Google Assistant is one of the smartest personal assistants around right now. It works on a range of Android devices, including smartphones and tablets, but for the true smart home experience, you’ll want Google Home.
This is Google’s smart speaker. Hook it up to your home wi-fi network and it can control your heating, lighting, and much more besides. And all you have to do is speak.
What is Google Home?
Google Home is Google’s smart speaker for the home. It uses Google Assistant, the artificial intelligence-powered personal assistant that can answer your questions, set timers for you, and even crack a joke or two.
But perhaps its neatest ability is to control your other home devices. Connect them all wirelessly to your home wi-fi network and you’ll have a truly connected home, with Google Home acting as the control hub. Then you only have to speak to control your lights, heating, TV and more.
So which devices work with Google Home? These are the best ones available right now. And most are available from the BT Shop.
Audio/Visual devices compatible with Google Home
Google Chromecast: By plugging into your TV and connecting wirelessly to your home wi-fi network, this device turns your telly into a smart TV, able to access online services like BBC iPlayer, Netflix and YouTube.
Google Chromecast Ultra: The Ultra works in the same way as the standard Chromecast, but it's equipped with 4K for a picture quality that's better than high definition (as long as you have a 4K telly, that is). And like Chromecast, you use your phone to control it.
Google Chromecast Audio: This plugs into your hi-fi speakers and lets you stream audio files like music to them from the internet via your phone, or play files stored on your mobile wirelessly.
Lighting systems compatible with Google Home
Philips Hue White and Colour Ambiance Starter Kit: This smart lighting kit can set the mood using 16 million different colours, with a different ambience in each room.
Philips Hue Single: A single bulb to add to your smart lighting system.
Philips Hue LightStrips Plus 2m: This flexible strip of light can change colour and intensity for the ultimate in mood lighting.
Philips Hue Iris Clear: Hue’s colour-changing abilities aren’t limited to light bulbs – this decorative lamp has them too!
Hive Light Cool to Warm – Bayonet (B22): A single smart bulb that fits the bayonet fixture, and can be adjusted to give out warm or cool light.
LightwaveRF Gen 2 Smart Dimmer – 1 Gang: A single smart dimmer for controlling your smart lights.
Heating systems compatible with Google Home
Tado Smart Radiator Thermostat Starter Kit: This kit comes with two smart radiator thermostats and the internet bridge, letting you control your heating just by speaking.
Tado Smart Thermostat Starter Kit v3: If you’re happy to spend a bit more, this thermostat has a new and improved interface, which will making heating your home easier than ever.
Hive: As well as being compatible with Google Home, Hive lets you adjust your heating from your phone, so you can get it just right for when you walk in the door - and because it’s more efficient, it could save you £130 on your annual heating bill.
Hive Hub: The Hive Hub connects all your Hive products so you can control them from the mobile app wherever you are.
Nest Smart Learning Thermostat: Nest features a big, easy-to-read display so you can see the current temperature at a glance.
Netatmo Smart Thermostat: Answer five questions, and this thermostat will create a schedule based on your answers so you don’t use energy when you don’t need to.
Security gadgets compatible with Google Home
Netgear Arlo Smart Home 3 HD Security Camera Kit: This security camera set-up is completely wireless, meaning it keeps your home safe without creating mess.
Hive Window or Door Sensor: These send a notification to your smartphone if a window or door is opened unexpectedly.
Nest Cam Outdoor Security Camera: A weatherproof outdoor security camera with two-way audio, so you can ask burglars exactly what they think they’re doing.
Netgear Arlo Go Mobile ID Security Camera: Going away? This security camera is designed to go with you - it works with 3G and 4G mobile networks, so you can keep an eye on what’s going on even where you don’t have wi-fi.
Speakers that work with Google Home
Sonos One: If you're serious about sound quality without compromising connectivity, you'll want to check out the Sonos One.
Sonos Beam: The company's soundbar sits under your telly and greatly improves the quality of its audio.
Google Home Mini: A diddy speaker from Google that's more portable but less powerful than its bigger siblings.
JBL Link 10: This portable speaker is waterproof, so no problem if you drop it in the drink.
Google Nest Hub Max: This can be used as a speaker, but its real strength is as a screen with a camera for hands-free video calls.