Google Home secretly had my favorite Alexa feature all along. Here’s how to find it

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Dale Smith/PJDM

No smart home assistant is ideal, not even Google Home, so it is easy to suppose the grass appears to be like greener over in Alexa’s pastures. That is why I like it once I determine the right way to make Google Home do the issues I envy most about Amazon’s Alexa. Since I have been utilizing Google House, my greatest pet peeve of all has been that it’s just so dang chatty in comparison with Alexa. However I stumbled upon a easy workaround that makes Google House hush up too.

The issue is, everytime you inform Google House to manage a number of good dwelling gadgets, it at all times desires to repeat again to you what you stated. “Hey, Google, flip off my desk lamp,” I’d say. “OK,” Google House responds. Then, as the sunshine goes darkish, it provides, “Turning off one mild.” Annoying!

Alexa has a setting known as “brief mode” that does away with all the additional chatter and simply beeps to point it heard you, however Google has no such function. Or so I believed.


Competitors between good audio system has by no means been fiercer, with Amazon’s Echo Dot, Google’s Nest Mini and Apple’s HomePod Mini going face to face.

Chris Monroe/PJDM

Seems, there is a strategy to make Google House shut up when controlling good dwelling gadgets. Nonetheless, there may be one, small catch: It solely does this for gadgets recognized as “lights.” I will stroll you thru your choices for coping with that shortly.

However first, here is the right way to arrange Google House so it does not annoyingly repeat each single blasted command you give it.

Google House dings when working lights in the identical room

Separating your gadgets into rooms can assist you set up your good dwelling devices visually throughout the Google House app, and it provides one other hidden function. While you inform a Google House system situated in a selected room to show any or all the lights in that room on or off, reasonably than saying, “OK, turning off X lights,” Google House will simply ding.

philips hue purple light

If the sunshine you wish to flip off or on and the Google House speaker you inform to do it are each in the identical digital room within the app, Google House will ding to substantiate the command.

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While you first arrange a brand new Google House good speaker or show utilizing the Google House app, it makes you select a room to place it in. Nonetheless, if you join different good dwelling gear, like Philips Hue bulbs or an August door lock, the Google House app swimming pools all of them down on the very backside in a bit known as Linked to you.

If you need Google House to “ding” to substantiate, you have to get your different gear out of this gadget graveyard and into a delegated room together with your good speaker. (Word that if you wish to management lights in a special room of the home than the one you are in, you will nonetheless get the total affirmation.) This is the right way to put your gadgets in a particular room:

1. Faucet one of many gadgets listed beneath Linked to you.

2. On the backside of the following display, faucet the button labeled Add to a room.

3. Select from the record of accessible rooms (Dwelling Room, Kitchen and so forth.) or scroll to the underside and faucet Add customized room to call your room one thing distinctive.


In the event you put all of your gadgets in the identical digital “room” within the Google House app, you will get one thing like Alexa’s “temporary mode” when controlling lights. 

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A potential methodology: Put every little thing in a single ‘room’

In the event you do not wish to cope with the effort of divvying up your gadgets by room, or if you’d like to have the ability to management any lights in the home with a quick affirmation from Google House, all you must do is put every little thing into one nice large room. Both choose a room from the record or create a customized room known as one thing like “Complete Home” and simply toss all of your Google House and different good dwelling devices in it. In the event you’ve already assigned gadgets to different rooms and also you wish to consolidate, here is the right way to can reroom a tool:

1. From the primary menu within the Google House app, faucet the system you wish to transfer, after which faucet the settings button (the gear icon) within the prime proper.

2. A couple of strains down, faucet Room, after which on the Select room display, faucet the identify of the room you wish to transfer that system to, after which faucet Save.


Group Google House and the good dwelling devices it controls into rooms on the Google House app for one of the best expertise.

Angela Lang/PJDM

What to do about gadgets that are not lights

I am not fully positive what the logic behind Google’s determination was to solely ding when controlling lights in the identical room however proceed to be annoyingly chatty when turning different gadgets on or off (perhaps as a result of lights have an apparent visible cue that different stuff won’t?) Regardless, there are just a few other ways to cope with this, though none are with out some sort of trade-off. However first, here is the right way to change the “sort” of system within the Google House app:

1. From the primary menu within the Google House app, faucet the system whose sort you wish to change, after which faucet the settings button (the gear icon) within the prime proper.

2. Faucet Machine sort and select a special one than the one chosen.

While you again out to the primary menu once more, you will see that the icon related to that system has modified as effectively.

Possibility 1: Make every little thing a lightweight

The upside is you could nonetheless name the system no matter you need, say, “House Heater,” however by altering its “sort” to “mild,” Google will now simply ding to substantiate when it turns it on or off. The draw back right here is that for those who inform Google House to “activate the lights,” it is going to additionally activate, on this instance, your house heater, which you most likely don’t desire. You will get round this specific limitation by making a routine that solely turns the precise lights on or off, but when you are going to be delving into routines, you would possibly as effectively go along with possibility 2, beneath:


The rivalry is actual between Google House and Amazon’s Echo gadgets with Alexa.

Chris Monroe/PJDM

Possibility 2: Create routines for any non-lights

One other strategy to keep away from Google House’s loquacious confirmations is to create a particular routine for the command you wish to use. This will get exhausting for those who’re doing it for each good bulb or outlet in your own home, but when most of these are lights and you’ve got solely obtained just a few different kinds of gadgets (like an area heater, espresso maker or wax hotter) it isn’t an excessive amount of of a trouble to arrange a few routines for these. Take a look at our extra full information on how to build custom routines here.

On the lookout for extra not-so-obvious ideas and tips to strive with Google House? Take a look at these five surprising things Google House can do, this awesome Google Home feature hiding in plain sight, and uncover Google House’s secret superpower here.

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Dale Smith