order prescription drugs through Amazon Alexa, Google Home

NowRx wants to make standing in line at the pharmacy a thing of the past.

This month, its users will have the option to order prescription medications via a virtual home assistant, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home. A robot then registers to the request and dispenses the medication within minutes, and a car will deliver it within hours.

The Silicon Valley start-up claims that this is the first voice application for medication ordering.

It works when a user downloads the NowRX skill, and activates it with a voice command (“Alexa, open NowRX’). From there, the skill will prompt the user to request, refill or renew a medication by sharing the last four digits of their prescription number.

The company is still waiting on approval from Google and Amazon, but expects to get a green-light within a few weeks.

NowRX is one of a handful of start-ups that are taking on the brick and mortar pharmacy. Founder Cary Breese said the company is dispensing 125 prescriptions per day from its Mountain View-based retail pharmacy. It targets its marketing to consumers through Facebook ads, who can request that their doctor use NowRX.

Currently, it has 400 Bay Area doctors in its network.

Amazon Alexa is not yet HIPAA compliant, meaning it doesn’t meet the federal rules and requirements that are designed to protect patient’s sensitive health information. That limits health developers from developing certain kinds of medical apps, which involve health information being shared with hospitals, clinics and their business associates.

But NowRx claims to have a figured out a solution to the problem. Its technology is compliant, the company says, and it doesn’t share drug history with Amazon or Google. “It’s all encrypted,” said Breese.

The company currently serves patients in Silicon Valley, but expects to expand in the coming year.

Amazon Great Indian Festival sale: Top deals, discounts on Apple, OnePlus, Xiaomi, and more mobiles

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 14, 2017 1:12 pm


Amazon, Amazon Great Indian Sale, Amazon Diwali Sale, Amazon sale, mobile discounts, Amazon mobile sale, Amazon smartphone discounts, OnePlus 5 discount, Apple iPhone 6 discount, iPhone deals, Xiaomi Redmi 4Amazon, Amazon Great Indian Sale, Amazon Diwali Sale, Amazon sale, mobile discounts, Amazon mobile sale, Amazon smartphone discounts, OnePlus 5 discount, Apple iPhone 6 discount, iPhone deals, Xiaomi Redmi 4 Smartphones including those from Apple, Xiaomi, OnePlus, etc are listed under a host of discounts, exchange offers, and more.

Amazon Great Indian Festival is now live, and the e-commerce platform has listed deals on products across categories such as mobiles, electronics, fashion, lifestyle, and more. People who shop using SBI debit and credit cards will get 10 per cent additional cashback, and those who pay via Amazon pay balance will get up to Rs 500 cash back. Amazon Prime membership is available at Rs 499. Smartphones including those from Apple, Xiaomi, OnePlus, etc are listed under a host of discounts, exchange offers, and more.

Amazon Great Indian Festival sale Apple deals

Apple iPhone 7 (32GB) gets 22 per cent off, and it is listed for Rs 37,999. The 128GB variant is available for Rs 49,999 (14 per cent off), and 256GB option can be bough at Rs 57,988 (22 per cent off). Apple iPhone 7 is listed in Silver, Black, Jet Black, Gold, and Rose Gold colour variants.

Promotional offers include 10 per cent (maximum up to Rs 500) cash back when shopping with Amazon pay Balance, up to 120 GB additional data from Idea, and no cost EMI.

Apple iPhone 6 (16GB) is available at Rs 30,380 as it gets 42 per cent off. The 32GB variant of iPhone 6 can be bought at Rs 22,999 (22 per cent off). Colour options include Gold and Space Grey.

Apple iPhone SE (16GB) gets 36 per cent off and is available at Rs 24,804. The 32GB variant gets 35 per cent off and it is selling for Rs 16,999. Colour options listed include Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, and Space Grey.

Amazon Great Indian Festival sale Xiaomi deals

Amazon will be hosting Xiaomi Redmi 4 sale at 12 PM today. The 16GB variant of the smartphone costs 6,999. Redmi 4 (64GB) gets 14 per cent off and it can be bought at Rs 9,499 instead of Rs 10,999. The 32GB storage option will be available at Rs 8,499. Users will get extra Rs 500 off on exchange and no cost EMI offer is applicable as well.

Also Read: Flipkart Big Diwali Sale: Top deals on iPhone 7, Redmi Note 4, Moto G5 Plus and other smartphones

Launch offers of Redmi 4 include additional 30GB 4G data from reliance Jio, free subscription of Hungama Music for 12 months, Hungama Play for three months, Rs 200 promotion credit for Kindle books, and damage protection plan starting at Rs 599.

