The room brightens up as you enter. “Good morning!” You sit on your chair to have a bite before you leave to fight the demons of the busy day. The TV screen turns on with your favorite morning show. A cool calm voice starts telling you about the traffic in your commute. The room temperature drops to the comfort level you like while having breakfast.
Watching the news, getting ready you search for the keys.
You think out loud, “Now where did I put those keys?”
“Your keys are in the top right drawer of the cupboard.”
“Ah! Thanks, you are a life saver.”
“You are most welcome Master Wayne.”
You hop on in your car and drive away towards your destination far away… to fight crime, thinking just like the superhero you were treated like, choosing the most optimal route towards your destination.
“Turn off the TV at home, and the lights. Lower the temperature,” you command as you drive away. Life is in control.
This almost seems surreal until you realize that with some minor differences this is completely real and possible with the tech available right here, right now. Even for an average Joe.
Google’s latest product, Google Home, is just that. It is the smart faithful butler that reminds you things you need to be reminded of; it controls your house’s devices for you whether you are home or away and does a ton of other useful stuff that makes your life like the one of a superhero.
These are the smart homes of the future, now.
Google Home also doesn’t require you to sell one of your kidneys to buy it. It is affordable and comes with multiple options. You can choose one of the options below to get started:
- Google Home – $130 (the standard)
- Google Home Mini – $50 (the mini version, as the name suggests)
- Google Home Max – $400 (has all the bells and whistles)
- And Google Home Hub – $150
Whether you get the cheaper variation, Google Home Mini, thinking yourself being Spiderman or channeling your inner Tony Stark as you buy the Max, you’ll be happy to know that you will be getting the standard Google AI with all the devices.
So, how do you make most of your Google AI-backed smart home device? We’ve put together a few tips to get your venture into the smart home started. The rest is up to you.
1. Google Home Helps You Sleep Better
Nothing beats the comfort of an amazing night of sleep after a hectic busy day. The Google Home device not only helps you fall into sleep but also helps you have a good quality nap as well.
It does so …
By Reading You a Story
You can ask your Google Home device to read you a story before you go to bed. Not only that but it comes with other family-centered features such as:
- Playing games
- Playing musical chairs
- Playing your favorite song lists, and more
Google Home is equipped with more than 50 features that are centered on families helping them learn, play and imagine.
This feature is simply activated by saying: “Hey Google! Tell me a story,” or “Ok Google! Tell me a summer story.”
Playing White Noise
For people who have trouble going to sleep with complete silence, Google Home helps you with its white noise feature. You can choose sounds from a long list of available noise including:
- Natural sounds
- Water sounds
- Outdoor sounds
- Relaxing sounds
- Country sounds
- White noise
- River sounds
- Outdoor sounds, and a lot more
You can play these sounds and when you fall asleep; the Google Home device will lower the volume and gradually shift to silence.
You can also set a timer for it to turn off automatically after a specific amount of time.
You can start this feature by saying… “Hey Google! Help me relax,” or “Ok Google! Play <rain> sounds.” (Here, <rain> can be any category of sounds you want to hear.)
By Being “Silent”
There are few things as annoying as an unwanted alert when you are about to fall into deep slumber. While Google Home is an amazing thing to have to help you sort your life, it can be quite annoying listening to high volume alerts about messages, missed calls and other notifications that it deems necessary to tell you about.
Thankfully it comes equipped with a night mode which you can activate to counter all that.
Follow the following steps to activate it…
1. Open Google Home app.
3. Touch the three dots to open up the options menu, select settings.
4. Touch the enable night mode from below.
5. Toggle the enable night mode switch on.
7. You can select the start and end time for the night mode as well as the days on which you will need the night mode.
8. You can also turn on the Do not disturb option to mute all notifications about reminders, messages and calls etc. while night mode is on.
9. You can also set the brightness of the lights and volume for the Google home device during night mode.
10. Exiting the menu will save the settings.
2. Waking You Up
Before falling to sleep, you can ask your Google Home device to wake you up. You can also tell it to wake you up to any particular sound you want to hear first thing in the morning.
