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Alexa Bests Google Assistant, 3-0. How To Fix Google Home's Most Annoying Shortcomings
Alexa Bests Google Assistant, 3-0. How To Fix Google Home's Most Annoying Shortcomings
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Ask this Google Home gadget ‘OK Google, find me a video recipe for spag bol' and it obligingly plays instructions on screen. You can also pair it with other smart home gadgets, such as the Nest video doorbell, Hi-end Audio so callers appear on the display.  
  
No AUX port? That's jacked The problem: Even though phone-makers have all but eliminated the humble 3.5mm headphone jack from smartphones, Amazon Echo devices still have an audio output port for delivering audio to a more capable stereo system. Google Home devices have no such ports, which means the only way to connect them with an external audio source is via Bluetooth.   
  
A fair amount of the pleasure of owning a record deck comes from being able to leave it out in your living room, showing off to visitors that you do, too, enjoy modern audio trends such as paying £20 for reissued albums you had on CD in the Eighties.  
  
The problem: You can set up a Google Home Routine to do just about anything, and for awhile the only way to trigger it was with a voice command. Then, finally, Google added home and away routines. Problem is there's only one home routine and one away routine, and that's the extent of location triggers. location triggers for pretty much any coordinates on the globe. So when you leave work, for example, or arrive at school, you can have Alexa execute a sequence of commands like adjusting your thermostat or turning on the lights.  
  
It's the first vinyl deck equipped with AptX HD Bluetooth, which sounds far, far better than normal Bluetooth - so you can transmit sound wirelessly to speakers, or (better still) to a pair of wireless headphones, and enjoy proper hi-fi sound.  
  
The fix: A good assistant should know where I am -- wherever I am -- and behave accordingly, so until Google implements full-blown location-based triggers I'm furtively using the Alexa app on my  devices or not, you can  on your Android phone or iPhone.  
  
As far as digital voice assistants go, I adore Google Home, I really do, but that doesn't mean our relationship is always coming up roses. You might even say the honeymoon phase is pretty much over at this point. I'm not saying we need relationship counseling just yet, but my list of pet peeves has grown frustratingly long. And worse, it's starting to come across in my attitude when I talk to Google Assistant. We just need to talk.  
  
Hey, Boo Boo, can I get a different wake word? The problem: "OK, Google" just feels awkward and clumsy to me, and "Hey, Google" is no better. Don't even get me started on Google being the name of the device (Google Home Max), the AI (Google Assistant), the technology that powers the AI (Google search and services) and the company that owns it all (Google). Alexa lets you choose from several wake word options ("Amazon," "Computer," "Echo"). Why not Google?  
  
Deputy Chief Con Ian Pilling said: 'We work really hard to deal with everything that comes into us in the best and most efficient way possible and remain committed to protecting the people of Greater Manchester.  
  
The fix: Even though Google won't let you choose a different wake word, you can manipulate Google Home's imperfect ear by using similar-sounding words to summon Google Assistant. "Hey, Boo Boo" remains my go-to, but I've also used "OK, Frugal," "Egg Noodle," "Go Lay Doo-Doo" and my all-time favorite: "Cocaine Poodle."   
  
The fix: I hate to lean on Alexa again, but this works about as well (and for as little money) as anything: I picked up a couple of older second-gen Echo Dots ($40 at Amazon) from Amazon Warehouse Deals, which I plugged into two sets of high-quality speakers. From there, it's a breeze to connect your Google Home to the Echo Dot with Bluetooth.   
  
In an audio clip released by Greater Manchester Police, the woman is heard addressing the call handler as 'darling' before telling her she booked an appointment to have her eyebrows tinted and plucked the day before.  
  
Update: Google appears to have caught on to some of these alternative pronunciations, specifically the one invoking an original ingredient of Coca-Cola. This is especially apparent when using them with a Google Home smart display like a Nest Hub, which lets you know it's listening with an onscreen animation. Basically, it hears you and wakes up to listen, but then promptly ignores whatever command you issue if you use some of these alternatives.  
  
Just open the Google Home app and tap Settings >Device settings >Default music player >Enable pairing mode. From there, hi-end audio (https://vivaldiaudio.com) pair your Google speaker with your Amazon speaker to enjoy hi-fidelity sound from your stereo speakers.

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