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 (32GB) gets 13 per cent or Rs 2,000 off and it is available for Rs 12,999. The 64GB variant can be bought at Rs 14,999. Users will get extra Rs 1,500 off on purchase of Mi Max 2 (32GB). Other bundled offers include 30GB additional data from reliance Jio and free subscription of Hungama Music.

Amazon Great Indian Festival sale OnePlus deals

OnePlus 5 gets a host of offers from Vodafone, Cleartrip extra. People will get extra Rs 4,000 off on exchange, and up to Rs 25,000 discount vouchers from Cleartrip. Those who download and sign in to Kindle app will get Rs 500 promotion credit for Kindle eBooks. Vodafone is giving up to 75GB free data and three months of free Vodafone Pay. People can stream their Prime Video app on OnePlus 5 to get Rs 250 as Amazon Pay Balance.

OnePlus 5 (64GB) comes in Slate Gray or Soft Gold Colour options at Rs Rs 32,999. The 128GB option comes Slate Gray or Midnight Black colour options at Rs 37,999.

OnePlus 3T 64GB variant will be available at Rs 24,999 against the regular Amazon India selling price of Rs 29,999. Customers can avail additional Rs 2,000 on exchange, and Rs 500 eBook promotion credit from Kindle. Vodafone will give 45GB free data for five months. It is available in Gunmetal and Soft Gold colour options.

Amazon Great Indian Festival sale Motorola and Lenovo deals

Moto G5s Plus can be bought at no cost EMI. People will get extra Rs 1,000 off on exchange. Moto G5s Plus (64GB) can be bought at Rs 15,999 in Lunar Grey or Blush Gold colour variants. Users will get an additional 50GB 4G data from Reliance Jio and up to Rs 300 on eBooks.

Amazon is giving Rs 2,000 off on Lenovo K8 Note plus there’s an exchange offer as well. The 32Gb storage variant is priced at Rs 10,999 while the 4GB storage option comes at Rs 11,999. The smartphone is available in Venom Black and Fine Gold colour options.

Amazon Great Indian Festival sale LG deals

LG Q6 gets a massive 24 per cent discount, and the smartphone is selling at Rs 12,990 instead of Rs 16,990. It can be bought in Black, Gold and Platinum colour variants. People will get an extra Rs 3,000 off on exchange, and Jio is offering 50Gb additional 4G data.

Nokia 6 from HMD Global is listed at Rs 14,999 as it gets 13 per cent off. Available in Matte Black and Silver colour options, Nokia 6 can be bought at no cost EMI option as well. Amazon prime members will get up to Rs 1,000 off.

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Twitter launches in stream ads in India with Amazon, Maruti and Motorola

NEW DELHI: Twitter announced on Thursday that it has launched in-stream video ads to marketers in India.

The company said with in-stream video ads, brands in India can align with videos from Twitter’s premium content partners across sports, news and entertainment globally. These include TV networks, publishing houses, leagues, magazines, digital creators and professional news outlets.

Companies like Amazon, Maruti, and Motorola have come on board as the in-stream video ad partners showcasing their Diwali campaigns and new product launches.

Twitter said its premium content partners in India are handpicked by the company for their video first content strategies and include: 9XM, Akash Chopra, AajTak, Bloomberg Quint, Buzzfeed India, CNBC TV18, CNN News 18, ESPN CricInfo, ET Now, Femina, Film Companion, Filmfare, Filtercopy, Firstpost, Gadget 360, Gaurav Kapur, Grazia, HistoryTV18, Hungama, India Today, Mashable, Miss Malini, Mirror Now, NDTV, NDTV Profit, Sanjeev Kapoor, The Quint, Times Now, TVF, YRF, and Zoom TV.

Soumya Parmar, Head of Video Solutions, Twitter India, said: “Twitter hosts premium video content from world’s top publishers, and collaborates with them to develop and scale diverse video content that people are interested in. With the launch of in-stream video ads in India, it now creates an opportunity for advertisers to better align with relevant video content at scale across 15 content categories. These publishers are established hand picked partners, ensuring brand safety for our advertisers.”

Rachna Lather, marketing head, Lenovo MBG and Motorola Mobility said: “The consumption of video content is on a rapid rise in India and at Motorola, we prefer to tell a rich product story through engaging audio visual formats. The in-stream ad platform on Twitter will let these be consumed along with premium content specific to genres and creators, that resonate with our audience. And the fact that we will be able to serve our communication when the right audience is watching topically relevant content, is an added bonus. The importance of storytelling through videos is undeniable, and we are excited to be the launch partners for Twitter In-Stream Ads in India.”

