Google Home Has One Obvious and Fatal Flaw

Posted on November 3, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Hardware, Smart Home with 68 Comments

Google Home Has One Obvious and Fatal Flaw

Last night, I received a shipping notification: The Google Home I ordered is heading my way. But in looking at the first reviews of the device, I can see that this it has one fatal flaw. And it’s a big one.

I don’t usually look at other reviews before I review a product myself. But in this case, I feel a bit out of my depth: My wife and I tried Amazon’s Echo earlier this year, but after just two weeks of use, we decided to return it. It just wasn’t essential. Likewise, my experience with personal digital assistants—Cortana on Windows, Apple’s Siri, and Google Now on Android—has been lackluster too. I just don’t see the day-to-day benefits of this kind of interface.

I’m not a complete Luddite, of course. And I spend much of my time proselytizing the benefits of change while trying to live up to that ideal myself. That old saying is absolutely true sometimes: It’s easier to give advice than it is to take it yourself. So I keep trying.

But Google Home is coming. And in a day or two, my wife and I will once again be confronted by a little alien device in our home, one we can talk to, ask questions of, and direct in various ways.

I casually mentioned the Home’s impending arrival to my wife last night while watching what ended up being a marathon 10-inning Game 7 finale to the World Series. My wife’s take was that it had to be better than the Echo because Google was better at this sort of thing. And I added that a further benefit would be that Google-based queries could extend past this one device; unlike with Echo, we all use Google away from home too, on smartphones and tablets.

But I was troubled by our earlier experiences with Echo. By my wife coldly declaring that “we should just return it” when I asked how it was going. I needed to know what to expect.

So when I sat down bleary-eyed in front of the PC this morning and saw that the earlier reviews were in, I did something I never do.

I read them.

And I read them with intent, not to get a general feeling for the device, but rather to see whether there wasn’t one issue that many reviewers noted, one fatal flaw. And sadly, there is.

Despite being marketed as a device you can use throughout your home—Google envisions a future in which homes have two or three of these things, working in concert—Google Home has no conception at all of multiple users. That is, you must configure it with some Google account. And if it’s your account, that means that your wife, your kids, or anyone else who happens to be within earshot of the thing can run queries. Against your account.

I realize this isn’t unique to Google Home. But we all share a central Amazon account because that’s how a home works. My Google account is … mine. It’s private. As is my wife’s. And my childrens’.

Hm.

As Popular Mechanics’s Eric Limer writes, this limitation is a real negative.

When my wife asks the Home what’s going on today, she’ll hear about my meetings, and the estimated time of my commute. Reminders she sets will go to my calendar, despite our separate Google accounts and extremely different and easily distinguishable voices. For me, the Home is my personal assistant. For her, well, it is still my personal assistant.

This deficiency might be easier to overlook if it didn’t fly in the face of Google’s pitch so directly. The Home is a centerpiece, and clearly meant to be a communal device with options to dig deeper into personal information. To have that second feature only available for a single user feels like a significant cheapening of the dream, a cheapening that feels all the worse the more people are involved.

Computerworld’s JR Raphael offers a similar view.

Google Home has a glaring flaw … everything that happens through that device will be tied to your Google account — no matter who’s doing the talking. And when you think about that in practical terms, there are plenty of situations in which it could be less than ideal.

I dug around and found a new Google help document that uncategorically confirms Home’s single account nature. [It says] “Today, Google Home only supports a single account on the device — but you can use multiple accounts with your music services.” So there is that one exception

You get the idea.

If it helps, Google has confirmed that the single account nature of Google Home is—wait for it—a “known issue.” This suggests that they will fix this problem. But … when? And I’m starting to wonder if I’ll be returning this thing even more quickly than I did with the Echo. Dammit.

 

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Comments (70)

70 responses to “Google Home Has One Obvious and Fatal Flaw”

  1. Avatar

    1561

    Excellent point, Paul. And one I hadn't really considered up until now. I mean, I've seen the Amazon Echo demos and videos, so I know you just sort of ask Alexa about things and she answers them, but I hadn't really considered the plumbing of how that works with multiple users. Maybe it's better than Google Home, but something tells me it's probably not.

