We love our Google Home smart speakers and smart displays. We own several of the devices and we use them every day. Primarily, we use them to play music, control our smart home, and get answers from Google.
While we believe the Google Home devices are great, they are not perfect. They are many new features and improvements we would like to see in the next version of these devices.
In this article, I review what I think Google Home 2 should look like. I list the top Google Home features I would like to see added to the devices. I also list improvements I would like to see made to the Google Home hardware and software.
I’d like to thank members of our Google Home Users Facebook group and our Google Home Facebook page for their suggestions!
Google Home 2: Suggested New Features & Improvements
Below I list suggested changes for Google Home. Use the comments section to let me know if you agree with these suggestions, or if you have suggestions of your own.
Most Requested Changes
- Release all new features to all countries. The biggest complaint we see in the Facebook Group is new features not being available in all regions. when simultaneous releases are not possible, it would be nice if Google could provide a release schedule for each region.
- Ability to change the “Hey Google” launch phrase. Motorola already supports this capability with its phones. It would be awesome if this could be added to Google Home.
- Intercom to specific speakers. Yes, we have the broadcast feature but we also want to be able to have 2-wap communication between speakers.
Google Home 2 Hardware Features
- Include an alarm clock. If Google Home had an alarm clock, I would put a Google Home in every bedroom. There should be dedicated hardware for the alarm clock so that GH firmware updates or internet outages do not impact the alarm clock’s operation. A backup battery should allow the alarm clock to fully function.
- Include physical buttons. Changing the volume using the touch interface is too finicky for my taste. Physical button would allow precise control over volume and playback. Physical buttons would allow people who are unfamiliar with the device to quickly see how to control the device.
- Add additional microphones. In my experience, Google Home doesn’t hear me as well as Amazon Echo in loud environments. A few more mics could make up the difference.
- Add an audio-out port. Instead of making us buy a separate Chromecast Audio, please add an audio-port on the Google Home. If you are concerned about losing sales, sell some Google-branded speakers that will work with Home. I’d buy them if they are good.
- Allow the next Google tablet to function like a Google Home. Give it a charging dock (preferably wireless). Allow it to display pretty search results on the screen such as recipes, celebrity bios, stats for athletes, menus for local restaurants, etc. Give it dual speakers, plus premium audio for hooking up to external speakers.
- Allow for separate volume control for voice and media playback, similar to how smartphones support this feature.
Google Home 2 Software Features
Function without Internet access. Features like timers, alarm clocks, broadcast, and smart home controls should continue to function without internet access.
Voice-Match Lock. Make it so that some Google Home commands are accessible by specified voices.
Google Home Hub 2 Hardware Features
Larger Screen Sizes. The Google Home Hub 2 should feature multiple screen sizes. For instance, I would love if the Google Home Hub 2 Max had a 14″ screen!
Add buttons. The GHH needs dedicated playback buttons and a back button. These buttons should be on the front or the top of the device. Perhaps the Google Home Hub 2 can have a front lip and the buttons can be placed on top of it. This way, you could press the buttons without pushing the device around.
Versions with improved audio. Currently, my favorite Google Home device is the JBL Link View because it has awesome audio. The GHH2 should include a model with enhanced audio, in addition to a less expensive model with basic audio.
No-Camera units and/or removable cameras units. This would allow customers to choose whether or not they want a camera in their device.
Portal-Like Camera Function. The next version of Google Home Hub should have a camera that can pan and zoom on its own, just like the Facebook Portal device.
Google Home Hub 2 Software Features
More clock faces with the weather. The GHH should include more options to display date, time, and weather on its default display.
Customizable Home Screen. Not everyone wants their empty calendar shown on the GHH. It would be nice to select on the Google Home Hub itself what content should be displayed on the home screen. For instance, some people might want to see their music playlists. Others might want to see selected YouTube channels or playlists.
Access to YouTube Profile. It’s not always easy to specify the exact video you want to watch verbally. A better option is to allow the Google Home Hub access to your YouTube profile. If privacy is a concern, a user could specify to only provide access to public playlists or followed channels.
