Google Home is Much More Than a Voice-Activated Speaker

On the surface, Google Home seems like a relatively straightforward device. It’s a small, Wi-Fi connected speaker housed in an attractive enclosure that’s meant to blend in with your home decor. You can even choose from multiple base colours to get just the right look. It plays music streamed from services like Google Music or Spotify, and you can set up multiple Google Homes throughout your home for multi-room music capability.


There are touch controls on top, but Google Home is equipped with always-on, far-field microphones and advanced voice recognition, so you can control this speaker by voice command. Tell it to turn up the volume, play music in a specific room or to play a favourite play list—without having to pick up a smartphone or touch a button.

Cool, yes, and a step further than most wireless speakers go, but still a speaker.

However, it is much more than a speaker …

google-home-is-a-speakerPowered by Google Assistant

Google Home takes full advantage of Google Assistant, the cutting edge AI-powered technology that’s currently exclusive in smartphones to Google’s Pixel Phone.

That means saying “OK Google” lets you take advantage of Google Assistant’s smarts without having to power on a device. If Google Home is in the room, you can ask about sports scores, weather conditions or have it perform a calculation for you. The far-field microphone lets Google Home pick up on your questions from across the room.

Because it’s powered by Google Assistant, you can also optionally use Google Home to help plan and manage your day: set alarms, make appointments, ask it about flight information or traffic. Ask Google Home about how long it will take you to walk to work. Add items to your shopping list or set a timer while you cook dinner.

Google Home Can Control Your Smart Devices

One of the most exciting capabilities of Google Home is its ability to control a growing number of smart devices using voice commands.

For example, you can turn on Hue lights or set the temperature on a Nest thermostat simply by telling your device to do so. The smart speaker also supports IFTTT recipes. A recent update rolled out support for Netflix over Google Chromecast, so you can tell Google Home to play a Netflix show on your TV and by the time you get to the living room, the show is starting. And you didn’t have to pick up a smartphone, tablet or remote.

google home smart hub

When Can I get It?

Google Home is definitely on the radar of many tech-loving Canadians. The idea of a visually attractive, affordable, voice-controlled speaker that also serves as a smart home hub is pretty compelling. Especially one that is constantly updated by Google and supported by a growing number of third parties. As to when Canadians can get it in their homes, that’s one question even the smart speaker doesn’t have a definitive answer to—we’ll let you know on the Best Buy Canada blog when we have more information.

Brad Moon
Editor Computing solutions
I’m a long-time electronics and gadget geek who’s been fortunate enough to enjoy a career that lets me indulge this interest. I have been writing about technology for several decades for a wide range of outlets including Wired, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, MSN,, Kiplinger, and GeekDad. I’m in my 10th year as a senior contributor for Forbes with a focus on reviewing music-related tech, Apple gear, battery power stations and other consumer electronics. My day job is with the Malware Research Center at AI-native cybersecurity pioneer CrowdStrike.


  1. Is it possible to go on a waiting list when this bigger one is available to best buys to purchase. Also I have the smaller one but want 3 more small ones please advise as the store employee did not know when any would be available

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