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Google’s Home Mini ruined my life

Google Home Mini

Roughly six months ago I bought a Google Home Mini just to see what kind of utility this device would bring. A lot of people I know said that they can’t do without theirs so I tried it out and from my initial review, it wasn’t too bad. As the months wore on I began to see a disturbing trend with my interactions with the speaker… I realised I was heavily reliant on it and this is a device I thought I would have disconnected and stored in a drawer somewhere shortly after the review.

And yes, I get that’s what they made it for but I didn’t think I would fall into the trap of needing what is essentially Alphabet’s ears in my house. I mean I had never connected my iPhone to the speaker and one day it told me (after a request).

If you have an iPhone, you’ll need to download the Assistant App

Trippy right? And I downloaded the application on my iPhone because the Home Mini has automated a number of tasks that I did by hand and that is disturbing for someone like me who was a Luddite when it came to these devices. So what am I bellyaching about exactly?

Death of the pen and paper

My designated intelligence agent would think that I had lost my mind if he/she didn’t know what the device was because I say “Hey Google” more times than I care to admit. Whenever I need to set a reminder for something, jot something down or add something to the calendar, I now ask the back chatting Bluetooth speaker to do it.

It’s gotten to the point that I no longer use my notebook to do many of the tasks that I usually did by hand. And yes I get it, this is what the device was made for but you have to understand that I am one of those people who actually likes to write on paper even though some people (I won’t mention any names) say my handwriting is illegible.

The upside I can’t ignore is that I have saved a tonne on buying notepads and pens. It syncs up everything with my phone so if I am never far away from whatever remainder I set.

I don’t even switch on the TV anymore

Yeah… I know anyone who knows this device is acutely aware of this feature… So basically if I ever want to leave my workstation to watch something I can get the ball rolling by telling the Home Mini to play whatever it is on Netflix or Amazon. The TV (that traitor) duly obliges and gets whatever it is I want ready for me by the time I reach the living room.

I thought I’d have to buy another one for the living room but thankfully the Skyworth 55UB7500 comes with Google Assistant. So I was saved having to make another trip to that store that I can’t remember the name of. But it’s a blue shipping container in fleamarket side parking at Avondale shops.

They weren’t kidding about the assistant bit…

Keeping my day somewhat organised has become a lot easier because Google has made it infinitely simple to get your routine in the app. The Home Mini serves as my alarm and subsequently reminds me (on command) of anything that I might have lined up for the day.

After that it’s Spotify which I have to admit is one of the speaker’s good points. For something that is about two mango seeds big, it has passable sound quality even in the low-end.

I don’t really care if Big Brother is listening anymore

I had a moment that rivalled existential dread one day when I was rearranging things and unplugging the Home Mini and I forgot to plug it back in. I called to it to do something and there was silence. What followed next is probably too shameful to admit, but maybe you’ll hear about it on the next episode of our podcast.

After that, I no longer turned off the microphone which is something I thought I would never do. And yet, here we are…

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