In the past few weeks, many of us stayed home much longer than usual and tried to juggle remote work, distance learning with children, and virtual gatherings with friends / family. If you have a Google smart speaker, smart screen, or Chromecast, you can put Google Assistant to work to make things around the house easier. We’ve compiled some of the best tips and tricks for you to try and see what works for you.
Reminders – Use Google Assistant to remind you to call a friend or pay your electric bill. It’s easy to forget things when many of us have abnormal schedules right now, and I’ve found this trick to be extremely helpful. I use reminders for actionable items, like taking out the trash or sending an email, instead of adding them as events to my Google Calendar. You can say things like, “Hi Google, remind me to email Robby at 8 a.m. tomorrow.”
You can even assign reminders to other people in your home, and the reminder will appear on your phone, smart speaker, or smart screen. To assign a reminder, just say, “Hi Google, remind Sarah to find toilet paper at 4 p.m.
Create a group of speakers: Whether you’re trying to be productive or relax in the afternoons, music is a great way to mentally activate that particular activity. Create a group of speakers in the Google Home app, and then create a couple of playlists for different activities. For example, I am currently listening to my “Writer’s Corner” playlist to help me focus on this article. Playing music in a group of speakers helps create a certain atmosphere in the home. Just say, “Hi Google, play my writer’s corner playlist in the homegroup.”
->If you don’t want to create a group, you can also move the audio to different home devices with a simple command when you leave the room. Just say, “Hi Google, move the audio to the bedroom speaker.” ->
Buy Chromebook deals in Chrome Shop
->Routines – If you have smart devices connected in your home, Google Assistant routines can be especially helpful. You can automate basic things around the house with ready-to-use routines or be specific with custom routines. To set up routines, open the Google Home app, tap on the settings gear, scroll down to More settings, and then in Assistant tap on Routines. After setting up your routines, just say the routine command you want to run, like “Hello Google, good morning.”
->Create multiple named timers – Google Assistant is great for setting up a hands-free timer, but did you know you can create simultaneous timers, each with a unique name? Add a name to each timer to help you keep track of various dishes in the kitchen or study times for multiple children. Just say, “Hi Google, start a 10 minute pizza timer.”
Control your TV – Many living rooms are equipped with a Google Chromecast, but it doesn’t come with a remote control, what do you do if your phone is charging in the other room and you want to pause Netflix? With Google Assistant, you can use your voice to easily play / pause, skip forward / backward and volume up / down.
You can say things like, “Hello Google, jump to five minutes in the TV room” or “Hello Google, turn up the volume in the TV room.” You can see a complete list of commands here.
If you’re in the middle of an exciting episode of the Tiger King on Netflix and the volume is too high to say a command, you can probably use the remote control that came with your TV to stop the episode. You just need to enable HDMI-CEC on your TV and make sure Chromecast has enough power. See full instructions for setting up your TV remote here.
Record notes – Use Google Assistant to quickly take notes when you’re in the middle of other tasks. With a change in the app settings in late 2019, now you can not only use your voice to take notes, but you can also choose from a few different note taking apps. You can choose between Google Keep, Any.do, AnyList and Bring. Just say, “Hi Google, make a new note called a video idea.”
Remember things It’s easy to forget where you’ve put things around the house, especially long-term storage items like important documents or that cable you don’t use very often. Just tell the Assistant to remember where you put something, and then, in a week or two, when you are looking around the house, just ask the Assistant. You can say something like, “Hi Google, remember I put my extra checkbook in the first drawer of my closet.” Then, to retrieve an item, simply ask, “Hello Google, where did I put my additional notebook?”
Buy Chromebook deals in Chrome Shop
Call your phone Google’s Find My Device service is a great tool to help you find, lock, or erase your device, but you can also use the Google Assistant to ring your phone when you’ve lost it at home. There is a basic setup that you will have to do, but then you can simply say “Hello Google, call my phone”. The Assistant will read a phone associated with your voice or the last used devices and then it will start ringing. If you have an Android phone, the device will even ring if it is set to “Do Not Disturb”.
Now you can also use your Google Assistant to sound a mosaic tracker if you are prone to losing more than just your phone. The new tile stickers are perfect for household items that tend to go astray, such as keys or remote controls. A pack of 2 of the tile stickers will cost you $ 39.99.
Play a game – There is a large selection of interactive games that can be played just with your voice on your Google smart speaker, ranging from in-depth adventure games to kid-friendly trivia. These can be a good way to take a mental break and have fun with children. You can see our top 10 games that you can play with your Google Assistant smart speaker here.
Home training – If you’re missing the gym and want to stay active, there are a few Chromecast-compatible apps to help you get a good workout from home. Personally, I enjoyed the Peloton app, and no, you don’t need to have a Peloton branded spinning bike or treadmill to use the app. You can choose from thousands of workouts including yoga, strength training, stretching, high intensity interval training, and more. Peloton has even started offering a free 90-day subscription trial of their app. Just open the class you want to take, look for the Chromecast icon (lower right corner on Android), and then choose your Chromecast enabled screen.
Listen to your favorite podcast or radio station – Catch up on the latest episode of your favorite podcast on Google Podcasts or listen to your local radio station from anywhere in your home with a simple voice command. This is a great way to quickly and easily listen to your hometown radio station or your favorite DJ in a different city without having to search online to find the broadcast. You can find stations using the station name, call sign, or frequently. Just say, “Hello Google, play KQED” or “Hello Google, play 98.7 New York.”
Show answers on the big screen – Smart displays are great because they allow the Google Assistant to show you answers to your questions, making it easy to see the weather forecast or choose the perfect recipe. But if you already have a Google Home smart speaker and Chromecast, you can ask the Assistant to display the results on the TV. This will only work for certain search results, but it’s an easy way to get visual answers to questions about weather, sports, finances, and more. You can say, “Hi Google, show me the weather on my TV” or “Show me the S&P 500 on my TV.”
At a time when there’s so much uncertainty, I hope you’ve found some of these tips and tricks helpful, whether you’re trying to be more productive or just want to relax on the couch. If you have a Google Assistant tip or trick that you use around the house, be sure to let us know about it in the comments below.