Voice assistants like Google Home were one of this year’s coolest gifts.
Got one in your house right now? Lucky you. For those who haven’t heard about it, Google Home is a voice-activated speaker that can provide answers, control smart home devices and much more.
“Google Home allows you to effortlessly get an answer to a question while you’re working around your home,” said Blue Shirt Victor Farias from the Galleria Store in downtown Houston. “It’s great for anyone wanting to simplify their everyday lives.”
The setup is pretty simple, too.
Pick your preferred room for the device, whether that’s the living room or bedroom.
After turning on your Google Home, ensure you’re near it so the app can sync. Then connect it to your Wi-Fi. Depending if you’re using iOS or Android, the process will differ slightly.
Now add the Google Account you want to link. (Remember, other people in the house will be able to ask Google Home about questions regarding your schedule, and more.)
Don’t forget to say “OK, Google” or “Hey, Google” before each command. Also, it responds to certain cues, so here are some tips on using the right words. And if you’re looking for more step-by-step instructions, check out Google Support.
Now that you’re all set up, here are a few ways to enjoy having a digital butler at your side.
Change the temperature in your house, turn off your lights and turn on your TV
If you have a Nest thermostat in your home, you can tell Google Home to raise or lower the temperature. Do you have a Chromecast plugged into your TV? Simply ask Google Home to stream videos to your big screen. (In addition, select Sony Android TVs just got an update that means you can say “OK, Google, play Stranger Things from Netflix on the TV” and the show will start up immediately.)
Create meetings, ask for reminders, or make it your alarm clock
Google Home can manage your daily tasks, like setting up alarms, timers and adding items to your shopping list.
Answer virtually any question – from weather to traffic to flight info
Wondering about the forecast before you head out the door? Or want to know the stats from the game last night? Maybe you’re interested in where the nearest pharmacy is and when it closes? Just ask.
Play music without touching a single button
Whether you like listening to music on Spotify, Google Play, Pandora or YouTube, you can make any of them your preferred default music player. And streaming your tunes is as easy as a simple voice command. Oh, and you can also play games with it, like Holiday Mad Libs.