“We’re excited to be the first automotive brand in India to be associated with Twitter In Stream Video Ads. It’s our constant endeavor to experiment with new and engaging formats to leverage the power of social media,” said Vinay Pant, VP Marketing, Maruti Suzuki India.

With Times Network being listed as one of the publishers, Jignesh Kenia, Senior VP and Head, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, Times Network, remarked “Times network is very glad to partner with Twitter in this initiative. Twitter is definitely the platform of choice now for real time, breaking news. The engagement that our channels, specifically Times Now with more than 7 million followers, generate is a testament to this. Driving video monetization on Twitter is the next logical step for publishers like us who are already leveraging the platform to create a dedicated, engaged audience pool through video content.”

‘Movies Anywhere’ will combine movie libraries across iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, and VUDU from multiple studios

Buying movies digitally is a great way to build up a library, but there are a lot of places to buy from. Between Amazon Instant Video, VUDU, Google Play Movies, and iTunes, there are a lot of accounts to keep track of, especially if you are hunting for the best deal on a movie. Today, a joint effort from all of these major digital distributors is going to make buying digital movies a whole lot better.

Samsung Chromebook Plus

“Movies Anywhere” is a new program which connects your iTunes, Google Play Movies, Amazon Instant Video, and VUDU digital movie libraries all together to share all of the movies you have purchased or are about to purchase between platforms, regardless of where the original purchase was made.

This program is extremely similar to Disney Movies Anywhere, a service that has done the same thing for a few years, but with a broader selection. While DMA was exclusive to Disney movies (Marvel and Star Wars included), “Movies Anywhere” works across multiple studios. To start, that includes Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros., but do keep in mind that this will only work in the United States at first.

Today, we’re taking it one step further by adding support for Movies Anywhere, allowing you to join your movie libraries from Google Play, Amazon, iTunes and Vudu into a single library that you can access on any of your devices, regardless of where the purchase was originally made. Available first in the US, just connect your accounts using the new Movies Anywhere app or on the Movies Anywhere website, and all the movies you’ve purchased from Disney, Fox, Sony Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. will be available for you to watch on Google Play.

“Movies Anywhere” is also offering all customers a free launch deal. If you simply link two or more of your movie libraries through the free Android or iOS application, you’ll be able to get copies of Big Hero 6Ghostbusters (2016)Ice AgeJason Bourne (2016), and The Lego Movie completely free of charge on all of your libraries.

You can sign up for “Movies Anywhere” and connect your accounts here.


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Hawthorne approves dense apartment building, rejects appeals from SpaceX and Amazon – Daily Breeze

A hotly divided Hawthorne City Council traded accusations of corruption, conflict and collusion Tuesday night before approving a dense apartment building that will share a corner with SpaceX, an Amazon delivery hub and other industry, despite strong opposition from those companies.

The council voted 3-2 to allow Blackwood Real Estate to erect 230 small apartments on Crenshaw Boulevard at Jack Northrop Avenue. The six-story project will occupy a rectangular 2.5-acre lot that will also include a restaurant and walking paths.

The so-called “Green Line” development, which needed waivers from the city because it violates several zoning restrictions, was sold as a modern, transit-oriented project by virtue of its location one-half mile from a Green Line station.

City Council supporters — Angie English, Haidar Awad and Olivia Valentine — also refused to allow a second public comment period to hear from representatives from Amazon, SpaceX and the railroad that runs directly behind the property who wanted to speak in opposition.

Mayor Alex Vargas and Councilman Nilo Michelin strongly opposed the development, and the city’s planning director raised several concerns about its incompatibility with city land uses. The project provides fewer parking spaces than the city normally requires, and apartments are smaller than Municipal Code allows. Residents there also will be subject to noise and emissions from the 24-hour industrial operations next to them.

“For me, change is not more apartments. It’s more aerospace companies,” Michelin said. “I was not elected to passively defend developers. We don’t need more apartments.”

Before the vote, council members accused one another of corruption.

Vargas said English’s proposal in September to reduce the apartment density from 274 units to 230 units was suspicious.

“Why are some council members entering into unilateral negotiations with the developer?” Vargas said. “We were prohibited from talking to the developer. Who chose that 230 number? Why not 150? Why not 80?”

