Just after Christmas, I purchased two Google Home Mini’s during the 2 for 1 sale that was on at just about every retailer (The Good Guys, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman). Would not have purchased except the sale made them less than $40 each.
We have one in the bedroom and one in the loungeroom. My wife was less than impressed and could see no use for it at all. However, she now uses it more than I do and loves it.
We have set up smart bulbs in a three bulb lamp that we love, but hardly ever used due to it being difficult to get to the switch. It is now constantly used, including timers for when we are away. The fact that we can now dim the lights, change the light colours and choose 1, 2 or 3 bulbs to be on only adds to its usability - all things it was never designed to do.
We have also set up smart switches on other devices, such as the light on the fish tank, which allow us more flexibility.
One of the best uses we have found is the ability to put events in each other’s diaries by merely speaking them. Another useful tool we have seen is the ability to add items to our shopping list be asking Google to add them when we realise we need them. Nothing is forgotten.
Being in a regional area, we often find ourselves using TuneIn radio to listen to our favourite radio stations from around Australia. By setting shortcuts up in the Google app on our phones/tablets, this is a straightforward thing to do.
In fact, we have found that the key to getting good use from our Google Home Mini is to take a few minutes to set up the shortcuts for all of the different things we wish to control. This has been very easy and only took 15-20 minutes searching on the internet to understand how to do this.
We can see ourselves adding more and more items to our home automation as they become available in Australia. We have not considered using IFTTT commands yet, but I am sure they would be useful as well.
We have gone with TP-Link bulbs and smart plugs as we were able to source them online much cheaper than some other brands and have not experienced any problems once we got them set up (should have read the instructions - but where is the fun in that).
One last fun thing is the broadcast function. This allows you to command one Google Home speaker to say something on another. Great for speaking to each other when in different parts of the house.
Overall, we have enjoyed the first month of using Google Home and are finding more and more uses for it all the time. At $40 each, they were well worth it.