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Smart Home

​CNBC and other partners make Google Home more useful

With outside partners offering news, movie advice and remote control of cars, Google's smart speaker is becoming a better alternative to Amazon's Echo.

​Google Home smart speaker

Google Home smart speaker

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You can now hobnob with an electronic incarnation of financial news outlet CNBC through the Google Home smart speaker.

You'll be able to invoke several CNBC shows and podcasts through the Google Home news service, CNBC said. And you can ask about specific stocks or the performance of US markets, according to the CNBC-Google Home website. CNBC suggested this request among others, "OK Google, I want to talk to CNBC about the latest news."

CNBC announced the partnership to tap into the voice-controlled Google technology Friday. It's only available in the US for now.

The move shows how Google is letting partners make its smart speaker smarter. That'll be critical to catch up to Amazon's Echo speaker line, powered by the company's Alexa voice control technology and already featuring many partnerships with content and technology companies.

Other new Google Home partners include Netflix for movie streaming, WebMD for medical information, Tender for mixed-drink advice, Chill for Netflix movie recommendations and the Food Network for recipes. And starting in early 2017, Mercedes-Benz car owners will be able to use Google Home to send navigation destinations to their cars, pick the right cabin temperature, check fuel and electric charge levels, find out if the its doors are locked and lock them remotely.