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23 October 2019 00:39

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Spotify users: Here’s how to claim your free Google Home Mini

We've already told you about one great smart speaker deal today, but do you know what's better than cheap? On Tuesday, Spotify announced that it is bringing back its free Google Home Mini offer, but is opening up the offer to far more customers than were able to take advantage of it last year. In 2018, only subscribers with Spotify Premium for Family subscriptions were able to snag the free Google Home Mini, but starting October 22nd, 2019, new and existing Premium Individual subscribers are eligible to pick up a free Home Mini as well. Head to this page on Spotify's website where you'll be asked to link up your Google and Spotify accounts. Once you prove that you aren't a robot, you'll be redirected to Google's online store, where you can choose between four colors of Google Home Minis: Coral, Charcoal, Chalk, and Aqua.

With Saver shipping, I was able to complete my purchase for a grand total of $0, and my completely free Google Home Mini will arrive in the next two weeks. In all likelihood, this is just an easy way for Google to clear out the remaining Home Mini inventory now that the Nest Mini is available with better sound, improved voice recognition, and a wall mount, but if you have ever wanted to give Google's smart speaker a spin, this is the cheapest and easiest way to do so. If you pay for a Premium Individual or Premium Family plan, be sure to jump on this offer (providing you actually want a Google Home Mini, of course), because Spotify says it will only be around while supplies last. For a while last year, Spotify was giving away free Google Home Mini speakers to its Spotify Premium for Family subscribers. Now, it's bringing back the offer and extending it to individual plans, even if you're already a subscriber.

The Google Home Mini, which can play music, control smart home devices, and provide information in response to voice commands, lists for $50, though it's often on sale for less. The Spotify tie-in effectively brings the price down to $10 if you're not paying for the streaming music service already. To claim the smart speaker, do the following: Head to Spotify's Premium or Family landing page. Then, either sign up or click the "Get your Google Home Mini" link if you're already a subscriber. You should receive a code to redeem in Google's online store.

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Keep in mind that this is not the Nest Mini with better bass that Google announced last week, and if you already claimed a free speaker last year, you won't be able to get another one. Same goes with users who have a student discount or who are paying through a third-party billing system, such as iTunes or a cable provider. Also worth noting: Amazon is offering its own Echo Dot speaker for $1 with a month of its Amazon Music Unlimited service, but only for new subscribers. Google Home update bug is bricking some smart speakers Some Googe Home users are reporting issues with a recent software update that has bricked some smart speakers. According to impacted device owners, the update results in perpetually illuminated LED lights on the updated Google Home or Google Home Mini speaker, something they aren't able to fix by factory resetting the device. Google has acknowledged the issue, but it appears that users who aren't covered by warranty may be out of luck. Reports of the issue started appearing a couple of weeks ago on Reddit, Twitter, and some tech forums. Impacted users report that after the most recent software update, their Google Home or Google Home Mini speaker appeared to be bricked — all the lights turned on, the speaker became unusable, and factory resetting didn't fix the problem. A look at Google's Support forum shows reports spanning back quite a while, but many have cropped up in recent weeks, hinting at what may be a more widespread issue caused by a recent update. The impact of this bug is varied: some users say that unplugging their speaker and then plugging it back in fixed the problem; others report that they had to factory reset the speaker to get it to work again. Many others, unfortunately, say that unplugging and resetting the speaker doesn't fix the problem, meaning it is effectively bricked. These same users claim that unless their device was covered by a warranty, Google refused to replace it, leaving customers with an unusable device despite the fact that they were not responsible for the issue. Only some Google Home speakers appear to be impacted by this issue, the cause of which is unknown at this time. On September 27, a 'community specialist' reported on Google's Support forum that the company is investigating the issue to find the 'root cause.' Users currently dealing with a potentially bricked speaker are advised to try unplugging it and, if that doesn't work, factory resetting it.