Google I/O 2018 Day 1 – Blog Recap

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I hope you are ready – because Google I/O 2018 is about to begin.  I’ll be recapping all the major announcements from the keynote, and the whole of the three day event.  This post will be continuously updated throughout the day(s), so be sure to check back often.

Ready then?  Let’s get started!

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Google holiday promo means good savings & goodies when buying a Pixel 2

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Emails from Google hit yesterday talking about the great deals that can be had on Pixel 2 devices from now til the end of the holiday season – something you might want to think about for that tech gift loving person in your life.

This deal involves getting a free Google Home Mini with a Pixel 2 purchase, as well as a $100 Google Store credit when you buy, and potentially as much as $400 in trade-in credit when you trade in a phone when purchasing your new Pixel device.

If you have an old phone laying around, and are looking into buying the Pixel (and you can check out our video review of the Pixel 2 XL here), this is as solid a deal as they come.  Head over here to the Google store if you want to dive in.

Google Home Mini – First Impressions

Now that I have had the Google Home Mini at the house for a few days, I wanted to give a few quick first impressions of how I feel about the device.  Overall, I think this is a great value at a retail price point of $49, but more thoughts follow below.

Things I like:

  • Size and design – it really IS a donut sized device and would fit in seamlessly just about anywhere (kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc…)
  • Features – right away, if you’ve used the Google Assistant on your mobile phone, you know what to expect from the home based unit.  You can now easily set up timers, alarms, ask basic fact queries, and other routine commands when away from your mobile phone.
  • Ease of setup (hardware) – its literally plug and play.  You open the box, take out the cable and the Home Mini itself, and plug it in.  That’s pretty much as easy as it gets.

Things I don’t like:

  • Ease of setup (software) – you need to have or download the Google Home app and then…its a series of button presses to get things going.  Its not hard to figure out, but its not exactly the most intuitive setup either.
  • Microphone sensitivity – maybe its where I have the device located (up on a shelf where my Nexus Player and TV are) but it seems right now that I need to be relatively close in proximity to the device to issues commands and have it hear me and aswer.  More testing to come obviously.
  • Sound quality – now to be fair, this isn’t a real deal breaker.  And it does play music easily and that’s what really counts.  I’m only saying don’t go expecting too much from a $49 speaker in terms of overall sound quality.

Be sure to stay tuned for our full review coming soon.  Feel free to leave any questions about the device in the comments section below.