Google Home Mini Isn’t Ready

Google Home Mini Isn’t Ready

Last year, I wrote, “Google Home is the most frustrating device I’ve ever reviewed.”

I saw potential in Google’s future but they weren’t executing on simple things. I was getting error messages with things like playing Spotify music. But the problem that bothered me most was that Google Calendar couldn’t be controlled through Google Home, even though Alexa devices could do this!

Google Home has matured since its inception in late 2016. The significant issues I faced have been resolved, and now both assistants are on a level playing field.

Google Home Mini and Amazon Echo Dot are excellent devices.

Google’s basic smart home integrations from big companies (Nest, Ecobee, Philips, WeMo, IFTTT) work just as well as Alexa, with better setup and configuration. Google’s has superior intelligence, a nicer minimalistic design and a better speaker.

It should be an easy call, but no audio out, Bluetooth out, or Sonos integration on Home Mini is a killer for me.

Who should get Google Home Mini?

  • Anyone in the Google ecosystem (even just Chromecast owners).
  • Anyone using the small assistants as an add-on piece just for smart home tasks (only the assistant’s voice will be played on the speaker).
  • Anyone who is fine with slightly better than smartphone audio quality for their music (Home Mini isn’t good for music but is way better than Dot).

Home Mini is a much better as a standalone option, but that’s not how these are supposed to be used ideally.

Echo Dot is still the king and for the masses. You’ll get more integrations, ability to buy things on Amazon, you can set up customized routines, and you can use your own speakers.

And when Dots are $30 during the holidays and other Amazon events, how do you pass up buying a few?

Firefox 3.5 surpasses IE7 market share

Non-profit Mozilla and its Firefox 3.5 Internet browser have managed to dethrone Microsoft and its Internet Explorer 7 browser. This comes as the first time that Firefox has beaten out Internet Explorer in browser market share as a single version.

As the chart released by StatsCounter show, Firefox 3.5 has spun past all other Internet browsers in user choice as a single version. Internet Explorer comes in first, however, with 55 percent of the market share with all versions combined.

Mozilla’s browser ended the week with 21.93 percent of the market share. IE7 came in a close second with 21.20%. The successor to IE7, Internet Explorer 8, comes in third with 20.33 percent, with IE6 coming in fourth.

Combined version’s market share still shows Internet Explorer as the king of web browsers with 55.42 percent of the market share. Firefox ended with 31.95 percent so it still has a little while to go before it surpasses Internet Explorer completely. Perhaps publicity of Firefox 4 will bring them ahead of the Microsoft-branded Internet browser?

Opera managed to lose points from it’s share decreasing it from 2 percent in June to 0.94 percent now, letting Safari 4 bring in just over 3 percent.

Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 now available to download

Firefox 4.0 Beta 1 now available to download

Firefox 4.0 beta 1 is now available to download and try out. This first beta version allows users to see what’s coming in Firefox 4.0 and give feedback on what they like or dislike. There’s more to come and new beta versions are scheduled to be released every two to three weeks.

Firefox 4.0 beta 1 includes a boatload of new features and improvements over the most recent stable version (3.6.6) and also in Windows 7 or Windows Vista the Menu Bar is replaced with a single Menu button.

Find the list of improvements inside.

  • New Add-Ons Manager: gives you more space to manage your Add-Ons, Themes and Plugins. Customizing your browser has never been easier!
  • HD Video: Watch hardware-accelerated, super-smooth, HD-quality HTML5 video on YouTube using the new WebM format.
  • Privacy improvements: Mozilla always puts privacy first, and this latest beta fixes flaws in some Web standards that could expose your browser history.
  • Crash Protection: Experience uninterrupted browsing (now available on all platforms) – when a plugin crashes or freezes, you can resume browsing by simply refreshing the page.
  • Performance: We know that performance is important. In this version, we focused on improving responsiveness at start-up and during page loads. This is just the beginning for performance improvements in Firefox 4.
  • HTML5 Parser: Run the best Web apps of today and tomorrow – if a user’s browser doesn’t support HTML5, they still won’t miss out on your content.
  • WebSockets: Build real-time, online interactions like gaming and chatting.
  • IndexedDB: Use structured storage in your Web applications to speed them up or provide offline support.
  • Web Console: Peek into dynamic websites with this experimental “Heads Up Display” play” analysis tool.
  • Simpler Add-On Development: Authors can create Add-Ons that don’t require a restart to install, develop their Add-Ons more quickly using the new powerful Jetpack SDK, and safely connect to existing libraries using js-ctypes.
  • For a full list of Web technologies supported by Firefox check out our “big chart o’ features.”