Google Home will officially arrive in Australia mid year

During all the announcements made on day one of Google IO 2017, the global internet giant slipped into the mix the tidbit that Google Home, it’s popular AI-assistant speaker, will officially be available in Australia starting mid year. That date means it could well arrive before Amazon’s local retail launch — which may be when Amazon’s competing Echo assistant speaker arrives in Australia.

Google has also announced a slew of improvements to the Home device, including Bluetooth connectivity and hands-free calling. While Google has yet to confirm, it’s likely that this new and improved version is the one that will launch Down Under.

If you’re unfamiliar with Google Home, the device is pitched as a dedicated assistant for the home, designed to help with simple digital tasks around the house – such as switching lights on and off, performing web searches and answering questions, compiling shopping lists, playing music and so much more.

Stop the imports

Australians who’ve wanted to purchase a Google Home or Amazon Echo device have so far needed to either import them from the US or purchase international stock from local vendors like Tandy (which was bought up by Kogan last year). But functionality for imported devices are US-centric, limiting what they’re capable of when used in Australia.

With official local stock soon to come to market, Australians can look forward to getting weather reports for their city, traffic updates that aren’t from a foreign land and, perhaps, even local news.

Australia isn’t the only country set to get the device – Google announced that Canada, France, Germany and Japan will also be seeing local launches starting “this summer”. Australian pricing and a specific launch date has yet to be revealed.