English shot back: “Since (Vargas) put it out there, there’s a lot to be said. There’s also been collusion on his part. I want to know from the planning director how many times the mayor has been in contact with you. The bull has to stop.”

English also accused the nonprofit Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. of unethical behavior for opposing the deal.

“There’s a conflict with LAEDC and SpaceX,” she said. “SpaceX is a member of LAEDC, so of course they would be here to benefit SpaceX. They’re colluding to make efforts to trash this project.”

Valentine also said she believes it’s “very suspicious” that SpaceX and the LAEDC were in opposition because “this (apartment building) will make the area attractive for commercial development.”

Lilian Haney, community relations manager at SpaceX, asked the council to reopen a public comment period at the beginning of the meeting, saying the rocket maker is concerned about the safety of homes so close to its headquarters.

“We do not think this project proposed is correct for this space,” Haney said.

Judy Kruger, a director at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., said the city should declare the area an aerospace park rather than building housing in an industrial area.

“Industrial land is employment land, and a critical factor in growing an industry such as aerospace,” Kruger said. “Jobs in industrial parks support high-paying jobs. Industrial land availability rates around the region are only at 1 or 2 percent and we don’t need to lose any more industrial property.”

But supporters said Blackwood’s project is the kind of modern, forward-thinking development that Hawthorne needs.

Kyle Orlemann, vice chairwoman of the city’s veterans affairs commission, said she would like to move to a place like the Green Line project when she gets older.

“The city is changing and, yes, we have a lot of rental units here,” Orlemann said. However, we have a lot of traffic. The city is going to be a model where people live near where they work. (Renters there) can certainly walk to Lowe’s and that development and take cars off the street. Using public transportation is the way of the future.”

Dense apartment buildings are a particularly sore issue in the city because, in the 1970s and ’80s, developers concentrated such projects in the crime-ridden Moneta Gardens neighborhood.

“We do have a lot of apartments,” said Alex Monteiro, a principal of Moneta Gardens Improvement Inc. “We have 70 percent renters. We need more homes and condominiums for sale, not for rent.”

Resident Andrea Santana accused Awad of having a conflict of interest because his father, who operates a used-car dealership and financing business, owns undeveloped land in the city. She has previously brought up concerns about whether the Blackwood deal will open the door to similar lucrative deals involving dense  apartment buildings.

Awad responded that he will make his personal finances public.

“I am clean,” Awad said. “When you’re clean, you have no fear of what’s in the shadows.”

Samsung 4K TV, Amazon Kindle, and more tech get discounts this week

There was an array of new hardware announced this week, such as the Google Pixel 2, the Sonos One speaker, and the Samsung Odyssey headset. While you can pre-order those today, you might be looking for deals on some other great tech that’s available right now.

Our favorites includes Amazon’s Sonos sale, discounts on 4K smart TVs, and two Samsung deals (Galaxy Tab 3 and Gear S3) ending today (Saturday, October 7th).

Entertainment

Computing

  • Last call! Samsung Galaxy Tab S3: Ending today, (October 7th) get $100 off the tablet, bringing the price down to $499.99.
  • Lenovo 25th Anniversary Sale: Mentioned earlier this week, Lenovo is offering a special discount on the retro ThinkPad it unveiled for its 25th anniversary. Get 25 percent off various laptops until Wednesday, October 11th, including the ThinkPad X1 Carbon (5th gen).
  • Amazon Kindle deals: Prime members can get $30 off the Kindle (now $49.99), Paperwhite (now $89.99) and Voyage (now $169.99).
  • Amazon Fire Kids sale: Until Sunday, October 15th, Amazon is offering discounts on Fire Kids tablets that are only a few bucks shy of Prime Day. Take $20 off Fire 7 Kids Edition with code KIDSFIRE7, and $30 off Fire HD 8 Kids Edition with code: KIDSFIRE8.
  • AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Processor: It’s now $100 off on Amazon, down to $299 for the first time since August.
  • Anker PowerPort Speed 1 charger: The USB Type-C 30W USB wall charger is down to $22 on Amazon.

Wearable Tech

  • Last call! Samsung Gear S3: Save $50 on various models of the new smartwatch (was $350–$450, now $300–$400) until end of today, October 7th.

Looking for more gaming deals? Check out Polygon’s gaming deals roundup here.

Good Deals is a weekly roundup of the best deals on the internet, curated by Vox Media’s commerce editor, Chloe Reznikov, in collaboration with The Verge’s editorial team. You can submit deals to deals@theverge.com and find more Good Deals here.