    It seems like these devices have been designed for a scenario where someone either lives alone, or the entire household just shares an account. And that's something I've been preaching against for years with my family's PCs. Much to my wife and kids' chagrin, I ended up changing my password/PIN to force them to use their own accounts. And part of it is just getting them in the habit of "this is your space, this is mine." But it's also about cultivating a more personal relationship with technology. I want them to be able to personalize and organize their stuff as they see fit, to have their own games, media, playlists, calendars, files, searches, reminders, etc. Within parental limits, of course. And if they're using their own logins, then my wife and I know who's doing what.

    This has been one of my big frustrations with iPads in the past. There's no concept of multiple individuals sharing a device. You know that's part of Apple's strategy to get you to buy one for each user, but it just feels unnecessary and artificially imposed. I'm not as familiar with Apple TV, but I gather it does kind of awkwardly support multiple accounts. It's disappointing and kind of creepy to know that muddled mess of "everyone is the same user" is now coming to Google Home.

    As frustrated as I've been by some elements of Xbox (specifically, sharing content licenses with my family), I kind of like its approach to multiple users. Kinect learned me, my wife, and each of my kids during setup, and we each have a PIN. Each family member who steps in front of the Kinect or grabs a controller is logged into the device simultaneously, and Xbox kind of manages our collective permissions when/wherever it's applicable. So if I happen to launch DOOM while kids are in the room, then Xbox politely says, "yeah, so your 6-year-old son is in the room, and this FPS where you're a space marine stuck in hell shooting demons with a sawed-off shotgun is a few notches above his parental content control setting." Sure, it can be frustrating when Xbox doesn't log my kids out after they've obviously left the room (I'm looking at you, Kinect), but it's a more sensible strategy than just assuming you're always alone.

    Of course, this requires a bit of forethought and setup, which seems at direct odds with the whole "plug it in and use it" strategy. Maybe there needs to be a concept of a family group of accounts that automatically get added along with the primary account. Microsoft accounts already have the infrastructure to do that, thanks to their Family Safety service. But the hardware also has to distinguish who's interacting with it, who's in the room, and what's appropriate during each and every interaction. That's a much trickier proposition without a camera. Are you going to have each person say their name when they come into the room? Wear some kind of smart pin? Use echo-location? No, probably just use a shared account. Welcome to 1995.

    Maybe when/if Microsoft tackles this space, they can leverage Kinect and Xbox somehow. I have multiple, Kinect-equipped Xbox consoles in my living room and upstairs bonus room. All I really need is a much better version of Cortana that can actually use that hardware and provide a purely voice-based interaction experience.

  2. Avatar

    25

    My decision to cancel mine before it shipped is looking better.

    Ill look at it when it can do 2 accounts.

  3. Avatar

    5997

    Paul, you CAN use multiple accounts on the Amazon Echo.  You merely use the command, "change accounts", to switch to another user account.  It's magical 

     

  4. Avatar

    473

    You would have thought you could voice train it after adding each Google account of the users who will use it and then it knows just by the voice who's account it should be dealing with. Perhaps accompanied by a different colour glow so you are confident it has your account not someone else's.

  5. Avatar

    6844

    It should be able to recognise the voice of the person speaking when things like reminders are concerned. Something like Kinect does with the Xbox...it knows who is playing.

  6. Avatar

    3259

    This reminds me of the Late Show with Steven Colbert where he was making a joke of talking to all the Amazon Echos that were in earshot of the TV while he spoke.  Hope they all didn't order something that night!

     

  7. Avatar

    2371

    Since Google will be scanning any thing asked of Google Home into ways to serve you adds on your devices with screens, I am sure you will not want your wife and kids queries to serve up your ads.

