At last month's Mobile World Congress, Google revealed plans to bring its Home speaker hub, powered by its digital Assistant, to the UK. The company did not announce a specific launch date, simply saying that it would be released there in early summer.
But today, Google announced that its launch will in fact come much sooner than that. Google Home will be available in the UK on April 6, priced at £129, or £229 for those purchasing two of the devices from its store.
Google Home, which launched in the US last year, priced at $129, allows users "to interact naturally" with the Assistant using voice commands and by asking questions, as the firm explained today:
Using the Google Assistant, Google Home can answer questions about your interests, the weather, traffic, sports, finance, local businesses and more. You could ask “Where is the nearest petrol station?” and then follow up with,“When does it close?” The Assistant can also have fun—it can tell you jokes, play trivia or make animal sounds.
Users can ask the Assistant to play music or a podcast too - not just on a Home speaker, but also to other Chromecast Audio or Chromecast-enabled speakers - and it can even handle commands to play movies and TV shows via Chromecast.
It supports smart home functionality for devices and accessories from brands such as Nest, Philips, or Samsung SmartThings. And it can be used for more mundane tasks as well, such as setting reminders or alarms, or creating lists and managing your appointments.
As part of its UK launch, Google will offer localized content for British users - for example, "a news briefing from publications such as the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times, The Sun, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Sky News, Sky Sports and others." It also said that it's "hidden a few British treats for you to discover. Just try asking Google Home about its hobbies or favorite foods."
Google Home will launch on the Google Store - as well as at Argos, Dixons, John Lewis and Maplins - next week. EE, the UK's largest mobile network operator, will also sell the device "soon". Buyers will be able to customize the speaker with colored bases priced at £18 for fabric versions, and £36 for the metallic options, available from the Google Store.
At £129, Google Home will be priced considerably lower than Amazon's Echo speaker, which costs £149.99 in the UK.