Finally giving in to the trend of a smart assistant with the latest Google Home device? Learn everything you can do with your smart speaker with this lofty list of the best Google Home tips and tricks.
Now that the human race has accelerated the growth of technology to an astronomical scale, personalizing it the next big step. The not-so-distant future where everything is controlled by artificial intelligence isn’t too far away. The unveiling of Amazon’s Echo speakers with Alexa voice support set a new standard in personalized technology, so it was obviously up to Google to one-up Amazon with Google Home.
Wait…what is Google Home?
For all those non-tech savvy people out there, Google Home may seem like nothing more than the app you install to control the Chromecast device. However, Google renamed their Chromecast app to turn it into a central controlling hub for all their smart home devices, especially Google Home.
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Google Home in its essence is a Wi-Fi enabled speaker system that doubles up as a voice-controlled command center for the smart home of the 21st century. Just short of controlling your entire household, Google Home is built as a voice-recognizing smart assistant that can do it all. The ability to Google things up in an instant, using your voice to control Chromecast and other Google Home supported smart devices is just the start.
Best Google Home tips and Tricks
While Google is continually updating the Google Assistant AI to make Google Home smarter with every update, there are a bunch of mind-blowing things you can do with it already. If you’re new to jump on the smart assistant train, here are some of the best Google Home tips and tricks to get you started on the right foot.
Have a sous-chef in the kitchen
There’s a Gordon Ramsey in all of us, but the reason why you can’t make that perfect meal every time is that you don’t have an assistant to help you out. Thanks to the food-lovers at Google, you can command your Google Home to help you cook up your latest culinary addiction.
Simply speak out “Hey Google, find me a recipe for (the food you’re craving)”, and your personal assistant will hit you up with the option of a list of full ingredients and step-by-step audio instructions. But if you rather prefer looking up recipes the old-fashioned way, you can simply bookmark them by using Google’s “Send to Home” option.
Later in the kitchen when you have your chef’s hat on, all you need to do is speak out “Ok Google, start cooking” to bring up your saved recipes. If that isn’t high-tech for you, the Google Home enabled Anova Precision Cooker will help you cook up a storm with voice-controlled temperature management and notification timer.
Google Home is all about the family
While Amazon Echo with Alexa might have beaten Google to the punch, Google Home does rack up higher when it comes to family support. Essentially, Google Home can be a personal assistant to not just one, but several members of the household with voice recognition for multiple users.
Apart from sharing the smart assistant, sharing paid services like Google Play Music, Spotify, Netflix and more is much easier. You can head over to the Google Home app on your phone, access the “Devices” option from the sidebar and then select “link your account” or “multi-user is now available” to set up your voice for recognition with the Google Home device.
Although Google Home mixes business with pleasure as it cannot distinguish between work and personal accounts yet, multi-user ability is still pretty impressive by any standard.
Can’t find your phone? Hey, Google!
This may seem simple and an old trick in the book, but remember all those times you couldn’t find your phone while you were in the house, and this feature will seem like a godsend. While there were workarounds to find your mobile phone using Google Home with IFTTT add-ons, Google now natively allows you ring your phone with the Find My Phone feature that we’ve all known and loved over the years.
In order for this feature to work, you will need to make sure that the Google account you use for Google Home is set up on your smartphone as well. Simply speak out “Hey Google, find my phone” and your smart assistant will start ringing your phone for you. The feature extends to iOS as well, but your iPhone will only ring if it isn’t set on silent (while Android will ring on any mode).
Chromecast at your service
The only reason any streaming service other than Chromecast is in business is the fact that your phone is pretty much tethered to the TV to use it. However, your Google Home smart assistant unleashes the full potential of the affordable Chromecast with voice-controlled features for every simple action.
For instance, you can use Google Home to play a specific video from YouTube, and control it with pause, stop, and skip commands. Furthermore, you can go one step further by streaming local content with Plex Media Server from your PC or mobile device, and even from your DropBox and Drive account.
Another surprise for all the Netflix and Chillers out there is the ability to control the service completely by voice using Google Home. Once you have Netflix enabled with Google Home through Settings->More Settings->Videos and Photos, you can simply speak out “Hey Google, play the first episode of Stranger Things Season 1” and your loyal assistant will do it for you.
Never forget a thing
Not everyone among us is gifted with a photographic memory, which is why Google Home is ready to double up as your personal reminder as well. Apart from all the important reminders like a doctor’s appointment that you’d usually use the Google Assistant for, you can also commission your voice assistant to remember things you’d otherwise forget.