    • Avatar

      5812

      In reply to RM:

      The goal is to give you something much more than something that says I helped you once now listen to this ad. That is thinking small. Think BIG. Big picture is Google has a huge inventory of companies and products looking for a way to sell them. Millions of people are looking for things to buy and at the best price possible provided the friction of doing so is small. Google knows from your search history you've been eyeing a new SONY camera. You've been to B&H to Amazon. Google has a company who wants to sell this. Google's AI knows the prices you've seen already ant the AI reaches out to that company saying "will you beat $749 on a SONY Full Frame camera that Amazon is selling?" A few hrs later that company says yes, $700." Google Home chips and you say" ok google, I'm ready" and Google says "We were able to make a deal with B&H to get you the SONY Full Frame camera you've been looking at for $700 with free shipping. Should I order it for you?" You say yes and send it to my home. Google then says order has been made and a receipt has been emailed to you and it's on your phones Android pay drop down from your phone. This is how the future looks. Google AI is a huge part of that.

  8. Avatar

    6555

    I'd say the fatal flaw is that it comes from Google. They have too much of a history of dropping things and/or replacing them with something else.

    • Avatar

      5812

      In reply to SgtShultz:

      They don't drop anything that is "core" to their business. Look around. Things they killed don't matter for Google's future. Google's AI is their future. The company is built around this from speech recognition to search. People smarter than me have pointed this out. Check out Ben Thompson and his podcasts "Exponent" http://exponent.fm/

       

      • Avatar

        5592

        In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

        And "core" to their business is gathering data about people to sell to their advertising customers. Never forget that's their only real moneymaker, the rest are products to gather data to sell. Unless you are a web advertiser you are not their customer, you are their product.

        • Avatar

          5812

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          Acutally you are wrong with "And "core" to their business is gathering data about people to sell to their advertising customers." Google doesn't sell their data to advertisers. This is common FUD. They are a match making service. Simple as that. If the match is made Google makes $$.  You want to sell your product to males 18 to 24 whom show they like electronics then Google data collection of their users (whom have chosen to share with Google their data) will identify the best matches and surface the ads to them. If they click on it there is some $ for Google. If they buy it then more $$$$ for Google. At no time do they sell your data.

          2. "Never forget that's their only real moneymaker, the rest are products to gather data to sell. Unless you are a web advertiser you are not their customer, you are their product."  This is such a narrow and myopic view that your missing the trees from the forest. Googles one thing that they aim for is to make a product that is so valuable to the user that the user is happy to trade there data for that service. Anything that does that is their goal. Selling advertising is just one way to monetize it currently. 

          Here is an example of their home run product in their minds. They want to get internet to remote parts of the world. How do you pay for that. How do you do it. One thing they are working on is the Balloons that circle the globe. The area pays a few $$ towards the service fees and ads help pay for the rest of the service. Ads are just a tool to help pay for the thing they are trying to provide for very low costs. TV has done this almost since it was introduced. Ads paid for the content on the "free" TV service. This is currently the only way to provide services to all people weather they are rich or poor and everyone is on an equal playing ground. You can say they sell your information but that is simply FUD.

          • Avatar

            5486

            In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

            A better summary of Google's business model I could not have said. So many people think Google just collect and sell data - which is totally, completely and utterly untrue. As do Apple, MS, Amazon etc, they collect large amounts of telemetry data, then collate and anonymize the results. This information is made available to advertisers, and Google's systems will then target their customers with ads based on the data modelling systems they have. Why would Google just collect and sell user information? What actual benefit does that give them?

            MS are now doing this en-mass through Windows 10, because they need to feed their cloud data silo's with as much telemetry information as possible as quickly as possible to try and stay relevant in this market. MS are doing EXACTLY the same as Google, but they're just nowhere near as successful at it. Because Cortana is hard-locked into Bing, this has also given their search engine a boost, because it was very much second/third rate compared to Google (and still is is many respects). Windows 10 is CRITICAL to Microsoft's future because they had no other way of collecting this data. This is the real reason they gave it away for 12 months - suddenly they have 400m devices feeding them telemetry stats. Happy times.

