Google has updated its Home app to include support for third-party Bluetooth speakers. Previously, users could only listen to music via Google Home by plugging Chromecast Audio into their device. With this recent update, however, users can now connect non-Google speakers to their device using wireless Bluetooth connectivity.
According to Tech Times, Google Home will automatically use the connected Bluetooth speaker to play music, audiobooks and podcasts. When a user streams music or plays an already downloaded song on his or her device, it will automatically play on the speaker.
Furthermore, the newly updated Google Home app allows users to connect multiple Bluetooth speakers to their device. If you have two speakers, for instance, you can place one in your living room and another in your kitchen. Assuming they are both connected to your Home device, they will both play music. However, the audio output only goes to a single speaker at once. Users can control which speaker plays, but they can’t set up Home to play music on multiple Bluetooth speakers simultaneously. This is a feature that many Home users are hoping to see added in the future.
It’s important to note that users must perform voice commands to the Home device and not the Bluetooth speaker or speakers. Only the Home device will listen to and interpret the user’s voice commands. The Bluetooth speakers are simply designed to play music and audio from the Home device.
To use a third-party Bluetooth speaker with a Home device, users must first install the Home app on the device, after which they can enable pairing in the device’s settings. Once the speaker has been paired with the device, the user can play songs, audiobooks or podcasts using his or her voice to control the device.
Google first announced its line of voice-controlled Home devices in 2016. Since then, it’s released the Google Home, Home Mini and Home Max, the latter of which is a larger version with improved hardware specifications. Google isn’t without competition in the smart speaker market, however. Amazon has its own smart speaker, the Amazon Echo, which provides many of the same features as its Home counterpart.
The Google Home app is available free to download on the Play Store.