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  • Nov 20th, 2017 10:20 pm
Deal Addict
May 10, 2006
2650 posts
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Anyone concerned about google listening in all of your conversations?
or am i just being paranoid?
[OP]
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Feb 29, 2012
2662 posts
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Richmond
marcopolo85 wrote:
Nov 9th, 2017 2:23 pm
Anyone concerned about google listening in all of your conversations?
or am i just being paranoid?
Yes they are listening, and they want you to know that they heard those negative comments you made. You can expect a visit from the Google thought police. :)

Actually there was a bug (or so they said) in the pre-release versions of the Google Home Mini that caused it listen and send audio to Google all the time. Apparently it was because the capacitive touch switch on the top was defective, and was staying on all the time unintentionally. A user spotted this behavior pretty quickly in their internet traffic, and Google's solution was to push an immediate firmware update to permanently disable the top button on all Google Home Minis.

But we've heard about a lot of those "oops, were we listening unintentionally?" bugs from a lot of products now. A paranoid person might well be suspicious. Clearly the GHM and any similar device can listen in on you any time the manufacturer wants. For example if they decide to run a secret test program, or a government spy agency makes a secret request.

But honestly you can't use modern home automation products if you are at all concerned about giving up your privacy. You are giving up so much information that your life basically becomes an open book. But the alternative is that you reject all convenience and look suspiciously like you're hiding something. Big Brother welcomes you to the world of 1984xxx 2017, citizen!
Deal Guru
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Jun 12, 2003
14317 posts
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Markham
Faith24 wrote:
Nov 8th, 2017 5:16 pm
Best Buy U.S. Black Friday flyer is out now, and like Target they are offering the GH Mini for US$29 with a $10 store gift card thrown in.
Group buy!
ShadowVlican
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Nov 11, 2007
198 posts
3 upvotes
Cambridge
Hi with a smart switch can the GH turn on a coffee maker by voice? Thanks
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Oct 14, 2010
844 posts
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Barrie ON
ceccam wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 7:53 am
Hi with a smart switch can the GH turn on a coffee maker by voice? Thanks
Yes, if you use a smart switch which is compatible with the Google Home, or your smart switch is controlled by a hub which is compatible with Google Home.

If you already have a GH, then follow the instructions in this LINK to bring up a list of compatible devices before purchasing your smart switch.

I had been using a Vera hub for some time before GH was even released. After purchasing the GH I discovered a piece of software called HA Bridge (LINK) which mimics a GH compatible Philips Hue Bridge, and interfaces with my Vera hub.

EDIT: Yes keep in mind the limitations described by Faith24 in the following post. I have a Keurig Coffee maker, and when power is first applied, it simply lights up the display, but will not start the internal heating elements until a button on the display is touched. Despite this limitation, I still have the Keurig connected to a smart switch. When I turn on my home's alarm system (an indication I am leaving the house) , the hub will kill the power to the Keurig. Likewise I have the hub kill the power at 10:00 PM each night so that the heating elements do not run all night. Not only does this save electricity, but as a retired firefighter I have seen the damage caused by unattended heating devices being accidentally left running.
Last edited by Rick007 on Nov 10th, 2017 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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Feb 29, 2012
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Richmond
ceccam wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 7:53 am
Hi with a smart switch can the GH turn on a coffee maker by voice? Thanks
Funny, I was just trying that yesterday. Sadly the answer for me was No. My coffee maker is too fancy - like most it has a built in timer, and when powered on it flashes "12:00" as the time, and needs a button push to start brewing. Ironically if I had a cheap dumb coffee maker with an on/off switch, it would work. Maybe I'll get one. The cheap coffee-maker plus a $13 WiFi switch would probably cost less than the smart coffee maker! :)
[OP]
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Feb 29, 2012
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Richmond
Google support never got back to me about why the 3-months-free Google Play Music isn't appearing for the GHM, but it doesn't matter because they're once again offering the same to everybody through the Play Store. I signed up, and I'm now getting the 3-month free trial. But Google is such a screwup! After subscribing, the GHM continued to say "Playing a specific selection is only available with paid subscription, but here's a Google Play station for <artist>.", just like before - except that every time it would play the specific selection that I asked for! Eventually I went into the Google Home app and just verified that it had Google Play Music selected as the default, and it said Paid Subscription. Didn't need to change anything. Then I went back and tried requesting a specific music title on the GHM again. Now it works properly.
Jr. Member
Jul 3, 2017
104 posts
51 upvotes
Google just enabled the Broadcast feature for Google Home in Canada this morning. You can now say to your phone: "Ok Google, Broadcast". It asks "What's the message?". You speak your message. A second later it comes out of all the connected Google Home devices on your account, in your voice.
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Oct 9, 2010
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Windsor
d_source wrote:
Nov 1st, 2017 3:00 pm
Can it play music from my phone instead?
These voice control devices are intended to be marketing tools, and outlets for their services; they will almost positively never natively support you skirting their revenue streams, and will never allow apps that will skirt them either.