    • Avatar

      5510

      In reply to SgtShultz:

      Really? Like what? What paid product have they dropped?

  9. Avatar

    214

    Better then, that such devices feature a Windows Hello-like ability to recognize users by voice, camera, etc. etc. Perhaps even to participate in a multi-party environment - recognizing each...As sci-fi goes that's not very far-fetched.

  10. Avatar

    6014

    I'm hoping that if Microsoft ever jumps in this space, they will learn from this mistake.

    Right now, all of these devices are useless toys.  I can talk to my phone, it's personalized to me, and it's with me all the time.  The value-add just isn't there to justify either the cost or the inconvenience of this crop of eavesdropping air fresheners.

  11. Avatar

    206

    Yeah...that would seem like a non-starter for anyone but a single person.  So...adding something like Voice Recognition configured to each user's Google account isn't a thing yet?

  12. Avatar

    6750

    Forget about Google Home.

    Google Wifi is far more interesting.

  13. Avatar

    442

    I too have seen the multi-user problem with our Amazon Echo.  But most of things we use that assistant for is not account specific, and we share a lot of the data that comes from it through Amazon's "Family" account setup, so it works out nicely.  We've thought about getting one of the Echo Dots for use only on her account.  They'd have to reside in different rooms though.  I'm sure this is a "gen 1" problem, and will be resolved in time as voice recognition gets better.  Many devices with voice recognition will already recognize one voice from another, so it's just a matter of time.

  14. Avatar

    1341

    It  seems like they are working on it. But my wife and share a family account for shared stuff, so we'll just use that one for now. So shared calendar stuff will be on there, shared notes, etc.  It's not perfect, but it will work.

     

  15. Avatar

    699

    Hopefully this will be a "lesson learned" if and when Microsoft intends to ship a similar Cortana device. You don't necessarily want your friends and even family to order products through your account or even mess with your settings and files. I agree with below poster.. voice training is the way to go, otherwise, its as if you just left your computer out for anyone to use.

  16. Avatar

    7063

    So the work around I guess would be to setup a family gmail account.  [email protected] for example. Then share the calendar, a shopping list on Google Keep, and a Google Play family group so that anything done from the house goes through that account.

    It might limit some of the things it could do compared to a single person house, but might allow the Google Home device to still be useful until they figure out support for multiple accounts.

  17. Avatar

    3216

    All the AI's - whether on a phone, a computer, or a little gizmo on the table - suffer from the same problem.  They are all little more than StarTrek wanna-be's.  They have limited abilities, cannot recognize different voices, and have problems with some words (try getting an Echo to play a radio station using call letters unless you spell them out slowly like you would to a 3 yr old). 

    Actually, that last bit is the real key - these products are the electronic equal of a 3 yr old.  The big difference is that a 3 yr old can learn new stuff pretty fast while these AI's are locked into their limited programming.  ITTT can eventually open them up quite a bit but right now that interface is sadly lacking in real capability.

    The main purpose of the Echo, and possibly other things, is to sell hardware and services.  The Echo may let you use Pandora and iHearRadio, but it really want's you to subscribe to the Amazon Music Service and, for now, that's the only service you can use to find and play a specific song.  There is also a lot of home connected hardware you can buy to make your life a tiny bit more like the Enterprise, but not really.

    These devices can be used to look things up - provided you don't have a radio or the TV playing because then they can't hear you very well.  I've heard some people find them handy for the kitchen, but I'd have to think about that given their price.  What my Echo Dot IS good for is the bedroom.  It can set an alarm, read me a news/weather brief, play a news radio station, play one of my Pandora stations or an Audible book or white noise and automatically stop after a pre-set period of time.  But what it can't do is string two or more things into a single command (which is where ITTT needs to go).

    But StarTrek it ain't.  It can't even open a door for cripes sake.

    P.S. If you play a video that has instructions on how to do things with an Echo, be darn sure to turn it's mike off first - unless you DO want to book tickets to Outer Mongolia.