Google Assistant has the option of having a music service set up as a default sound provider. You can choose Google Play Music or YouTube Music. Once you have selected your favorite, all you need to do is tell Google Assistant the following.
“Ok Google! Set the alarm for 8 a.m.,” or “Hey Google! Wake me up at 8 a.m. to my KickAss playlist.”
You can select a specific song or a singer as well.
3. Good Morning
Mornings are the time to plan and be prepared. Google home comes equipped with a routine feature. You can set a number of actions for Google Home to perform when you activate it by saying the magic words. You can set it to brief you about the weather forecast, reminders, traffic updates and notifications while you were away and while it is at it, it will also play your favorite podcast or streaming service.
You can set these routines by:
- Opening the Google Home app.
- Click the gear icon.
- Scroll down and click More settings.
- Click on the Assistant tab and click on the Routines down below.
- Here click the Good morning option and set the available options to your liking.
Once done you can say the magic words “Good morning” to activate the routine.
4. Find Your Phone
There is nothing quite like the anxiety one feels when losing their phone while it’s on silent. Google Home helps you fight that by ringing your phone when you call it out.
Say, “Ok Google! Ring my phone,” or “Hey Google! Find my phone,” and Google Home will make your phone ring.
You can activate this feature for both your Android phone and your iPhone.
5. Get Reminders
Need a little reminder to focus on something? You can just ask Google Home to remind you about it at any specific day/every day at a specific time. You can use this feature to remind yourself about working out, remembering someone’s birthday or any important event.
You can also use this feature to help to remember where you put things. Just ask Google Home to remember where you put your watch by saying “Hey Google! My watch is on the mantle.” You can ask it later by saying “Hey Google! Where is my watch?”
6. Control Your Chromecast
You can set up Google Home to control your Chromecast TV. You can ask it to turn on your Chromecast and then ask it to play any streaming service or digital content on the TV you want.
You can activate it by saying, “Ok Google! Turn on MagicTV” (or your Chromecast name), and then ask it to play a specific service by saying, “Hey Google! Play Voltron on Netflix on MagicTV.”
7. Set Your Music Service
You can set up your default music service in your Google Home device. This will then be your default sound provider. The following services are currently available which can be selected as default:
- Google Play Music
- YouTube Music
You can set up the default service by opening up the Google Home app and…
- Select More settings.
- Open Services.
- Select Music.
- Turn on the service you want to set as default out of the ones available.
- You can also add other music service accounts to Google Home.
Not only this, but you can also simply ask Google Home to play a sound from a service which you have not set to default. You just have to mention that in the voice command, e.g. “Ok Google! Play Thunderstruck on Spotify.”
8. Cast Your Audio & Broadcasts on All Google Home Devices
Having the sounds of your choice played in your Google Home device was fun enough; you can also have it play on all the available Google Home devices and cast enabled speakers or Chromecast Audio if you want.
This can be anything… like a gong sound for the family to notify that dinner is served to your favorite Queen song.
To do this you need to create a group of the available devices. Here’s how to do it:
- Open the Google Home app.
- Go to Devices.
- Click Device card menu and click Create Group.
- Click the available devices you want to add to the group and then click save.
- The new group will be available with your cast devices.
- Click the new group and select Enable voice control and more > Yes I’m in.
And that’s it.
To activate, say: “Ok Google! Play Apocalyptica on (GroupName).”
9. Control Your Smart Home Devices
As IoT devices are increasing their numbers, so is the availability of options that can be controlled by Google Home devices. Your lights (Philips Hues) and heating fixtures (Nest Thermostats) are one of the available third-party devices you can control with Google Home.
Once added, you can add different “modes” which can be activated with voice commands changing the light intensity and increasing/decreasing the heat according to the set mode.
Furthermore, you can add smart plugs, security devices and other appliances too.
Bonus Point: Multilingual Support
Google Home is multilingual and can understand English, French, Japanese, German and Italian. You can switch your language while talking to it and it will adjust on its own.
In the End…
Google home has numerous other features that we could discuss and share with you. These get the most superhero-style points. If you think we left out a few, then feel free to let us know.