- Provide a release schedule for firmware updates. It would be nice to see a roadmap upcoming new features by country, and by device, including third-party hardware.
- Provide release notes for each firmware update.
- Allow Google Home to state whether it has the current firmware update. Allow Google Home to say what’s in the most recent update.
Google Home Accessories
- Create a Bluetooth remote that can be used to control Google Home. The remote could allow you to ask Google Home questions without using the launch phrase. Volume, audio playback, and videocasting playback could be controlled with this remote. Perhaps the device could have programmable buttons that launch routines.
- Create a Bluetooth headset and/or headphones that have a dedicated Google Home button. The device should allow you to issue commands, make hands-free calls with the GH, and listen to GH streaming audio.
- Create a wearable that can control Google Home. It could be a watch or a comm badge that has dedicated GH buttons.
- Create a new version of Chromecast. The new version could feature video pass-through, allowing it to overlay TV broadcasts. Since the unit will serve as the input to our video sources, we will no longer have to switch the video source on our TV.
- Cast video to Google Chrome. Instead of casting to my TV, I’d like to cast to a new tab in Google Chrome.
- Verbally add time to a timer to extend timers.
- Verbally check off items on to-do list and shopping lists.
- Ask if a particular item is on a shopping list.
- Voice Memo Recording. It would be cool to be able to record voice memos that become available in the Google Home app and in Google Keep.
Events and Entertainment
- Add movie theater and showtime support. I’d like to be able to ask, “what’s playing at the AMC Hoffman movie theater”, followed by “what are the showtimes for ‘Die Hard 6’?”
- Add support for questions about local events. Sample questions include, “What concerts are happening this weekend?” or “what plays can I see next weekend?”
- Allows movie trailers to be easily displayed via Chromecast. I’d like to be able to ask, “Show me top movie trailers on Chromecast” or “Show new movie trailers on Chromecast”.
- Add the ability to announce new movies on DVD or Netflix. Sample questions: “What’s new on DVD?” and “What’s popular on Netflix?”.
- Tivo integration. I would love to be able to search Tivo for movies and shows using my Google Home. Btw, I think Google should buy Tivo before Amazon does. 😉
Enhanced Weather Support
Provide additional weather information, such as:
- Dewpoint, UV index, Humidity, and Air Quality.
- Local weather radar.
- Current and historical rainfall and snowfall totals.
- Historical weather for the current day and month.
- Flood warnings. Extreme weather warnings.
Jay Y. of the Google Home Facebook Group contributed to this section.
- Add support for satellite radio. Sample commands: “Play Howard Stern on satellite radio” and “Play Shady 45 on satellite radio”.
- Add support for playing music stored on a local computer. Not everyone has Spotify or use Google Play’s upload capability. It would be nice if Google home could play music from a memory card or network-attached storage, all without internet access.
Health and Fitness
- Add the ability to cast recipes to Chromecast. Chromecast could display static recipes from top recipe sites. I’d like to be able to ask, “what should I cook tonight”, “suggest a green smoothie recipe”, or “what should I cook for my next dinner party?”.
- Add the ability to easily cast curated workout videos to Chromecast. These videos can be on YouTube but perhaps there should be curated videos available. Perhaps we could specify videos from our saved videos or playlists.
- Add the ability to play curated guided audio workouts. I’d like to be able to say, “start seven-minute workout”.
Smart Home Commands
- Ability to “Undo” the Last Action. For instance, if I turned on the wrong groups of lights, I could tell Google Home to “undo” the last action.
- Associate Accessories to a Specific Speaker. Similar to the previous suggestion, perhaps we can associate accessories to default speakers.
Google Home App
- Improve the Ease of Use. The Google Home App has been improved since its first release. However, many users say it’s still not as easy to use as it could be.
- Add the ability to manage alarms. It would be nice to be able to manage all alarms on all speakers via the Google Home App.