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.

Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Motorola, Amazon, Marketing & Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Twitter Advertiser Index: Oppo, Vivo, OnePlus, Motorola, Amazon

The weekly Twitter Advertiser Index lists the brands which have generated most engagement with users on the platform

The index looks at the live list of all advertisers on the platform and measures the total number of user engagements with all the tweets that they sent out that week – specifically this is a sum of all the replies, retweets and favourites across all tweets that week.

1. @OppoMobileIndia

In order to build up the buzz prior to the launch of their special Diwali Edition F3 smartphone, @OppoMobileIndia teased their followers with sneak peeks of the new phone and a chance to win the smartphone as #YourBestDiwaliGift. The Tweet that gained maximum traction offered their customers the opportunity to win #OPPOF3 Diwali Edition through a simple Like / RT, and drove sustained engagement with notification for the launch.

Link to tweet withhighest engagement

2. @VivoIndia

@VivoIndia continued to promote their sleek and stylish #VivoV7Plus by highlighting the various features in a series of Tweets along with their custom emoji. The top Retweeted Tweet from @VivoIndia gave a glimpse of the hassle free unlocking experience of the #VivoV7Plus smartphone Face Access feature, an alternative to unlocking via fingerprint, password or pattern.

Link to tweet withhighest engagement

3. @OnePlus_IN

Keeping in mind the impending festive season, @OnePlus_IN Tweeted about the festive season being about gifting and kicked off their #10DaysofGiveways campaign. Day 1 was most well received as their fans spread the word through @mentions in order to win a backpack each on the first day of the campaign.

Link to tweet with highest engagement

4. @Motorola India

@Motorolaindia ran an interesting activity that got their fans thinking out of the box to look for clues and solve the puzzle. The Tweet with highest engagement from @motorolaindia hinted at the features of the next Motorola device and gave fans the chance to win the soon to be launched phone. @motorolaindia also encouraged fans to put on their thinking hats as they gave sneak peeks to features on the new phone, such as dual camera.

Link to tweet withhighest engagement

5. @Amazon India

@Amazon India continued to promote their Amazon Great Indian Festival sale which is from 21st-24th September. In a very engaging activity, @amazonIN asked fans to guess the price for guess the price for iPhone 7 at #AmazonGreatIndianFestival and stand a chance to win the phone. They also used the hashtag #KaroMilkeTayyari to encourage people to get ready for the festive season.

Link to tweet withhighest engagement

Amazon Echo owners love the iPhone, while Google Home keeps it in the Android family – GeekWire

(Images via Google, Amazon, BigStock).

Amazon Echo owners are more likely to be iPhone and iPad fans, while owners of the Google Home smart speaker are, unsurprisingly, heavy users of Android smartphones and tablets, according to a new study from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Surveying 300 U.S. owners of Amazon Echo or Google Home devices, CIRP found that 55 percent of Echo owners have an iPhone, while 77 percent of Google Home owners have an Android smartphone. The study shows that Apple grabs a much bigger share of Echo owners than it does the overall smartphone market.

“iPhones accounted for less than one-third of phone activations at the same time that over half of Echo
owners report having an iPhone,” said Josh Lowitz, partner and co-founder of CIRP. “In contrast, among Home owners, over three-quarters report having an Android phone, which is roughly consistent with the overall share of
Android phones in the marketplace.”

This dynamic is sure to change when Apple’s $349 HomePod hits the streets in December. The Google Home figures show that Android users want to stay in their ecosystem when it comes to smart speakers, and it’s possible that Apple customers will do the same.

Amazon doesn’t have a smartphone operating system to combine with the Echo, but the retail giant has made up for it by putting its digital brain Alexa into a variety of different products. Additionally, Alexa is leading the way in terms of things she can do, with more than 25,000 voice activated skills.

Though Android users don’t stray far from home, Echo owners aren’t so loyal. Only 25 percent of Echo users have an Amazon Fire tablet, versus 49 percent with an iPad and about 30 percent with an Android-powered tablet. About 63 percent of Google Home owners surveyed have an Android tablet, the study found.

Amazon has the clear lead in the smart speaker market at the moment, with a 76 percent marketshare, according to another CIRP study. CIRP also estimates 15 million Amazon Echo units have sold across the U.S., which is up from 10.7 million in March and 5.1 million this past November,

Both Amazon and Google released a new slate of smart speakers, and other products powered by their respective digital assistants. Google Home unveiled two new speakers this week: the $49 Google Home Mini and the $399 Google Home Max, which compete with Amazon’s pint-sized Echo Dot and Apple’s HomePod, respectively. Amazon’s new releases did not include a significantly more powerful speaker, like the Google Home Max or the HomePod, but did have a redesigned Echo, a speaker with a smart home hub built in and several other interesting gadgets.

