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Google Assistant on the Google Pixel smartphone and Google Home speaker

The Amazon Echo Bluetooth speaker with the Amazon Alexa digital personal assistant is designed to integrate voice-based personal assistance into your home (see previous post).

And smartphone-based assistants like Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana make sure the same easy access to information and entertainment is always at hand.

The original Google Now voice assistance service grew out of Google's search tools and developed into the full-fledged Google app for Android and iOS.

Earlier this year, Google announced Google Assistant as its next intelligent personal assistant, which is evolving to support two-way dialogs so you can clarify requests instead of using only a single command and response.

Google Assistant is currently available on the new Google Pixel smartphone, the new Google Home voice-activated speaker, and the Google Allo smart messaging app.

The Google Pixel smartphone, available from Verizon Wireless, runs the latest Android 7.1 Nougat.

It features an impressive 12.3 MP main camera with f/2.4 Aperture that can shoot great photos in low light or bright light.

It is rugged, with curved edges from the aluminum unibody and 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 4 face.

The battery provides up 13 hours of Internet use or video playback, and charges rapidly -- providing 7 hours of use after 15 minutes of charging.

The Google Pixel is priced starting at $649 with a 5 inch display and 32 GB of storage. Or add $120 for the XL model with 5.5 inch display, plus $100 to expand from 128 GB of storage.

The Google Home is Google's answer to the Amazon Echo line -- a voice-activated speaker with Google Assistant that can integrate with your Google accounts to provide even more personal assistance. It's priced at $129.

It's a Hi-Fi speaker, with a 2" driver plus dual 2" passive radiators. And since it is a Wi-Fi device, you can control music playback on multiple speakers all around your house.

The Google Home is 3.79 inches in diameter and 5.62 inches high, and weighs 1.05 lbs. You even can customize the base with seven colors to fit your decor.

See my Holiday Tech 2016 coverage for more on digital assistants, and for more fun holiday ideas from the mobile digital revolution.

Find the Amazon Echo Dot on Amazon.com

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