Google Home: 5 amazing things you didn’t know your smart speaker could do

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Transfer no matter you are listening to within the storage into the primary home with a easy command.

Dale Smith/PJDM

Generally it is the easy issues that spark essentially the most delight with a Google Home. Certain, the flashy, pyrotechnic stuff may be what caught my eye at first — flicking all of the lights in my home on directly, for instance, is my go-to trick for impressing Google Residence newbies. However just like the sarsaparilla at my favourite sizzling rooster joint, it is the little issues that seize my coronary heart and hold me coming again for extra.

Whether or not you are an simply amused newb or a seasoned Google Residence professional, I wager there are greater than only a few of those charming little options you have not stumbled throughout but. They simply do not make headlines like the discharge of the new Nest Audio speaker or the long-awaited arrival of Nest’s Home and Away routines on Google Residence.

That is why I’ve collected a handful of my private favorites, together with one I might completely use if I had any expertise for gaming in any way (not a lot). I wager you may adore them, too.


Google House is nothing if not pleasant — even the colour choices spark pleasure.

James Martin/PJDM

Take your tunes from room to room with you

For the longest time, each time I discovered myself bouncing from room to room — cleansing my home, for instance — I might pipe no matter playlist, podcast or audiobook I had on to each speaker in my Google Residence family utilizing my whole-house speaker group. Do not get me improper, I cherished each minute of it (it is spectacular how properly the audio syncs between rooms), however it’s overkill.

Subsequent time you are shifting round your home whereas listening to music or the spoken phrase on a Google Residence, simply inform your sensible speaker the place you are headed subsequent and the audio will meet you there. Here is how:

  • “Hey, Google, switch to…” adopted by the identify of the room or speaker the place you are going.
  • “OK, Google, transfer the music to…” room or speaker identify.
  • “Hey, Google, forged this to…” room or speaker.
google home with painting and houseplant

With Google Residence, typically the little issues take advantage of dramatic distinction.

Dale Smith/PJDM

Ship Google Residence solutions to your cellphone, even your iPhone

Good audio system are handy and enjoyable units, however your cellphone is your final reference system. I am unable to depend what number of instances I’ve requested my Google Residence for info I would wish later — cellphone numbers for native companies, what number of inches in 70 centimeters, and many others. — and jotted the reply in a word on my cellphone. That’s, till I realized the 4 phrases that will save me from such tedium: “Ship to my cellphone.”

Nearly any reply Google Assistant (the Google Residence voice assistant) provides you might be despatched as a push notification to your cellphone. Simply observe this sample: “OK, Google,” or “Hey, Google…” adopted by a command. After it replies, say, “Ship to my cellphone.” Inside seconds, you may get a push notification with the information (if in case you have an iPhone, you may have to put in the Google Assistant app, which is completely different from the Google Residence app).

What’s even higher is that as a result of I’ve Continued Dialog turned on, I haven’t got to say “Hey” or “OK, Google” once more, as a result of it is already listening for a couple of seconds after every response. 

If that is disabled in your Google Residence, you may have to make use of a second set off phrase. When you’d moderately not, then, open the Google Residence app and faucet your private icon within the high proper nook, then faucet Assistant settings, Assistant, Continued Dialog.


You’ll be able to inform the Google Residence to ship its responses to your Android cellphone or iPhone.

Taylor Martin/PJDM

Hey, Google, bear in mind the place I put my…

Simply because I am obsessive about tech doesn’t suggest I am some form of brainiac. In truth, I might be downright forgetful typically (simply ask my editor). Fortunately, I’ve realized to lean into that tech obsession, and my life is a revolving forged of timers, reminders, alarms and notes. However what if I neglect to recollect the word reminding me of the factor I should not neglect?

So, you may think about the way it felt like I gained eight or 9 IQ factors once I found I may simply have my Google Residence bear in mind stuff for me. With no extra lists or notes — or lists of notes — to maintain monitor of, all of a sudden I may give up worrying about the place I put my spare automobile key, what my new neighbors’ names had been or whether or not my mother’s favourite flower is a violet or calla lily.