Google Home Mini versus Amazon Echo Dot


google home miniMatt
Weinberger/Business Insider

  • The Google Home Mini is a small, palm-sized $49 smart
    speaker powered by the Google Assistant smart voice
    assistant.
  • Google Home Mini is a direct competitor to Amazon Echo
    Dot, a very popular smart speaker that costs the same and
    is roughly the same size.
  • In my first tests, I like the Google Home Mini more
    than the Amazon Echo Dot because the Google Assistant agent
    is generally smarter than Amazon Alexa.

Amazon’s
Echo Dot
is a sensation: Affordably priced at $49.99, the
sleek, puck-shaped gadget seems
to be leading the pack for voice-controlled smart
speakers
 — and
taking Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant into new places

So it came as no surprise this week when Google announced the
Google Home Mini, its own take on a smaller smart speaker, at
almost the exact same price of $49. It’s powered by Google
Assistant, the search giant’s own voice assistant, and ships on
October 19th.

Not only did I get to play with a Mini after the big Google
hardware event this week; I got to bring one home and try it in
my own house too. And I’m here to make the case that the Google
Home Mini is, indeed, better than the Amazon Echo Dot. 

Functionality-wise, the two devices are very similar. You wake
them up with a magic word — “Alexa” for the Echo Dot, and “OK
Google” for the Home Mini — and then ask them to do things. Both
of them can play music from major streaming services, set alarms
and timers, give you sports scores, and control your smart
lightbulbs and other “connected” appliances. 


Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon Echo
Dot

AP

The two devices are also very similar sizes, not much bigger than
a hockey puck, though the Home Mini is a little shorter and a
touch wider. The Google Home Mini sports an,
ahem, unique fabric-covered aesthetic. You can
get it in black or white, and Google itself will be selling an
exclusive “coral red” color.

The Home Mini has touch controls on top for volume, and a switch
that mutes the microphone. In my initial tests, the Google Home
Mini’s speaker seems both a little louder and a touch clearer
than the Dot’s. 

The Home Mini also supports Bluetooth, so you can connect other
gadgets to it and control them with your voice. But it lacks an
auxiliary port, which the Dot has. Generally speaking, though, if
you really care about sound quality and don’t plan on using an
external speaker, you’re going to want either the larger,
original model Google Home ($129) or Amazon Echo ($99). 


google home mini
The four dots mean this
Google Home Mini is at maximum volume.

Matt Weinberger/Business Insider

Both devices also carry some corporate synergies. With an Amazon
Echo Dot, you can shop on Amazon, control a Fire TV streaming box
and listen to Amazon Prime Music; with a Google Home Mini, you
can control Chromecast streaming devices, access Google Play
Music, and
shop with new Google partner Walmart
. It’s a matter of taste.

Okay, so if the two devices are the same in so many ways,
why do I like the Google Home Mini better? Well, to answer that,
I’m going to have to take a big step back and explain why I like
the Google Assistant better than Amazon Alexa. 

Assistant over Alexa

Before equipping my house with my first Google Home, I
tried the Echo Dot, but got really frustrated at its limitations.
It can answer some basic questions (“When do the Yankees
play next?”). But, despite Amazon’s efforts  to
smarten Alexa up over the years, it tends to
stumble over anything more complicated (“How do I get rid of a
depleted fire extinguisher?”).

You can enable Alexa “skills,” or apps, that extend its knowledge
and functionality — skills for recipes, for games, and trivia,
and relaxation. And Amazon, to its credit, has put in a lot of
work in nudging you towards the right skill, depending on
your question. Not every skill is great, though, and frankly, I
don’t always remember which skill I need when I’m just trying to
figure out a question. 

Which is why I like the Google Assistant, and thus Google Home,
better. Because it taps straight into Google’s base of knowledge,
both global and personal, Google Assistant can answer lots of
questions, even the really obscure ones. “What day was the Battle
of Hogwarts?” “How does Pikachu evolve into Raichu?” Even, “when
is my flight on Tuesday?”


google home mini
All three colors of Google
Home Mini available at its October 19th
launch.

