The First 5 Things You Should Do with Your Google Home

January 6, 2017

So, you’ve freshly had your new Google Home delivered, unpacked it in earnest and admired it’s smooth lines. Now, what? Turn it on. But what do you say?

With its seamless integration with Google services, Google Home, is a serious competitor to Amazon’s Echo. It’s the perfect desk-side companion for those who love all things Google. Using simple voice commands you can unlock tons of information to allow your smart devices to do almost anything. This would literally be viewed as magic to our ancestors, what a great time to be alive.

You can wake up your Google Home easily. You’ll need to address it with “Hey Google” along with “OK Google”. These commands are specific to Google Home and so makes it easy to distinguish to which device you’re talking.

As you can expect, there is a long list of abilities Google Home will allow you to perform. Here are our suggestions for the first five things you should do with your Google Home.

Google promises continual updates of its system, so don’t be surprised if your home appears to be getting ‘smarter.’

1. Set up your “If this then that” (IFTTT) recipe

IFTTT what now? This web-based service allows you to make a chain of conditional statements for applets. These conditions activate applets based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. It runs much like conditional events on databases, code, or excel spreadsheets.

This is a powerful integration for Google Home and Google Assistant as a whole. With IFTTT, you can immediately connect your Google Home to a number of other services, smart home products and more. There is a whole suite of applets available to allow you to do some cool stuff. This includes services such as calling your smartphone, take notes on google docs and posting to facebook by voice.

Another practical use of IFTTT is the ability to track down your phone. With this recipe, you can ask Google Home to find your phone and call it. You have to verify your phone and a couple of other steps, but it’s worth the effort.

[Image source: Pixabay]

2. Connect your Netflix account

Got Netflix? Why not link it to your Google Home? Summon your favorite TV shows and movies through the power of your voice. Connect it to Chromecast or Google Cast device and get on it.

To do this, open your Google Home app, head over to the Google Assistant Settings and scroll down to “videos and photos.” You can link your Netflix account to your Google Home right there.

Once linked, simply command Google Assistant to play a movie from Netflix on whichever Google Cast device you have linked.

One point to note, you’ll need to start every command with something like “OK Google” or “Hey Google”.

[Image source: Pixabay]

3. Be Smart

Did you know you can use your Google Home as a smart control hub for your home? Of course you did, that’s one of the reasons you bought it right? Then get on with it.

To do this, you’ll need to connect supported devices through the “Home app.” To date, Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue and Nest all work with Google Home.

Head over the Google Home app, go to Assistant Settings and tap the “Add new devices” button. From here you can select the service of your choice. Option are currently limited but more will be added over time, including Belkin Wemo products within weeks.

[Image source: Pixabay]

4. Keep informed

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a customized news channel specific to your interests? Don’t care about the markets? Don’t include it. Not interested in “So and so’s Got Talent”? Leave out the entertainment report.

Google Home allows you to customize your very own “morning report” or “news briefing.” Once set up, you can ask Google Home to tell you news every day. It can pull audio streams from a  number of differing sources, which are customizable. To get this up and running, once again head over your Google Home App, go to the “News” setting in Google Assistant and select your preferred sources.

Examples include Tech News Today, BBC, ESPN and more. To activate this, ask Google Home “Ok Google, Listen to the news.” To end the broadcast, say “OK Google stop” or tap on the top of the Home.

[Image source: Pixabay]

5. Feel the beat

Another big selling point for this device is its music capabilities. You can either play directly through the pretty decent built-in speaker or cast audio to your TV or dedicated speakers using Chromecast or Chromecast Audio.

You’ll need to link to either Google Play Music, Youtube Music, Spotify or Pandora to do this. If you’re already signed up for any one of them then Google Home will automatically work with it. As before, head over to your Google Home App and click on Google Assistant Settings. Select “Music” and from there link any or all of them. You can even set your default preferred service, which can be changed at any time – handy.

As Google Cast is now built directly into Chrome, it will enable you to replace you existing speakers for your music or podcast playback. You’ll be able to “cast” the stream to your home device so make sure you give it a distinct name.

Even better, the music keeps playing without the need to touch your phone. Just tap the top of home to pause, or say “OK Google stop” to make things quiet again.

[Image source: Pixabay]

SEE ALSO: Google Home vs Amazon Echo – Which One is Better?

Source: Google Home

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