  18. Avatar

    442

    Here's an idea.  Two of them with different wake phrases.  Wouldn't that work?

  19. Avatar

    1243

    It looks like an air freshener

  20. Avatar

    5842

    I still cannot figure out why would I need one of such "assistants" at home. It seems to me that these devices are just adding more complexity. I cannot tell it to wash dishes or put books back on the shelf. It does not even have a screen to show me anything.

  21. Avatar

    4800

    It sounds like it was designed by a group of people who live alone.  There is no reason the device can't listen for more than one activation word and switch accounts accordingly.  

  22. Avatar

    6834

    I read them.

    Its called progress.

    Classic Thurrott :)

  23. Avatar

    3591

    You could always set up a new family google account... Not perfect but, it will alleviate confusion during testing.

  24. Avatar

    5486

    I'd say this is more of a limitation of a v1 product, and something Google will add in a firmware update. Android has been multi-user aware for a few years now, so a method of switching accounts will come along soon. Some form of voice analysis/detection through learning connected users would be great. If it could detect the user automatically when they say 'ok google', then say "hello <name> how can I help you today", that would be amazing.

  25. Avatar

    268

    Yes, exactly Paul. This was obvious to me from the introduction of the device. I bought two anyway - because I plan to replace the Echo and Echo Dot we have now with them. I think they will fix this, eventually - if they don't get tired of it and just cancel it like they cancel many other things.

    So, this isn't the only device using Google stuff to have this problem. For example I just got a really nice Vizio M65-D0. It has 4K Google Cast built in. The remote control is actually a 6 inch Android tablet (running ancient Android). So it has a sign in. And it is, of course, a shared device. I want it to be able to cast to my TV, cast to my Chromecast Audios (we have several), etc. So I did this:

    Created a new Google Account for the family. Gave it access to the Play Music family plan. Gave it access to NOTHING else. (Obviously it has its own gmail, calendar, etc. - but not mine, not my Wife's not my kids.). Set it up with no screen lock - because it is a remote control and everyone needs to be able to use it, even a guest.

    So guess what account is going to go on the Google Home? Yep, that one. I expect to be able to use it to cast Play Music to my Chromecast Audio devices, eventually with the coming integration to be able to send NetFlix to my TVs, ask it questions, etc. I don't plan to use it for calendar until they fix the multi-user issue. I may setup up a shared list in Keep on that family account that people can add shopping to. We already have a shared list, but could convert to one shared on that other account. 

    I sure hope they fix the family issue. For now, it will work for me but be hobbled until they do.

  26. Avatar

    643

    The only thing I consistently use Siri is to set up timers and alarms.

    Sometimes to call people or text while using CarPlay , but I find myself using it less and less and simply enjoying a quiet drive.

  27. Avatar

    509

    I'm with you on questiong the need for these things.  I love tech and devices and generally will buy anything just to try it out.  But I don't have or want one of these type devices.  

    I just don't get the desire to talk to machines.  I always feel like an idiot trying to get my Kinect to pause or do something.  No matter how many times I tune the thing, I still have to practically yell to get it to understand me.  And then having to repeat things multiple times?  I usually end up looking for the controller or the remote because it's just faster in the end.

  28. Avatar

    185

    This is a major issue with any of these assistants that are always listing to what you say or what you do.  Look at SmartTV's they have the same issue, pinned to one account.  The only device that seems to understand that there are different members of my family is Xbox.  Depending who is current active on the dashboard gets their context, accounts etc.

  29. Avatar

    639

    Great point!  I use Cortana the most when I'm in my car. Hands free for music, text (running late, on the way, etc.). I use it the least at home.

    Having multiple assistants could be an issue as well.  If I use Cortana or Siri at work to set a reminder to take out the trash tonight, Google Home isn't going to know to remind me when the time comes.

  30. Avatar

    1775

    Looks like a Glade air freshener.

  31. Avatar

    1775

    You could create an account specifically for the Home. 