Matt Weinberger/Business
Insider


I don’t want to sound too down on Alexa. Amazon has put a lot of
smarts into its assistant, and it’s really
convenient to be able to check on my Amazon orders or place new
ones with my voice. Functionality-wise, Alexa integrates with way
more third-party apps, meaning I can use it with my preferred
shopping list app. And yet, Google Home is my favorite.

When we started using the Google Home in my house, we were
skeptical after our experiences with the Echo Dot. However, the
Google Home has won us over to a frightening degree. “Just ask
Google” has become a refrain in our house. We use it for
identifying actors in movies, or to figure out
what the heck an “ancient grain” is in a recipe. 

And the Google Home Mini makes it cheaper to stock our home up
with that kind of intelligence, plus each individual unit is more
demure and easier to stash on a bookshelf or endtable. We already
love Google Assistant, so the only way Google could have messed
this up for us is by whiffing on the hardware. And so far, Google
Home Mini is great.

Google Home Max vs. HomePod and Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: battle of the smart speakers

On Wednesday, Google unveiled two new versions of the Google Home speakers: the Mini, which is priced to compete with the Amazon Echo Dot, and the Max, which is positioned at the luxury end of the market, similar to Apple’s HomePod. Both the Max and the HomePod are set to come out in December. So how do these smart speakers stack up against each other? With most of these products still unavailable in retailers until November or December, we can’t determine the best smart speakers in terms of sound quality just yet. Historically, Sonos has cornered the market with the very well-reviewed Sonos Play: 1 and Play: 3, and the company just unveiled a speaker with Alexa software built in.

So even though we can’t make a full comparison just yet, we are able to line these speakers up spec by spec to give you a good look at what will be available this holiday season. We’ve factored in price points, speakers, microphones, processors, and more. Here’s what we know so far. (You can scroll the spec sheet.)

Google Home Mini and Max comparison

Categories Google Home Mini Echo Dot Google Home Max HomePod Amazon Echo Echo Spot Echo Plus Google Home Sonos One Sonos Play:1 Sonos Play:3
Categories Google Home Mini Echo Dot Google Home Max HomePod Amazon Echo Echo Spot Echo Plus Google Home Sonos One Sonos Play:1 Sonos Play:3
Price $49.99 $49.99 $399.99 $350 $99.99 $129.99 $149.99 $129.00 $199.00 $199.00 $299.00
Speakers 360 sound with 40mm driver 0.6-inch speaker Two 4.5-in woofers and two 0.7-inch tweeters 7 tweeters, 4-inch subwoofer 0.6-inch tweeter, 2.5-inch woofer 1.4-inch speaker 2.5-inch woofer and 0.8-inch tweeter 2-inch driver and dual 2-inch passive radiators Two digital amplifiers, one mid-woofer, one tweeter 3.5-inch mid-woofer, tweeter Two 2.75-inch mid-woofers, 1-inch tweeter
Microphones Far-field voice recognition supports hand free use 7-microphone array Far-field voice recognition supports hand free use 6-microphone array 7-microphone array 4-microphone array 7-microphone array 2-microphone array 6-microphone array N/A N/A
Smart assistant Google Assistant Alexa Google Assistant Siri Alexa Alexa Alexa Assistant Alexa Alexa through connected Echo(in private beta) Alexa through connected Echo(in private beta)
Processor TBA Texas Instruments DM3725 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Apple A8 Texas Instruments DM3725CUS100 TBA TBA Marvell 88DE3006 Quad-core processor ARM Cortex A9 PowerPC e300
Multi-room audio? Chromecast Audio Yes, through Alexa Chromecast Audio AirPlay 2 Yes, through Alexa Yes, through Alexa Yes, through Alexa Chromecast Audio Sonos Sonos Sonos
Music services supported Google Play Music, Spotify Premium, Pandora, YouTube Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio Amazon Music, Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify Premium, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Audible Google Play Music, Spotify Premium, Pandora, YouTube Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio Apple Music Amazon Music, Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Spotify Premium, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Audible Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more Google Play Music, Spotify Premium, Pandora, YouTube Music, TuneIn, iHeartRadio Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and TuneIn Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Deezer, TuneIn, Napster, Microsoft Groove, Slacker, Stitcher, Tidal, and more Apple Music, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Deezer, TuneIn, Napster, Microsoft Groove, Slacker, Stitcher, Tidal, and more
Third-party developer support Yes, Assistant actions Yes, Alexa Skills Yes, Assistant actions As of now, no Yes, Alexa Skills Yes, Alexa Skills Yes, Alexa Skills Yes, Assistant actions Only through Sonos partnerships Only through Sonos partnerships Only through Sonos partnerships
Interface No visible buttons, LED indicators Light ring, buttons LED indicators, touch panel Siri waveform / touch panel Light ring, buttons Front facing camera, volume and mics/camera buttons Light ring, buttons LED indicators, touch panel Touch controls, LED indicators Volume and play / pause buttons Volume and play / pause buttons
Connectivity Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Chromecast Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5mm headphone jack Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Chromecast Wi-Fi Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Weight 6.10 ounces 0.36 pounds 11.7 pounds 5.5 pounds 1.81 pounds 0.92 pounds 2.1 pounds 1.05 pounds 4.08 pounds 4.08 pounds 5.71 pounds
Dimensions (in.) 3.86 in dia x 1.65 in height 1.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 13.2 x 7.4 x 6 6.8 x 5.6 x 5.6 5.9 x 3.5 x 3.5 4.1 x 3.8 x 3.6 9.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 5.62 x 3.79 x 3.79 6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 5.2 x 10.6 x 6.3

