Michael is looking to buy Google Home, but he wants to know why he needs an app on his phone? Leo says that the hardware that connects to the internet has very good microphones and you control it over your phone to customize it. It also links to the phone to make phone calls. That's what the phone interface is for.
This week Google announced a ton of new products, including a new Google Home and a donut sized version of Google Home (called the Mini) that Leo says may be better than Amazon Echo. Though Leo says that Amazon has a huge lead, in the long run, Google may have the advantage. Meanwhile, Amazon did get a shot in the arm this week with the announcement that Sonos will partner with Amazon to bring connectivity of Sonos to the Amazon Echo. But that may be short-lived since Sonos plans to work with Google and Apple as well.
Mike B says that Google Voice can call 800 numbers, and he used it to call the Tech Guy show. That's something that the Amazon Echo cannot do.
Cindy wants to know if the Echo can work as an intercom all around the house. Leo says it can, but the Echo Dot requires external speakers, while the Echo has its own speaker. There's also the Echo Show, which also has video. She heard that it can make phone calls. Leo says it doesn't make phone calls, but it can make Echo to Echo calls to anyone in her network. If she wants to make phone calls, then Google Home is the way to go. It uses Google Voice.
In what Leo calls a simple application of machine learning and data translation, Google Home can now make phone calls to any number in your phone's contacts. Leo adds this is the benefit to offering free services like Google Voice and Google Photos. It's able to take all that data that Google has access too and apply it to applications that make our lives easier.
Keith is a fan of the Amazon Echo because he is vision impaired. Leo says that the Echo is great for accessibility because he can talk to it and get the necessary replies. It's not perfect, though, of course. It doesn't make phone calls yet. Right now, he could "drop in" and make phones calls to other Echo users. Some day someone may make a skill for that, but Google Home, by contrast, will be able to make a call to any phone number via Google Voice. So for that option, Google Home is the better option.
Google I/O was this week and the keynote had a bunch of new products and services. Google Home, the Amazon Echo killer, now has the ability to make unlimited phone calls anywhere for free. Should you then get rid of your home phone? Leo says no, because if the power or internet goes out, you'll have no phone for emergencies.
Find out about all of the announcements from Google I/O at techradar.com.
Chuck is blind and he wants to get a laptop with a screen reader. Leo says that there are many blind users who are fully functional on a computer. There are braile screens. JAWS is a screen reader, but it's expensive. There's an open source version as well.
At Google's I/O developer conference this week, Google announced a new product called Google Home. This is essentially an Amazon Echo competitor. It's a small device that kind of looks like an air freshener, and you talk to it to get information and perform tasks. It won't have the Amazon services, though. We don't know yet when that will be available or what the price will be.
Find out more at home.google.com