  32. Avatar

    699

    Hopefully this will be a lesson learned if Microsoft ever intends to ship a similar device. You don't want any friends or even family ordering items through your account or messing around with your stuff.

  33. Avatar

    5510

    I don't see this as a "fatal" problem at all. I find it funny how Paul had to use the word "fatal" here. It shows his bias against this product despite trying to look fair and balanced. 

  34. Avatar

    6164

    At least Google is aware of it. When I signed my son and I up for Google Fi, at first there was no option for a family cell phone plan. They now have an option, but if you use it, the phones that you add to the family plan stops working. I think the Silicon Valley, Single, Millennial bubble that google employees live in causes them to be very short sighted regarding the needs of a family with a google home device. The Echo has the same problem, but Paul is right, most families use one Amazon account.

  35. Avatar

    5184

    And it's ugly.  About as attractive as a beige PC from the 90's.

  36. Avatar

    5394

    You never buy a 1.0 device. Maybe just create a family Google account. Start over for just this device. Will you remember to log-off each time you use the device?

    And it isn't easy to verbally change accounts for a voice device. It will just be hard to do. For my family computer, we use my account because everything is setup with purchased apps. If each person opens their own account, they won't have a consistent experience. You'll have to set up each account with family sharing and download apps and set them up separately. Who really wants to do this?

  37. Avatar

    5812

    Wow. Everyone is worried that the very first 1.0 version of Google Home is one account. I'm sorry but I've known that since the day they announced this. It was widely talked about. Google devs have been working since the announcement on multi user support. It's being tested and worked on. Remember you are looking for a device that will ALWAYS only give the correct persons info. If they release multiuser support it has to work perfectly. If it accidentally gives your info to the wrong person you would be pissed. They are taking there time to get it right. It's not a flaw with the device. This device won't need to change. The software will change over time by software updates and it will be different in 6 months. You won't need to buy the new one to get this. It will just be there. Chill people. 

    • Avatar

      6993

      In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

      So you're saying it's useless today (unless you're single and live alone) but just give it time and it will be great.

      So why not just buy it then, why buy it now when it doesn't do what people expect it to do?

      • Avatar

        5997

        In reply to crfonseca:

        I assume that it will be upgraded through software updates.  The hardware will remain the same for a while.

        • Avatar

          5812

          In reply to MeaditatingAmigo:

          This device is like a tv. Once you have it all the things you do with it depend on something other than the hardware. On tv the networks determine whats on it. You don't need to buy a different tv to watch shootem up movies. This is the same. Once you have it the software mainly in the cloud and as Google updates that then Googles assistant get better everywhere from the Google Pixel phone to the Google Home. There is an Android app and iPhone app that will also get updates and that is where they'll eventually build in the multiuser voice support where you'll train your voice.

      • Avatar

        5812

        In reply to crfonseca:

        I did buy it. Mine is on the way. My wife and I both have accounts obviously but her account is what we'll use as she over rules me playing music in the house and we watch more of her youtube video list together than mine. So'll we will use her account and when I tell it to play my wifes music play list to our "Home Group" which will play music on in the living room and kitchen through our chromecast audio device. I'll be able to say play the new subscribed youtube videos in the living room which I have an android tv.  Yes it still works without multiuser support. I can't imagine anything on my calendar that I need to hide from my wife. In fact my calendar is shared with her. I think as a starting point this will be useful and will continue to get better. 

  38. Avatar

    5134

    well, the Google eco-system is purely personal - there you go - I doubt if there will be any way to fix that... it's the basic architecture of that eco-system and wasn't really considered during the design - hilarious

    you can't just login everytime you'd use the device - recognizing people by voice good luck - would never work with my family

     

  39. Avatar

    5134

    furthermore: it's disclosing personal information to anyone in reach of that device - even to guests / visitors (craftspeople) in your house

  40. Avatar

    5592

    Hardly surprising seeing how Google really comes out of the Mainframe/Terminal Unix model and doesn't really have the "personal" concept of the Personal Computer in their DNA the way Microsoft and to a lesser degree Apple do.

