"Google Home", will it work in South Africa?

Peterkb

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2005
Messages
50
#1
Not sure where to post this question.
I have an opportunity to get a Google Home device. Does anyone have one working here in SA and if so does it require any special setup to work here.
Thanks.
 

airborne

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2007
Messages
8,543
#2
Might need to be registered with a US address/proxy but once set up should work here fine.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
6,480
#3
Pretty pointless. Got it as a present in December - first stumbling block was setting it up via iOS app (needed to switch to my US account). Weather and traffic worked locally. News did not. No other localisation (obviously) - so based on that fairly pointless. Spotify and Philips Hue works and it has IFTTT capabilities - but I just got bored and regifted.

Other than being great for drinking games - everyone drinks on "Heads" and you just say "Hey Google, Flip a coin" and for lonely people (the Google search integration is great, but Home struggled even with british speakers - my accent is Terminator like, so I did not expect much in the first place). I think if you have a Chromecast and your house wired with z-wave etc, there might be some value.

I personally dislike the thought of the microphone always being on (yes, I know that you can switch it off) - just very creepy.
 

pcmostert

New Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Messages
1
#4
Works flawlessly with my Android phone and (South African) Google account.
My home address (on the Home) is also set to my actual address and searches for things like "I want pizza" will return pizza places close to me.
I'm also using it with both a video and an audio Chromecast, all bought in the US and everything just works.
The only secret to making the Home work is to set your phone's language to "US English".
During the initial setup some of the devices warn you that the device was designed for the US market, so the wifi may not work, etc.

The only downside is that voice recognition on "US English" does not work as well as it used to, especially with my Afrikaans accent.
But it still works much better than I expected.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
6,480
#5
I just did not understand why Google (in typical Google fashion) throws out a reasonably well working Google Now and replaces it with Google Assistant (which in essence is Google Now + context awareness). - I don't think there is much longevity in product (i.e. Inbox replacing Gmail, Hangouts replacing GTalk, Photos replacing Picasa, Pixel vs Nexus and the list goes on).

GH can only handle one Google account - and in their terms Google Home consists of only one person. Would have been great if GH allowed multiple users and recognised user on voice pattern and then customise feedback based on the user. Now useful in a multi-person home, but would have been great if the device would provide topical or even just calendar/todo-feedback on the user. That was probably the biggest show-stopper. Not sure how they could roll out the device without providing multi-user support (unless I missed something here).

From a security perspective, there is no way to password protect the device - have fun when you have sh*t friends.
 

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
45,177
#6
Ignore magicdude4eva, he is not a good barometer for technology.

Google Home works fine in SA, mate of mine ordered one it, wonderful device. Cant wait for more development. Does not miss a beat with an english accent.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2008
Messages
6,480
#7
Ignore magicdude4eva, he is not a good barometer for technology.
My point was that Google Home (even in it's US home-country) should really be in beta-stage and I wanted to bring reality to the table. Google might or might not enhance the GH over time (remember Google Glass?), but one should not forget that when I looked at the device (and yes, I only played with it for short of 2 days), some things are just outright missing:
- No multi-account support (the expectation is to have multiple devices). There is also no way to synchronise multiple calendars (other than the main one)
- I could not find an option to setup a reminder - aka "Hey Google, remind me in an hour to XXXX"
- Fragmentation between Google Now, Google Assistant and GH (and no feature parity across devices)
- Can't customise the daily briefing (now this would be great if it supported multiple accounts, as then my wife could actually get her daily events/briefing)
- I could never figure out how to individually adjust volume for voice-feedback vs audio-playback - there was only one volume setting
- AFAIK, GH can not interlink with other GH devices (i.e. have a GH in the kid's room be like an intercom)
- Some "ignore filter" or to only authorize certain people to interact with the device (wait until kids come to visit, you will go mad - on the upside, shopping does not work, so damage is restricted)

I did not play with IFTTT and perhaps some of the above features are possible through IFTTT. I know the device is cheap and an interesting gadget to tinker with. Let's wait a month after you got your device and then tell us what do you use it for on a daily basis and how it has improved your life. Since it currently can not do the most basic thing of telling my wife / myself what the respective day will look like and since the device is incapable of setting up tasks/reminders for individual users it is really just a glorified voice-assistant for media playback and Google search engine - the Alexa Echo 2 has the same capabilities for about 50 USD.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
1
#9
New Multi user Google home

Works flawlessly with my Android phone and (South African) Google account.
My home address (on the Home) is also set to my actual address and searches for things like "I want pizza" will return pizza places close to me.
I'm also using it with both a video and an audio Chromecast, all bought in the US and everything just works.
The only secret to making the Home work is to set your phone's language to "US English".
During the initial setup some of the devices warn you that the device was designed for the US market, so the wifi may not work, etc.

The only downside is that voice recognition on "US English" does not work as well as it used to, especially with my Afrikaans accent.
But it still works much better than I expected.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi.

I just want to follow up on your post. How is the unit still working for you in South Africa. I am thinking of getting one but i just wander how much of the features you use and that work in South Africa.

Thanks Michael
 

neilronaldson

Senior Member
Joined
May 3, 2012
Messages
526
#10
I have just bought a Chromecast audio device from geewiz, and you need google home to set it up, i have also registered on google play in order to stream my music - all works fine.
 

