Got yourself a new Google Home mini, Google Home, Google Home Max or any other Google Assistant-powered smart speaker this holiday as a Christmas gift? We have some tips and tricks for you to help you get the most out of it.
Google knows the smart speaker is an important market and it is going to grow considerably over the next few years which is why it has been improving Google Assistant for Google Home and other Assistant-powered speakers on a regular basis. Google Assistant is now capable of doing much more than what it could do last year this time. It has gotten smarter, faster, efficient, and learned some new tricks.
If you just got your first Google Home speaker or any other Google Assistant-powered smart speaker, check out some tips and tricks for them.
20. Find Your Phone
This is easily one of the most underrated features of Google Home or any other Assistant-powered smart speaker. You can use it to quickly locate your phone.
If you are like me, every once in a while you will end up misplacing your phone somewhere in your room or home with the device on silent. In such a scenario, simply ask your Google Home to “find my phone.” It will automatically ring your device so that you can locate it. If you have multiple devices linked to your Google account, Assistant will prompt you to select one of them before ringing it.
19. Cast Local Music
You can use your Assistant-powered Google Home or smart speaker to not just stream music from your favorite streaming service but also playback audio files stored on your device.
In any compatible app like Google Play Music, Spotify, Gaana, Saavn etc., you will see a cast button whenever you are near your smart speaker. Simply tap the cast button and select your Google Home speaker to which you’d like to cast music to.
18. Track or Find Flights
You can use your Google Home to find flight prices or track their status. This is a useful feature to have to keep track of the status of the flight of your loved ones or to plan your next vacation.
To track flight status, say “Ok Google, what is the status of flights to <insert city name>.” Similarly, you can use filters like “find me non-stop flights to <city name>” or airlines by saying “find me flights with <airlines name>”.
17. Remember Things
If you are the forgetful kind, you can ask Google Home to remember things for you. So, for example, you can ask Google Home to remember where you left your car keys. Then, the next time you are searching for your car keys, simply ask Google Home “where’s my car key?” and it will remind you of its location.
16. Recognize Multiple Voices
Google Home is geared towards family use which is why it is also able to recognize an individual voice. So, when you ask Google Home about your calendar appointments, it will read your upcoming calendar entries.
Similarly, if your spouse or brother asks Google about upcoming calendar events, it will read their calendar entries. All this happens automatically without the user having to do anything. Just ensure to set up multiple accounts while setting up your Google Home. Make sure to use the Google Home app to set up multiple users on the speaker.
15. Guest Mode
Google Home is also a speaker which means you can use it to blast music in your home. If you are having a party or just have some guests over, you can let them cast music to your Google Home as well.
There’s no need for you to provide access to your Google Home for this. Simply enable the Guest Mode feature from the Home app and the speaker will show up as a cast target on their device.
14. Set a Timer or Alarm
Google Home can act as your perfect cooking or exercise companion since you can use it to quickly and easily set a timer. Just say “Ok Google, set a 1-minute timer” to start the countdown. You can set multiple timers if you wish to. In a similar fashion, you can use Google Home to set multiple alarms.
13. Get an Overview of Your Day
You can use Google Home to quickly get an overview of your day every morning. Simply say “Ok Google, what’s my day like” and Google will read all your calendar entries, provide you with the weather and traffic update, flight status, and more.
12. Book an Uber
You can use Google Home to quickly book an Uber ride. All you need to do is say “Ok Google, book an Uber” followed by where you would like to go. Make sure to link your Uber account with Google Assistant using the Google Home beforehand to ensure the feature works properly.
11. Broadcast to Multiple Google Home
If you have multiple Google Home or Google Assistant-powered speakers in your home or office, you can broadcast something across them simultaneously. Just say “Ok Google, broadcast <insert your message>” and it will be broadcasted across all your Google Home speakers.
You can use the broadcast feature from Google Assistant on your phone as well when you are not in front of the speaker.
10. Play Netflix content on TV
Google Assistant on Google Home can integrate with a bunch of third-party services which help in making it more useful. You can even integrate Google Assistant with Netflix and then you can simply use your Google Home to play any content from Netflix on your TV.