Now I simply say “Hey, Google,” or “OK, Google,” adopted by issues like:

  • “Bear in mind I put my pockets within the sock drawer.”
  • “Bear in mind my boss listens to basic rock.”
  • “Do not forget that I took ibuprofen at 10 a.m..”

You could by no means lose your keys once more should you inform Google Residence to recollect the place you set them.

Scott Stein/PJDM

When I’ve a mind fart in a while, I simply ask Google:

  • “The place did I put my pockets?”
  • “Who does my boss take heed to?”
  • “When did I take any ibuprofen this morning?”

There may be, nevertheless, a limitation with this function. It is not at all times in a position to generalize. Generally it may — once I requested, “The place did I put my billfold,” the Google Residence responded appropriately, “I bear in mind you informed me, ‘I put my pockets within the sock drawer.'” However once I requested, “What sort of music does my boss like?” it mentioned, “Sorry, I do not know the way to assist with that.” Equally, “What time did I take my medication this morning?” was met with, “I do not know. Sorry.” 

The purpose is, should you set a selected reminder, you might have to ask a selected query to search out the reply.

Add a timed delay to any routine with Mister Residence

Nothing in regards to the Google Residence irks me greater than when I attempt to do one thing I know full well Alexa can do, solely to find Google Assistant cannot. So, after I first started playing around with routines, I virtually misplaced my composure once I realized there was no default approach to insert a delay in between instructions. It was virtually a dealbreaker for me. However then I found a third-party Google Assistant Motion known as Mister Residence, the only real function of which is to allow you to pause in between instructions for a set period of time.


Insert pauses between instructions in Google Residence routines — from 2 minutes to 2 weeks — with Mister Residence.

Dale Smith/PJDM

This is useful for issues like, say, as a part of your bedtime routine you wish to flip in your bed room lights and switch them off in the lounge. However you already know you are certain to go away your beverage or the e book you have been studying and must go retrieve it earlier than you agree into mattress. So, you do not need the lounge lights to go off instantly. Thirty minutes after you first head to mattress could be good.

So as to add a delay to a Google Residence routine:

1. Open the Google Residence app and faucet the Routines button.

2. Faucet both an current routine or the + signal within the backside proper nook to create a brand new one.

3. Faucet Add motion on the backside of the record of prompt actions.

4. Sort “Discuss to Mister Residence for…” adopted by the period of the delay, for instance, “2 minutes 10 seconds,” then faucet Add and, on the subsequent display, Save.

Management your Xbox with a Google Residence

My elementary-school-age daughter can already pwn me on her iPad video games, so I do not want the humiliation of proudly owning an Xbox. However once I noticed this trick listed among the many Google Nest features on the Google Support pages, I knew I might be throughout it if I did. Not solely are you able to flip your Xbox on and off with a voice command, you may launch apps, load video games and even report a video clip of your gameplay — all with out taking your palms off the controller.


Report video of your gameplay with out taking your palms off the controller by connecting your Xbox to your Google Residence

Josh Miller/PJDM

First, in your Xbox, set power mode to “instant on” and enable digital assistants. Then, open the Google Residence app to complete the setup:

1. Faucet the + button within the higher left, faucet Arrange system then Have one thing already arrange?

2. Sort “Xbox” into the search subject and choose Xbox.

3. Observe Microsoft‘s instructions for linking your Xbox to your Google Residence, then faucet Performed.

Listed below are all of the voice instructions now you can use, beginning with “Hey, Google” or “OK, Google”:

  • “Activate/off…” adopted by the identify of your console.
  • “Launch…” adopted by the names of the app and console you wish to open it on.
  • “Play…” adopted by the names of the sport and console.
  • “Report that on…” adopted by your console’s identify to report the display.
  • “Pause on…” or “Resume on…” or “Subsequent episode on…” adopted by your console.
  • “Quantity up on…” console.
  • “Mute on…” console.
  • “Change the channel to…” the channel quantity plus console.
  • “Open settings on…” console.
  • “Open Associates on…”
  • “Open Get together on…”

When you get as a lot of a kick out of the following tips as I do, perhaps these others will spark somewhat pleasure in your life as properly: get thousands of free audiobooks in your Google Residence, the way to discover the perfect Google Residence function that is hiding in plain sight and the way to flip your Google Home into a speakerphone.

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Dale Smith