Speakers

The Google Home Max appears to be the company’s answer to Apple’s HomePod, which has seven tweeters and a 4-inch subwoofer. The Home Max only has two tweeters and two 4.5-inch woofers, with an emphasis on producing lots of bass.

The Sonos One, announced just an hour before the new Google Homes, is an upgrade to the Sonos Play:1 and Play:3, but now with two digital amplifiers. With two amps, a mid-woofer, and a tweeter, from the specs alone, the Sonos One boasts better sound than nearly all of its rivals, but of course, we’ll know more once we’ve put these all to the test.

Meanwhile, the smaller devices have passable speakers not meant for blasting music. The choice here will likely be whether you prefer one digital assistant over the other, which brings us to…

Virtual assistants

Which device or family of devices you begin investing in will largely be determined by which virtual assistant you prefer: Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, or (not featured on this list) Cortana.

The Google Assistant also got plenty of upgrades announced at the Pixel event, putting it at an advantage compared to Siri. For instance, both Google and Amazon home devices now can extend routines, performing several actions at the behest of a single prompt. But Apple’s Siri still doesn’t have that functionality and you have to ask Siri to do one thing at a time. (Also, you can now make your Google Assistant sound male.)

Curiously, Sonos — which doesn’t have its own proprietary virtual assistant, and relies on collaboration with Amazon and Google — will have the first devices with both Alexa and Google Assistant enabled next year. You can summon either with their catchphrase, which might lead to conundrums when you say things like, “Hey Alexa, Google The Verge.” Having two virtual assistants at once could either be great, or terribly confusing.

Control

Both the Google Home Max and HomePod claim to be able to auto-adjust based on their positions in the room to give the optimal reverb and sound. It’s also worth noting that Google’s partnership with Nest means easier compatibility to smart security systems, if you go with Google Home products.

Although the Google Mini has no visible buttons, you can tap the top of it to pause and left or right to tune the volume. Similarly, the Sonos One offers touch controls and it’s got a new six-microphone array to better capture voice recognition compared to the older Sonos models.

Price

The Google Home Mini, priced at $49.99, is the same as the Amazon Echo Dot. Choice, again, comes back down to preferred virtual assistant or aesthetic. If you’re concerned about size, there’s also the Amazon Echo Spot which is designed like an alarm clock with a video conferencing camera, but it costs $129.99.

The Sonos One at $199.99 is solidly in the mid price range, while the HomePod at $350 and the Google Home Max at $399.99 make up the higher-end side of the market. It’s easy to see how customers could be swayed to buying two Sonos Ones for the price of one Google Home Max.

Deals

It’s worth noting that the Google Home Max also comes with a promotion at the moment: it’s offering a year-long free subscription to YouTube Red. Amazon, for its part, is offering a number of bundle deals on Echo devices. You can get multi-room audio with a three-pack of Echos for $249. You can also get an Echo Dot and Fire TV bundle for $80.

With the range of Amazon Echo products, all at different price points, it’s more likely that you’ll find devices that suit your needs among the offerings. As of now, Google Home only comes in the original model, Mini, and Max. And Apple is betting solely on the HomePod for its part of smart speaker market share. No other company has an Echo Spot equivalent quite yet, which may not matter much to you if you live in a condo or a house with less rooms.

More deals are likely to come as we get closer to the end of the year and as some of the higher-end products make it to market. Check back on The Verge for our full reviews of all the flagship products above and if we find any solid sales ahead of the holidays.