Tips & Tricks

Google Home | Tips-and-Tricks | 2017

It’s 2017 and you have set up your Google Home as your voice-controlled smart-assistant. You have asked it, “Ok Google! What time is it?” or asked it to play a song, or tell you joke. But is this all Google Home can do? Absolutely not! There’s a whole lot more you can use your Google assistant for. So here are some Google Home tips and tricks to get the most out of your Google Home.

Good morning Google!

Google assistant has a wealth of information ready for you about your day right as you wake up. For example, it can present you a daily briefing of your meetings, weather, news, to-do list etc. Just say “Hey Google, good morning”, and see what you get back!

Take a photo with your voice

Google assistant not only has the ability to open the camera but also it starts a countdown before the picture is clicked so you never has to touch the shutter button again. Say “Hey Google, take a photo” or “OK Google, take a selfie” to launch the camera with an automatic three second countdown.

Set up IFTTT

IFTTT stands for IF This Then That.

To be more productive with Google home you can set up an IFTTT account. The IFTTT service takes the things you say to your Google Home and sends commands to the other smart things you have, even if the two don’t talk the same language out of the box (remember ZigBee vs Z-Wave?). Setting things up is easier than you think, and the list of smart devices supported by IFTTT is huge. This allows you to make custom recipes for automated tasks and triggered tasks. For example, you can connect a weather service to automatically turn off the lights when it starts to get bright out. Or conversely, you can have the lights turn on, if it gets cloudy outside. Or even have your blinds turned on if it is too bright outside.

Feeling bored?

Say, ‘”Hey Google, I’m bored” and you will see it bring games, funny videos, random facts etc. Your personal entertainer ready to entertain at the push of a button your verbal command (see what I did there? wink wink) to alleviate your boredom! Of course, you can also simply ask “OK Google, tell me a joke!”

Using touch instead of voice

The Google Home is just not a simple object placed in your living room; actually it has touch sensors at its top! Tap the top of the speaker once to awaken your Google Home or to pause and play a broadcast. You can also slide your finger along the centered circle at the top to change volume.

Image Source: Google Home

Mute the Mic

If you don’t want Home to always responding to your ‘Ok Google’ or if it misunderstands some other words as its trigger words you may disable the mic in Google Home. Just tap the only button present on this device just above the mic hole and it will stop hearing your voices.

The guest mode

If you want to share your Google Home with some of your friends it has got an option for that You can set up a guest mode to let anyone connect to your Google Home once they enter a four-digit PIN provided by the app.

Cast your media to your TV

If you have a TV with built-in Chromecast, using Google Home you can cast YouTube videos, movies from Netflix, directly to your TV. Go to ‘More Settings’ in the Google Home app, tap on TVs and Speakers, and then tap the plus sign in the bottom right corner of the screen. The Google Home app will search for voice-supported TVs on the same Wi-Fi network as your Google Home. Now you can say, “OK Google, Play <video> on TV” to play Netflix movies and TV show or even YouTube videos, provided you have linked your premium accounts of Netflix, etc. with the Google Home App

Cast photos to your TV

This is another easy trick that is really helpful. You just need to link your Google Photos with your Google Home under settings and you are ready to go. Start by saying “ Hey Google, Show me some pictures of my Parents!” Google Photos have the ability to detect faces which you may use to get things done smartly

Find your lost phone

If you lose your phone you can easily ask your assistant to make a call to your device, provided you link it with a service called IFTTT. Use this recipe (requires an IFTTT account) so that you can automatically call your number when you say “Okay Google, find my phone.” While this works, it won’t help if the phone is in ‘silent’ mode.

Make a family shopping list

If you want a smarter shopping list for your family then saying “Okay Google, add coffee to my shopping list” automatically adds the item to a list called “Google Assistant shopping list” that can be accessed on your phone with the Google Keep app (available for both Android and iOS).

Unfortunately, that list is only associated with the primary account holder that set up the Google Home device in the first place.

However, there’s an easy work-around to give everyone in your family access to the list: In Google Keep, simply select the three-dots button in the right corner of the list, select “collaborator,” and invite other family members to the list as well.

Managing your lights

Well Google Home got its name for a special purpose and that was to make your home ‘smart’ and one of the way is by managing your lights with your voice, provided you have a Google Home compatible lights (Philips Hue,etc) You can not only turn those on and off, but also say things like “Okay Google, turn the living room purple” to change their colour. Google Home is a voice-controlled hub for all your smart devices. You can also leverage IFTTT recipes to get the most out of Home and your devices, but that’s not required.

We hope these Google Home tips & tricks are helpful to get the most out of your home assistant. For a more detailed list, please visit the Official Google Home site.