The only reason they'll support things like Spotify is because either they're getting kickbacks, or the value of supporting that service from a customer experience point of view outweighs the revenue they'd generate from their own service. As well, if they don't have the service themselves.
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
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ceccam wrote:
Nov 10th, 2017 7:53 am
Hi with a smart switch can the GH turn on a coffee maker by voice? Thanks
Potentially can. If your coffee maker is operated by a physical switch, you just plug it into a "smart" plug, leave the switch in the on position, and you're off to the races. My coffee maker is digital, so it can't do this without modification, but my crappy old Hamilton Beach one could (it only drew 12A, so it was within spec).

I'm not 100% sure how the GH operates as an automation hub, but assuming it can pair with the plug you're controlling, you should be fine. If it won't pair with the plug, you could use an intermediary hub like the SmartThings one, and then it would almost definitely work (ST supports basically everything that isn't garbage).
One who is offended by truth, has no place among those who seek wisdom.
Deal Fanatic
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May 9, 2009
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Montreal
Exp315 wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 1:35 pm
Google just enabled the Broadcast feature for Google Home in Canada this morning. You can now say to your phone: "Ok Google, Broadcast". It asks "What's the message?". You speak your message. A second later it comes out of all the connected Google Home devices on your account, in your voice.
Awesome. If you say it's dinner time, it'll even ring a dinner bell. And you can trigger it from your phone even if you're not home.

I hope they'll soon allow you to specify one device instead of all devices, like the Echo allows.
Jr. Member
Jul 3, 2017
104 posts
51 upvotes
psyko514 wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 3:22 pm
And you can trigger it from your phone even if you're not home.
If you have an alarm system that notifies you on your phone, you could use it "voice-threaten" a burglar out of the house, like the rather fanciful AlarmForce commercial proposes. "If you don't leave the house immediately, I'm going to play Justin Bieber's latest hits!". :)
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May 12, 2010
1061 posts
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Vaughan
ChubChub wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 3:05 pm
These voice control devices are intended to be marketing tools, and outlets for their services; they will almost positively never natively support you skirting their revenue streams, and will never allow apps that will skirt them either.

The only reason they'll support things like Spotify is because either they're getting kickbacks, or the value of supporting that service from a customer experience point of view outweighs the revenue they'd generate from their own service. As well, if they don't have the service themselves.
Shame.
Exp315 wrote:
Nov 14th, 2017 1:35 pm
Google just enabled the Broadcast feature for Google Home in Canada this morning. You can now say to your phone: "Ok Google, Broadcast". It asks "What's the message?". You speak your message. A second later it comes out of all the connected Google Home devices on your account, in your voice.
I tried this yesterday and it tells me that since I only have one device, there is nowhere to broadcast. Is there a way to broadcast from the same device? I want to have some fun with my kids. :)
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Jul 3, 2017
104 posts
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d_source wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 8:54 am
I tried this yesterday and it tells me that since I only have one device, there is nowhere to broadcast. Is there a way to broadcast from the same device? I want to have some fun with my kids. :)
Most people tried it from a phone running Google Assistant to their Google Home. If you try to broadcast from your one-and-only Google Home unit to the same destination, it says "Looks like there aren't any other speakers on your home network." But Google seems to be having problems today. People on Reddit are reporting the same problem you are having with more than one Google Home in their house. For me it's not working at all today. Yesterday broadcast from my phone to my Google Home Mini worked, today the command is accepted and it says "Broadcasting...", but nothing comes out. Looks like Google is still working out those bugs.

Just out of curiosity I checked to see if it would broadcast to a connected Chromecast, and it won't. Apparently the Chromecast doesn't count as a speaker for Broadcast purposes.
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May 12, 2010
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Vaughan
Exp315 wrote:
Nov 15th, 2017 9:20 am
Most people tried it from a phone running Google Assistant to their Google Home. If you try to broadcast from your one-and-only Google Home unit to the same destination, it says "Looks like there aren't any other speakers on your home network." But Google seems to be having problems today. People on Reddit are reporting the same problem you are having with more than one Google Home in their house. For me it's not working at all today. Yesterday broadcast from my phone to my Google Home Mini worked, today the command is accepted and it says "Broadcasting...", but nothing comes out. Looks like Google is still working out those bugs.

Just out of curiosity I checked to see if it would broadcast to a connected Chromecast, and it won't. Apparently the Chromecast doesn't count as a speaker for Broadcast purposes.
Ok good to know that I can do it from my phone. Do i need to be on the same WiFi network as the mini or can i do it remotely?

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