Some caveats do apply here. First, you must have an Android TV, a TV with Chromecast built in or have a Chromecast plugged to it. Secondly, if you are not already a Netflix subscriber, you must subscribe to it and then link it with your Google account. You can find the detailed steps over on Netflix’s support page.
9. Make a Call
If you live in the United States, Canada, and the U.K., you can use Google Home to directly call one of your contacts as well. Simply saying “Ok Google, call <insert name” is enough for Google Home to call your contact.
The best part is that most calls you make this way are completely free. Though do note that this feature is only available for users in the United States, Canada, and the U.K. for now.
8. Cooking guide
Google Home can act as your cooking guide and help find you the right recipe to make your favorite food. The feature is available for Google Home users in the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia for now.
To find a recipe using Google Home, all you need to do is say “Ok Google, find me a <food> recipe”. Google has a list of partners from where it will pull the relevant recipe. Google Home will then tell you about all the ingredients you need. You can skip this if you have all the items ready by simply saying “Skip to the instructions.”
You can find more details on how to use your Google Home for cooking recipe over here.
7. Tweak the Bass Output
With all its smart features, it is easy to forget that Google Home is also a speaker and so its music quality is also equally important. While the Google Home and Google Home Max sound pretty good, they also come with an equalizer which you can use to tweak its bass and treble output.
To access the equalizer, open the Google Home app on your iPhone or Android. From there, tap the Settings icon located on the top.
6. Chain Multiple Commands Into One
In a bid to make talking to Assistant more life-like, Google added the ability to recognize multiple commands at once to it. This means you can ask Assistant to do multiple things at once.
For example, you can ask it to lower the volume and play a song from your favorite artist or turn on the TV and ask what’s the weather like etc. The two commands don’t need to be related to each other. However, since the feature is still new, you cannot merge to complex commands into one as it will likely end up tripping Assistant.
5. Multilingual Support
Google Assistant on Google Home gained multilingual support this year. This means the assistant is capable of understanding multiple languages at the same. So you can start a voice command in English and end it in Japanese and Assistant will still understand it.
Right now, multilingual support on Google Home is available for English (U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, India, Singapore), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish (Spain) languages.
4. Change Default Music Provider
Since Google Assistant is open in nature, it allows integration with third-party music streaming services like Spotify, Pandora or Deezer. So if you primarily use Spotify or any other streaming service for listening to music, you can set it as the default music source on your Google Home speaker.
For this, you will have to use the Google Home app on your iPhone or Android. Head over to Accounts → Settings Services tab → Music and then select one of the music services shown. Whichever service you select, you will have to link your account with Google Assistant for the integration to be complete.
The list of streaming service providers shown will vary depending on the region you live in.
3. Cast Photos to TV
If you use Google Photos to backup all your photos to the cloud, you can ask Google Home to cast photos from your photo library to your TV. Thanks to Google’s excellent machine learning prowess, Google Photos can identify individual faces in photos which you can then tag. If your photo library is properly organized, you can simply ask Google Home to “show me photos of <insert person or object name> on <insert TV name>.” Similarly, you can also ask Google Home to show photos from a particular album if you wish to.
2. Join the Preview Programme
Google is constantly working on adding new features to Assistant on Google Home. If you want to live on the bleeding edge and try out these new features as soon as possible, you should join the preview programme from Google.
This will ensure you get beta updates for Google Home with new features for testing purposes, though do note that this may compromise the stability of the speaker a bit.
To join the preview programme, open the Home app on your iPhone or Android device, head over to Settings -> Preview Programme and tap the ‘Join Programme’ button.
1. Connect Bluetooth Devices
The Google Home is a speaker first and then a smart speaker. So, it has all the basics of a speaker covered as well. This includes Bluetooth connectivity which you can use to pair a set of Bluetooth speakers to your Google Home. This will allow Google Home to play music through the Bluetooth speakers for even better music quality.
Do note that most Bluetooth speakers automatically turn themselves off after a set amount of time so you will have to keep switching them on from time to time.
To pair a Bluetooth device to Google Home, you can say “Ok Google, Connect to Bluetooth.” Then search for Google Home on the device that you’d like to pair with it. Alternatively, you can make use of the Google Home app for this.
What are some of your favorite Google Home tips and tricks? Drop a comment and share them with our readers!