- Allow support for sending and checking email. I’d like to be able to say, “Do I have email?”, “Is there new email for Smart Bro?”, or “send an email to my boss, ‘The client loved my slide deck!”.
- Allow support for sending and checking text messages. Sample commands: “Send text to my wife, ‘Please pick up milk'” and “Read my unread text messages”.
- Add the ability to define aliases for people and groups. I’d like to use aliases such as wife, boss, mom, kids, bowling team, close friends, etc. I’d like to be able to ask, “read messages from bowling team”.
- Add the ability to play Google Voice messages. Perhaps Google Home can blink if I have new voicemail and allow me to play them back.
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Share your Google Home Suggested Improvements
Do you have any features you want added to Google Home? Are there any hardware suggestions you want to suggest for the next version of the device? Use the comments section to share your thoughts.
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If you would like Google to make some of the changes above, like and share this post using the buttons below. Hopefully, Google will see this article and use some of my suggestions.
Dear designer of Google home, I have many connected speakers google home and several chromecast. what a pity not to be able to send the sound of movies I watch on my speakers connected. moreover why not offer the possibility to use your speakers as home theater? use the microphones to automatically adjust the speakers by placing them in the room! the big brands of home cinema know how to do it … The multitude of available speakers offers what it takes to realize this project. JBL link Bar and its subwoofer for the front speaker. some google home or mini home on the sides and back. Simple cheap and so cool !! Olivier a French fan!
Brilliant idea. Tried to group TV and speakers today, realised I couldn’t. Can cast from Apps on my android TV. This would be a great facility.
integration with GSuite
ability to remotely control and Manage multiple Google Homes (different accounts)
Sync the different Google Homes so that the broadcast feature can be used remotely
Google Micro – microphone only device with small speaker to play an acknowledge command tone
Perhaps integrated with a light switch?
Expand the alarm clock suggestion to also include count down and count up timers
Integration with smart hubs such as SmartThings
Would be great to be able to get text to speech alerts – “Front Door was opened”
We make the Google home and mini portable in a great design. They are certified Made for Google accessories. Also works as your portable back up battery that you mentioned. Moving your voice assistant room to room or the back yard and not worry about “where to plug in” is a great experience many don’t realize they love until they have it.
The possibility to send (for example) recipe to Chromecast will be great option 😉
I use my home minis as alarm clocks…. I can’t do it individually, but currently all of my kids get up at the same time… I also use the “broadcast to all speakers” command to get the kids’ attention when they’re upstairs… I haven’t been able to afford the actual home version, so the five I bought last year was our Christmas present to us… I don’t know why they can’t individually have alarms, etc, because the kids stream music in their rooms and they talk to them when they’re going to sleep…. I have a lot of mobility issues and these have been a Godsend… While my oldest who has arguments with his google mini, he can ask it repeated questions and when he gets agitated, his mini is actually teaching him how to respond appropriately… For instance, he called her an idiot last week, and she responded with “I’m sorry you feel that way about me. What can I do to …”. Thank you
Better microphone so shouting becomes less.
Integration with Xfinity to support Xfinity voice commands. Xfinity voice commands work well but you have to have the remote and push the button I would like to say hey Google talk to Xfinity I followed by a command
I have already suggested this as well as a number of other users, but xbox support would be awesome. Alexa already is setup to control xbox like turn on/off, open a game, tv volume. Xbox announced assistant support back in June of 2018 and it went live with Alexa back in October 2018.
Tip: If is often said that you can not type commands from your PC to Google Home, you can use ,https://console.actions.google.com/u/0/project/“project name”/simulator/, Using Android Emulators is not very good, they are very laggy.
Suggestion: With three or more Google Mini’s or Google Homes you could triangulate a specific sound (speed of sound) to measure distances extremely accurately.
Fix the timer and reminder so when a named timer/reminder triggers, google assistant tells you what name is being triggered – from what I understand, Alexa already can do this. This should have been done when named timers and reminders were first released – I’m less likely to ask how many minutes until the pizza is ready, than I am to want to know which timer/reminder is triggering if I have multiple things set for different times.