For instance, when sorting out your documents, you can say” Hey Google, the power bill is in the living room cabinet”. Google will safely store this piece of information and replay it to you the next time you ask “Hey Google, where is the power bill?”. You can do the same for everyday objects all around the house, making up with technology every time your short-term memory deceives you.
Smarter voice assistant experience
Google understands that uttering entire sentences to the smart assistant ends up increasing the odds of errors, which is why the development team is constantly working on shortcuts and quick phrases. For instance, you can replace the traditional “Ok Google” with a friendlier “Hey Google” now, and it does sound a more natural.
But that’s just the start, Google gives you an option to add your very own shortcuts to voice navigation on Google Home. From the app, head over to Settings->More Settings->Shortcuts and begin setting up a personalized Google Home Experience for yourself. As an example, you can ask Google to play your favorite radio station or playlist by simply uttering “OK Google, relax”, to enjoy some quiet and calm after a long day.
But those are just the custom shortcuts, there a bunch of phrases that Google has it has baked into the Google Assistant AI as well. You can get the entire list of phrases that can be used with Google Home right here. A great one we found is “Good Morning”, which gives you the current weather and traffic updates with news headlines.
Smart home for the smart you
It’s no secret that the Internet of Things is the future of the modern household, and that future isn’t too distant either. Now that Google owns Nest, the company behind the first smart thermostat and a whole lot more, you can control several elements around your home through Google’s very own smart assistant.
You can start off by controlling the room temperature with Nest Thermostat by simply saying, “Hey Google, set the temperature to…”, and the device will obey. Same goes for all the other smart products that Nest has to offer, including the Nest Cam and the entire Nest Secure alarm system as well.
But you don’t have to be tied down to the Nest device environment if you want to get ahead in the IoT world. For instance, you can get the August Smart Lock that comes with Google Home support for unlocking your home the smart way. Going even one step further, you could hand over the lighting of your house to Google Home with Philips Hue lights.
Travel agent anywhere, anytime
Finding yourself a flight these days doesn’t take much, but what if all it took was a simple call to your personal assistant? With fall upon us and the holidays closing in, the coolest (and affordable) way to find yourself flight tickets is through Google Home. Combining the AI capabilities of Google Flights, the feature turns your Google Home into a 24/4 travel agent.
All you need to do is say “Hey Google, find me flights to Amsterdam between October 30 and November 10”, and your handy assistant will get the job done. Not only will Google Home find you the best flights according to your preference, but also help you set up email alerts that notify you every time there’s a price change for your selected dates.
Google Home is your shopping companion
The reason Google Home performs so seamlessly is the fact that most of its services for reminders, notetaking, messaging and more is already established. When it comes to notetaking, Google Keep is the go-to app for Android devices, which works hand in hand with Google Home for creating short notes, shopping lists and so much more.
Rather than jotting down a list for your weekly groceries, simply say “Hey Google, add 2 gallons of milk to my shopping list” and the device will do the deed for you. The best part is that all your notes will be synced with the Google Keep app on your phone, so the list is always available at your disposal when you’re out.
Google Home is for guests too!
If it wasn’t cool enough that Google Home outperforms Amazon Echo by supporting multiple users at once, this has to be the most hospitable feature yet. Every time you have a guest over who wants to try out what the whole Google Home craze is all about, you can share the experience with them without even giving out your Wi-Fi password.
As long as the guest user has Google Home app installed on their phone, they can connect to the device using the “Device” tab from the sidebar. Once they attempt to connect to your Google Home, the device will give out the four-digit PIN through the speaker audio. The guest will then be able to ask questions and issue voice commands to your Google Home.
Google Home to pass time
The smart voice assistant from Google is designed to make your life productive, but it’s so much more than that. Every time you find yourself bored out of your mind, Google Home has a great sense of humor to keep you entertained with all the knock-knock jokes and hilarious one-liners you can think of.
If that isn’t for you, Google Home can also put you on track to killing some time the fun way with Akinator. Simply say “Hey Google, let me talk to Akinator”, think of a celebrity and play the yes or no game with Google Home to be baffled by how the smart voice assistant finds the answer in just a few rounds.
But that’s not it, Google Home comes with a slew of voice-controlled quizzes and games for entertainment, with some quick trivia, a history quiz and a lot more. You can find all of these great options in the “Games & Fun” section in the Google Home app.
Have you set up your very own personal home assistant already, or did this guide to the best Google Home tips and tricks help you make up your wandering mind? Be sure to let us know if there’s any other awesome Google Home command that you feel deserves a spot on the list, or solve all your Google Home related questions on the Updato Forum right now.
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March 12 2018