Yesterday saw the embargo on reviews of Google’s new Home device elapse, so we got to find out what journalists make of the company’s competitor to Amazon’s Echo. The reception for the $129 smart speaker is generally warm. “It provides much of what Echo offers, while signalling far more product and platform ambition than Amazon,” suggested Wired. “The Home has something that the Echo doesn’t: a wealth of knowledge about the world, my personal preferences, and my habits. In other words, it has Google,” added The Verge. Caveats were offered by Engadget, which noted that the Home “lags behind the Echo in terms of support for third-party services”, making it more useful for people who use lots of Google’s services instead. However, Ars Technica pointed out that Home isn’t (yet) as powerful in a voice-command sense as a regular Android smartphone. “If you’re just looking for a media slinging box, go for it. If you really need a solid voice command system, though, just install the Google app on your phone. It’s way better, and you’ve already got the hardware in your pocket.” As Echo has shown, though, these devices inevitably expand their features and partnerships over time: Home on day one should be a very different device to what it will become in, say, a year.

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