Having recently acquired a free Google Home Mini from those wonderful people at Spotify (check out the link here) I thought it was about time to avail you off my experience so far. To get your Google Mini to work you need to set up the Google Assistant on your phone, download the Google Home app from the Google Store or Apple App Store and link them together. Your Mini should take the WiFi settings, etc from your phone and hey presto, you have an internet connected speaker and your first foray into the internet of things (IOT). What can I do with it? What is the point? Once you get the hang of it, it is a pretty useful little device. You can do the following and a lot more:
1. Sync up your Spotify account
Pretty simple really, link your Spotify account and you can talk to your Google Home Mini and it will play music. ‘ OK Google play Van Morrison’ and sure enough it will play Van Morrison until you tell it to stop. If Van Morrison is not your cup of tea you can substitute ‘Van Morrison’ with any artist of your choice. As long as the music is on Spotify you can play it on your Mini.
2. Cast content to the big screen
Use your Nini to tell your Google Chromecast to play content from YouTube and Netflix on the screen it is connected to.
3. Play games with your voice
Okay Google play ‘Songpop’. You get the idea?
4. Stop the kids finding things they shouldn’t
Although the Mini is voice activated and learns your voice, other people will be able to activate it. It might be worth setting up some controls if you have younger children.
5. Sync-up your smart home
Compatible with the likes of Nest thermostats, Philips Hue smart lighting, Hive and Samsung’s collection of SmartThings devices, it includes many of the most popular devices out there. You can tell the Mini to turn lights on or off and your heating up or down.
6. Get the news you want
Okay Google, what is the news? Your IOT connected Mini will tell you the news, the weather for today, tomorrow, it will even tell you what the traffic is like on your commute once it knows where your home and office is.
All in all it is pretty neat little device which will be able to do more and more as time moves on, but think of it like a voice activated internet browser and it opens up like pandora’s box to a world of possibilities.
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