What looks like a premature update to the Google Home companion smartphone app, originally spotted by The Verge, shows that the Amazon Echo rival smart speaker could soon support multiple users within the same location.
The Google Home app reportedly showed this under the Discover tab:
“Multiple users now supported. Now, you and others in your home can get a personalized experience from your Assistant on Google Home.”
Of course, Google Home currently does not support multiple users, which led to the conclusion that the message in the Google Home smartphone app was, in fact, premature.
But that also implies that Google may be in the final pre-rollout stages for multi-user support. That would give Google Home a significant edge over its chief rival, Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices.
Amazon Alexa on Echo smart speakers does currently have multiple user support, and you can do that by setting up multiple profiles. But there are some issues that still remain around security. For example, giving another person access means they can order items using your Amazon account. With the Echo, Amazon has provided another level of security using PIN authentication. The only problem is, you need to say that four-digit PIN out loud when making a purchase – not very secure!
We know very little about how Google Home will handle this issue, although a multi-user setup on Google’s smart speaker might necessarily require individual and separate accounts or profiles. The fact that Google Assistant can be used to order stuff through Google Express on Google Home devices implies that the search engine giant may well face similar issues of multiple users being able to order from the same account.
Things could get confusing around the home. With Amazon Echo, you can simply ask: “Alexa, which account is this?” and she’ll tell you. We expect Google Assistant to be able to respond in a similar way, but at this point it is not very clear how the feature will work, what settings will be possible, whether you can lock up your account’s content and even payment methods like credit cards and so on.
However, now that multi-user support is out of the bag, we should have more details very soon.
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