakers so the music is in stereo and I can move from room to room and keep listening to my music. (The Ramones are my housework standard, but you could easily do an audio book or listen to a news program instead). I put two minis in my kitchen so I have my work music in stereo.
Besides asking Google for random bits of information (what the weather is, is asked most frequently, and the reason I felt completely justified in calling it quits with the yard work this past weekend when google told me the "feels-like" temp was 105 degrees F!) Asking for commute times and locations of nearby commercial businesses is also helpful, as well as math equations and measurement conversions. I can keep track of my shopping lists as well. I notice that I am out of something so I say, "hey google, add shampoo to the shopping list" and it is on the list when I am ready to do my shopping. Before, I used to tell myself that I needed this, that and the other thing from the store and (goofy me) would expect to be able to remember all 30 or 40 items when I got there. It rarely worked out well. Ever walk into a store to buy one thing, just to buy 10 other items and forget to buy what you were supposed to get, forgetting the ONE thing you actually needed? I don't do that anymore! Google Assistant keeps track of my list for me.
Do not forget to set up your routines. You are missing one of the best functions of the google mini if you don't set up morning and bedtime routines. I have a Google mini and smart bulbs in my bedroom. I tell google goodnight, my lights are turned off, security armed, thermostat adjusted, tomorrow's weather is given as well as my calendar items and reminders. Then google asks me what time do I need for my morning alarm. The good morning routine works the opposite. "Hey google, good morning." My bedroom and kitchen lights go on, today's weather given, commute estimates to work, my calendar and reminders are gone over and then the headlines from half a dozen news sources are gone over. All while I am still stretching and trying to figure out how many minutes do I have left before I ABSOLUTELY have to get out of bed! When the news gets to be just too awful to deal with in the morning and I decide to start my day with something that puts me in a good mood, I can either temporarily turn off the auto-news recitation and go straight to my favorite music. Nothing too relaxing or I'll never get out of bed. One current limitation is that routines can only be operated on one google mini. Consequently I do not have "leaving home" routines set up. Hopefully this limiation will be corrected in the future.
All in all, my offspring and I are very happy with our google minis and are finding new uses for them all the time. We can't wait to see what new features will become available next and what new compatible products we can try. (I have a couple of smart plugs for outlets so I have the means to google-fy some electronics that are not actually google assistant compatible. Plug an item in the google compatible outlet adapter and leave the device in on mode. You control the on-off power of this item by voice controlling the on-off power of the outlet it's plugged into. Not sure what I will google-fy next, but I can't wait to try it!Read full review
Verified purchase: Yes | Condition: New