Drawing of Google Home Birthday Party
The little fellow's big party! Google Home celebrating his second birthday!

Today, on 18th May 2016, only 2 years ago, Google Assistant and Google Home were announced at Google I/O 2016.

Can you imagine, our smart little fellow is only 2 years old?
Time to celebrate and look into the highlights of our young roomie!

In this post, we will look back at two years full of cool features. Also, prepare yourself for a trip around the world, stopping by wherever Google Home was released. To make it more fun, I’ve included regional clips provided by Google. Additionally, we will look forward to the announced features, we can expect in the near future. And yes, I could not resist adding two clips which are not from Google, but they are funny, or not, let’s see.

Note, please make sure that there’s no Google Home around or mute their mics, when watching the videos. We don’t want to confuse our little assistant on his birthday with the many “Hey Google’s” we can hear in the clips.

18th May 2016: Google Assistant and Google Home Unveiled

Here’s the original, very first Google Home video directly from the almost two hours Google I/O 2016 keynote. No worries, I’ve pre-selected only the short Google Home clip for you, enjoy!

Then we had to wait for half a year.

On November 4th, 2016 our Google Home preorders were finally delivered (in the US).

The initial release was already full of features. You can check out the full list of features from Google Support. No, not all of them were available back then, but I’ll highlight here when the big ones arrived.

2017 – The Year of Google Home arriving in 6 Countries with many New Features

On March 31st, 2017 (obviously one day before April 1st) Google released this funny introduction of “Google Gnome” for our smart yards:

April 6th, 2017 Google Home comes to the UK

Please note, this Google clip is from April 4th, 2018, with Kevin Durant looking forward to tomorrows Royal Wedding. It’s more fun than the original Google Home UK clip.

April 21st, 2017: Google introduces multi-user support: Our little assistant can now recognize up to six different voices, and fetch information from the different accounts, depending on who’s talking. Let’s call mum  …

May 17th, 2017: Google I/O 2017

On Google I/O 2017, Google announced to bring Google Home to Germany, France, Japan, Canada and Australia. They kept their promise.

Following new features were announced:

June 26th, 2017: Google Home arrives in Canada

This is how the Toronto Raptors sound in Canadian English:

July 20th, 2017, Google Home comes to Australia

And this is how a kookaburra sounds in Australian English:

August 3rd, 2017: Google Home arrives in France

This is how a Hippo sounds in French.

August 8th, 2017: Google Home comes to Germany

And this is how a Panda sounds in German.

On September 25th, 2017: Google supports now voice-shopping at Wallmart.

October 4th, 2017: Google Home Mini & Google Home Max announced (arriving later on December 11th, 2017).

October 6th, 2017: Google Home arrives in Japan

So, here is how a whale sounds in Japanese …

29th November 2017: We can string two commands together if only one command requires a response: “Hey Google, dim the lights and play smooth Jazz”.

2018 – More Languages, More Countries, More Features

On January 10th, 2018: At CES 2018, LG, JBL, and Lenovo announce Google Assistant integrations with displays. LG will become available for preorder Mid March 2018.

February 23rd, 2018: Google announces over 30 languages will be supported by Google Assistant this year.

March 4th, 2018: “Make Google Do It” – Clip Collection

A Google marketing initiative, which I’ve missed back then, so let’s do this now:

“Get it, get it, get it, get it
Flip it, tip it, dip it, …”

Here’s a flower story from Sia:

My favorite mix: A million things made easier. I should order some dope tape …

And another one with John Legend and Chrissy Teigen:

Finally, Kevin Durant must not forget Gummy Bears!

March 15th, 2018, Google releases 6 ready-made Routines:

  • Good morning
  • Bedtime
  • Leaving home
  • I’m home
  • Commuting to work
  • Commuting home

On March 16th, 2018: I assembled the ultimate music command reference for you: Hey Google, Play Some Music! All The Music Voice Commands.

March 26th, 2018: Google Home supports now Philips Hue Scenes. Note, in my case, it took a month to fix the Hue-Link, but finally, I was able to update the Philips Hue / Google Home post.

On March 28th, 2018, Google announced, that we are finally able to pair our Google Homes with Bluetooth speakers

April 3rd, 2018: Google Home comes to Italy

Though this YouTube clip is from December 27th, 2017, it’s so much better than the official Italian clip. Plus, I pause it after the Italian song. If you’re wondering, what the favorite song of the Italian grandma is, try: “Hey Google, play piemontesina bella”.

April 10th, 2018: Google Home arrives in India

There are no cool Indian Google Home clips yet, but we can have a look at a funny Google App clip:

May 3rd,2018: Google announces support for over 5000 smart home devices.

May 8th, 2018, the Google I/O 2018:

Google announced:

  • 7 more countries to come in 2018: Spain, Mexico, South Korea, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
  • “6 new voices”: well, we got 7, so altogether 8 with the original Assistants voice. Awaiting John Legend, let’s see …
  • Continued conversation”: We won’t have to say “Hey Google” or “OK Google” for follow-up requests. Let’s see …
  • Multiple Actions“: Note, this one already rolled out: we’re able to ask for multiple things at the same time: “What’s the weather like in New York and in Tokio?”. Before, it was only possible with one response.
  • Pretty Please”: is an option for families, which we’ll be able to enable for any household member. This feature will require Family Link.
  • Custom Routines“: This is currently being rolled out: “For example, you can create a Custom Routine for family dinner, and kick it off by saying “Hey Google, dinner’s ready” and the Assistant can turn on your favorite music, turn off the TV, and broadcast “dinner time!” to everyone in the house. Later this summer, you’ll be able to schedule Routines for a specific day or time either using the Assistant app or through the Google Clock app for Android.” In my case, the “shortcuts” already disappeared from the Google Assistant app as “Custom Routines” replace them.
  • Duplex: a feature to let Google Assistant book appointments for us. Google is still working on this feature, but it plans to test it already this summer.

Thinking about Duplex and how far it goes, maybe the one “which was on us” …

… will turn into Google’s?
(Watch out, this is a parody of Duplex. I’ve tried to pause it before it gets rough, still …)

May 16th, 2018: Google Home Max is now available in Canada.


Let’s summarize …

So, here we are, around the world in a couple of minutes!

Google Home’s first two years, cram-full of cool features and announcements. Welcomed home in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and India.

I know, sometimes we’re not in speaking terms with our little assistant. For me, the worst time was the month waiting for Philips Hue scenes to work, because the Hue-Link broke altogether. Before that, I had to write about an ugly workaround for Philips Hue scenes through IFTTT. And now, waiting for the Logitech Harmony Home Control service, which should save us from creating many shortcuts, pardon custom routines, seems to last forever.

However, Google’s Nanoleaf Aurora support was a pleasant surprise from the very beginning. And the ability to voice-control any infrared controlled device through Logitech Harmony is quite impressive. On the other hand, Googles Privacy Policy surprised me both ways. Maybe just a glitch in the Matrix, because I had to take both pills.

Anyway, looking into what Google Home has achieved in these two years, makes me look up in awe to our little fellow. Let’s forgive him his small hiccups and celebrate his day!

Hey Google,

  • Happy Birthday!
  • Bon anniversaire!
  • Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!
  • お誕生日おめでとうございます
  • Buon compleanno!
  • जन्मदिन की शुभकामनाएं

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!

You can find more Google Home posts here.

In case I’ve missed a feature or announcement, please share with all of us in the comments below!


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