    • Avatar

      5812

      In reply to MikeGalos:

      You act as if they aren't aware of the problem. They are and they care deeply about it which is why they didn't use the existing version of their voice recognition system that isn't 99 % accurate yet and would answer to people who sound similar to you which would be a big NO NO.  

      • Avatar

        5592

        In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

        No. They're aware of it. But they clearly didn't think of it in the design. That's what happens when you don't have the philosophy so ingrained that it happens without thinking about it.

         

        • Avatar

          5812

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          Sorry, I miss typed. Yes they are aware of it. It's not about design. The Google Home is a vessel for Google AI. As the AI gets better and it does every time it's used and as the Google team can add features they know are reliable like multi user voice detection the better the product becomes. There are many people who will find uses for this beyond which user is using the device. From commands to turn on and off things to setting timers. Just getting the device into homes improves it. Six months from now this device will be so much better. If you want to wait then wait for that day but there are many people who are more than happy to get this in 1.0 then wait another year like Apple would do and release it in 2.0 form. All the data the AI gets from now forward will make it a better 2.0 product that the one Apple sits on for another year. 

  41. Avatar

    774

    The rumor sites are claiming that Apple hasn't shipped a Siri-based box for the home for exactly this reason and that they will resolve it (with strong "who is talking" capability) before shipping (if they can).

    For me, not much of an issue (I'm the only one living here and I can shut off and hide the machine before visitors arrive.) So I have other reasons for not having such a machine.

  42. Avatar

    5542

    Once AGAIN not a single word on privacy or security.  When will the press push on Google to explain what they are REALLY doing with these devices and services.  Google is NOT in the device business, they are in the data gathering business, and these devices are a means to an end.   

     

    No thanks!

    • Avatar

      5812

      In reply to Jeffsters:

      Not a single word. I don't know where your looking but i did a Google search and less then 10 seconds for this. https://support.google.com/googlehome/answer/7072285?hl=en

      Are you doing your searches in Bing? 

      • Avatar

        5542

        In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

        LOL...actually yes!  I tried Duck Duck Go but wasn't impressed.  Don't get me wrong, I will sometimes use Google to sometimes search and I TOTALLY expect them to know about that search and what I click on.  That makes sense and it's confined to that service and that search.  What devices like this, OnHub, and their internet service, is gather ALL your data.  For example OnHub is tracking everywhere you go not just your Google searches.  They use photo analytics to mine your free photo library for people, and products. It's this sort of underhanded behind the scenes stuff wrapped in devices that are bought to serve one purpose but are built to serve another and that's my issue.  I won't give Google any more data than I must and, because this is what I do for a living, will ALWAYS buy a broad range of competitor's products.

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          5812

          In reply to Jeffsters:

          If your going to say that your internet provider doesn't know everywhere you go then you're wrong. The Internet and Phone Carriers are the worst! I would rather have Google have a more complete picture of me than any other company because Google at least uses that information to make the services they provide to me better. Verizon, Comcast and the rest only sell that information where Google uses it on apps like Google Now / Assistant, Google Maps, Google Email, and basically the whole ecosystem. The other companies basically want to say if you opt out of this you'll have to pay more. 

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            5542

            In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

            AGAIN, you are correct but internet service providers, typically cable companies, are heavily regulated and are restricted in what they can do or sell. For example they can't use your viewing internet activity to market to you. Data is annonymized if sold rather than directly linked to you. This is why these companies, like Google, are building these products, and becoming ISP's. Doing so outside the typical cable monopoly FCC rules opens your entire life.   There's no comparison. 

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    4555

    We are only at the beginning.  ONLY die hard early adopters buy these things.  Echo is bought as an entertainment toy by early adopters.  But that is how new tech develops if it crosses the chasm....

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    412

    To me, the other fatal flaw has to be that it has to receive a CAST from your phone to play music. It doesn't simply get them from the cloud via the device itself. And even then, 1 to 2 songs in, it simply crashes on my phone and stops the music. 

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