“OK Google, what did my cat say?”
“OK Google, did you fart?”
“OK Google, bark like a dog.”
These are actual questions you can ask your Google Home speaker. Go ahead and try it. The answers are not exactly hilarious but they are fun and give Google Assistant a more natural feel. But there are more helpful things you can do with your Google Home speaker using voice commands.
Google Home is hot on the heels of Amazon Echo, trying to bite into the huge market share that Amazon currently holds. So they are constantly one upping each other with new tricks and features. So the following list is by no means exhaustive. Both smart speakers keep adding new features every couple of weeks.
Here are some of the best and newest available in Google Home.
Note: If you are yet to get into this whole smart speaker thing, you are missing out. See our in-depth smart speaker guide complete with Amazon Alexa Echo review and Google Home Review to help you compare the two.
1. Give two commands at the same time
The most recent feature introduced in Google Home is the ability to receive two commands at once. Normally, you tell Home to do one thing at a time. E.g. “Ok Google, play music.”
Now, you can tell the speaker to do two things within the same command. E.g. “Ok Google, play music and set the volume to 15.”
This makes using Google home a more convenient especially when you have two closely related commands to make such as turning on TV and getting the weather or checking your calendar and adding an event.
The limit for the commands is two.
Alexa has a similar feature on Echo speakers called routines though it works a bit differently. You have to pre-define a trigger phrase on the Alexa app and which commands should be executed. For instance you can say “Alexa good night” and the lights will switch off, the TV turned off and the thermostat lowered.
Google is also planning to introduce similar routines on Home. But for now, you can use this easy and fast solution.
2. Broadcast a message throughout the house
If you have several Google Home speakers in the house, you can use them to broadcast a message to everyone. In a new update, users will be able to send broadcast messages from the Assistant on their app or Home speaker.
You just say, “Ok Google, Broadcast it’s dinner time.” The message will be relayed on all Google Home speakers associated with your account. You can also opt for Google to send a playful message such as a dinner bell rather the actual ‘it’s dinner time’ message.
Another cool way to use this feature is alerting your family when you leave work. Just tell Assistant on your phone, “Ok Google, broadcast I’m on my way.”
3. Set up multiple users
Google Home allows up to 6 different users on a single smart speaker. This is handy when you need to share the speaker among several members of the family.
Anyone who wants to use the speaker must link their Google accounts as well as music and video services. Everyone then has to teach Assistant their voice. The speaker will remember a person’s voice until they unlink their account.
Now whenever any family member with a linked account gives Assistant a command, it will respond with personalized information.
4. Send information to your phone
Sometimes when you ask Google Home for information on the weather, traffic or news, you want deeper details than Home can provide. There is a really useful feature that can help you.
After you have asked for certain information try saying, “Ok Google, send this to my phone.” Google Home will send the search results to your phone where you can dig deeper.
Note that you need to have turned on personal results in Google Assistant settings. This tells Google Home which phone to send the search results to.
Also note that this feature works only with certain notifications including calendar, movies, photos, weather and news.
5. Let your kids use Google Home
It’s easy to share Google Home with your kids. There are tons of fun games they can play and they can also ask questions or listen to stories.
The easiest way to set up Google Home for your kids is using a Google Family Link account. This is a program that allows you to set up a Google account for your kids and monitor their activities.
Once you set up a Family Link account, it’s easy to connect it to Google Home using the Family Link app on your phone.
Note that kids cannot play YouTube songs or videos, make purchases or use non-Google apps without the ‘Apps for families on Google Assistant’ badge.