GuruDon

New Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2017
Messages
1
#11
I've only used Google home in the usa - but what a great device... Only use Google play for music now... Play on the home or on a Chromecast etc

Also - now has multi user support... So you can check your own calendar etc. All based on voice recognition from whomever activates "ok Google".

More and more support every week... My smart home is getting pretty slick with being able to activate dimable lights and smart switches. Want Netflix or YouTube on a smart TV or cast device... Just tell GH where to send it.

Methinks this is getting better than Alexa.
 

RaptorSA

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
3,325
#12
I've only used Google home in the usa - but what a great device... Only use Google play for music now... Play on the home or on a Chromecast etc

Also - now has multi user support... So you can check your own calendar etc. All based on voice recognition from whomever activates "ok Google".

More and more support every week... My smart home is getting pretty slick with being able to activate dimable lights and smart switches. Want Netflix or YouTube on a smart TV or cast device... Just tell GH where to send it.

Methinks this is getting better than Alexa.
Yeah got my Google Home yesterday and this thing is awesome.
I also bought a Chromecast Music to stream audio to my 5.2 system when needed.
I just need to find a way to switch seamlessly between all the inputs etc. when using audio (Xbox One is using the optical in on my Amplifier so I don't really know how I'm going to get the Chromecast working seamlessly too).
I also have 6 Philips Hue color lights in the living room and just bought another 4 Hue White GU10 down lights for the kitchen after seeing how well the Google Home works.

Just borrowed on of the first edition Google Chromecasts from a colleague.
I hope the CEC functionality on it works well (on my LED TV and/or Projector) so that the Google Home can also turn on a device and switch to the correct HDMI input when asking Home to stream to that device.
 

ToxicBunny

Honorary Master
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
73,929
#13
Yeah got my Google Home yesterday and this thing is awesome.
I also bought a Chromecast Music to stream audio to my 5.2 system when needed.
I just need to find a way to switch seamlessly between all the inputs etc. when using audio (Xbox One is using the optical in on my Amplifier so I don't really know how I'm going to get the Chromecast working seamlessly too).
I also have 6 Philips Hue color lights in the living room and just bought another 4 Hue White GU10 down lights for the kitchen after seeing how well the Google Home works.

Just borrowed on of the first edition Google Chromecasts from a colleague.
I hope the CEC functionality on it works well (on my LED TV and/or Projector) so that the Google Home can also turn on a device and switch to the correct HDMI input when asking Home to stream to that device.
Let us know how it pans out....

I'm interested in getting a Google Home myself...
 

RaptorSA

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2008
Messages
3,325
#15
Let us know how it pans out....

I'm interested in getting a Google Home myself...
Yeah I've been considering it ever since I got my Hue lights and the Amazon Echo came out but I decided to stick with the Google Home given the lower price and the fact that I'm betting on Google to keep innovating on top of it on the current system.
Just the kind of random questions you can ask this thing is pretty insane, I think most reviewers don't focus enough on what it can do with general questions (e.g. How many man made elements are on the periodic table? What was the mesozoic era? How big was Pangea? etc.)
The fact that you can ask it to stream music etc. to a device already means I'm listening to stuff etc. more than I would normally do due to the pain in the ass it is to keep track of all the ways there is to consume your content these days. I also love how good it sounds, works great when you just want to listen to something that sounds good (like just after you've work up) while not rattling the windows.

It also means I can now get my digital life in order (set up Google Photos properly, sort out my Google Drive so I can use all the different IFTTT tasks that can interact with it) etc.
The voice recognition works beautifully even with my can-like-to-be-wearing-a-jean-pant accent.

The most problems I have with voice recognition is to sometimes get it to respond to "OK Google" or "Hey Google" if you're talking too fast after completing a previous request, but thereafter it picks what you're saying really well.
I've also noticed that "OK Google" works better when it's noisy or you're far away than "Hey Google"... but switching between the two phrases works great to keep it from sounding too repetitive.
Funny enough it still works really well even when I'm in a different room completely, I wasn't expecting that.

One thing to note: if the device is playing music itself the noise cancellation on it works well and it can pick up your voice from between the noise really well, but the moment you start streaming to an Amplifier or something loud it gets a bit tricky... but "OOOKKKK GOOOGLE!!!" usually does the trick.

NSA in your living room
Yeah true.. but to be honest, this kind level of privacy surrender has been happening for years, it's called "getting an Android phone"
:D
:eek:
 

Hunted

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2003
Messages
592
#17
has anyone managed to get multi user working in SA?
Got two members of the family to work this far. Still struggling to get my wife and other son to be registered to the Google Home.

Got the Home yesterday. SO far it's an hit in the house.
 

Hunted

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2003
Messages
592
#19
has anyone managed to get multi user working in SA?
I struggled to get my wife and my oldest son on, but then realized that I had my youngest sons account also on my phone when I've set him up.

So the trick is to add all the accounts you want to use on the Google home on the main accounts phone. Then install the home app on the users phone and then do the setup and voice training to recognize the different users.

After adding them you can delete their accounts from your phone.
 

nivek

Executive Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
8,626
#20
I struggled to get my wife and my oldest son on, but then realized that I had my youngest sons account also on my phone when I've set him up.

So the trick is to add all the accounts you want to use on the Google home on the main accounts phone. Then install the home app on the users phone and then do the setup and voice training to recognize the different users.

After adding them you can delete their accounts from your phone.
Thanks! Will give it a shot
 
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