What Google Home Can Do

Your speaker is smarter than you think

This smart speaker is the perfect combination of brains and brawn
Alphabet, Inc.

Everyone's talking about Alexa but Google Home isn't lagging far behind. The smart speaker works with a variety of devices and can do anything from turning on your lights to making your coffee in the morning. 

At the center of this amazing smart home offering lies the Google Assistant, an artificially intelligent voice assistant that is not only a big improvement over its crude predecessor but also strong enough to stand firmly on its own. To give you a glimpse of just how powerful this AI-based smart speaker can be, here's a list of some of the most useful things that a Google Home can do for you.

"Good morning, Google. Tell me about my day."

Test the intelligence of your personal assistant by asking questions and performing tasks that make your life easier. Just say "OK Google" or "Hey Google" to power on your voice assistant, then say the following commands out loud to get the results you desire:

  • Call Mom: Making calls with Google Home is only possible if you're located in the U.S. or Canada. To call someone, simply say "call" followed by the contact name or number of the person you'd like to make the call to. Make sure your Google Home is connected to your Google account to use this feature.
  • Remind me to do laundry on Saturday at 7 PM: You can set, edit and delete reminders on Google Home.  Reminders can be recurring or one-time-only.
  • Set an alarm for 6 AM tomorrow: You can use your Google Assistant to set alarms as well as stop, edit or cancel them whenever you please.
  • Schedule Meeting with Lisa for me on Friday at 10 AM: Google Home can be used to view and manage your Google Calendar. You can also schedule events with a simple voice command like the one above.
  • What's the weather today?: You can ask Google for details on temperature, humidity and precipitation on any particular day in the past, present or future. 
  • What's Donald Trump's net worth?: Ask and get answers to questions pertaining to general knowledge, such as the lifespan of an ostrich or the capital of China. 
  • What is 15% of 92?: The inbuilt calculator can be used to perform numerical operations of all sorts.
  • How do you say hello in Japanese?: Google Home can also translate stuff for you in several world languages.
  • What is the meaning of precocious? The built-in dictionary can spell words or state meanings.
  • What can you do?: Ask Google about the many things that it can do for you, from setting alarms to remembering the name of your friend's pet rat.

Google Home Tricks: Music and Media

What's a smart speaker that can't even play good audio? Here are some of the most useful commands that'll help you play media content using a Google Home:

  • Play My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion: Use this command to have Google play your favorite song. Just replace the names of the song and artist with any one of your choice! You can also ask Google to play music from a specific movie or album.
  • Play happy music: Google Home can also play songs based on genre or mood. Just replace "happy" with words like "romantic", "party" or "classical" to have Google play the music of your choice.
  • Play music on my living room TV: You can also ask to play music on a specific device of your choice. Ask Google to play music on your TV, smartphone or bedroom speakers and it will be happy to oblige!
  • Pause, Play, Next, Stop: These commands can be used to regulate media on the fly.
  • Play ESPN Radio: You can ask Google to play the radio station of your choice by simply mentioning its name or frequency. Alternate versions of this command can be used to play a particular station on a specific device and app. Example: "Play Mega 97.9 on iHeartRadio" or "Play CNN Radio on my TV".
  • What's playing?: Ask Google what song or radio station is currently playing.
  • Listen to news: Catch up on the latest goings-on in the world from sources you trust. Ask questions like "What's the latest in technology" or "Listen to CNN News" to have Google tune in to specific requirements.
  • Play the latest episode of The Guilty Feminist: Play your favorite podcasts on the speaker. 
  • Read A Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy: You can even listen to your favorite audiobooks on Google Home. Just make sure to have it in your library on Google Books or Kindle.

Cool Things to Do: Gadgets and Devices

More than anything, the Google Home acts as the ultimate smart hub that allows you to control every single object in your smart home with nothing more than your voice. In order for this to work, you need to first make sure that the device in question is already connected to your home network using Google Home.

To learn how to do this, follow this guide. Once your smart home devices are all up and running, use the following commands to control them with your voice:

  • Turn on the lights: If your home uses a smart lighting system such as the Philips Hue or Wemo, you can use Google Home to control every single light for a completely hands-free experience. Use commands like "Dim the lights in the kids' bedroom" or ask "Are the lights on in the master bedroom?" to control and regulate light bulbs by room or individual name.
  • Raise the temperature: Google Home integrates seamlessly with a variety of thermostats to let you control your home temperature hands-free. Use commands like "Raise the temperature by 2 degrees" or ask "What's the thermostat set to?", say "Turn on the heating/cooling" or "Turn off the thermostat", and more, to regulate devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat using your Google Home.
  • Turn on my TV: You can use your Google Home to control any television in your smart home, all that you need is a Chromecast. Here's ​a nifty guide showing you how to do just that.
  • Show the living room camera: Security is clearly a big priority for those interested in a smart home, which is why Google Assistant lets you remotely view live footage from any CCTV camera in your room on the display of your choice. The Nest Cam Outdoor and Logitech Circle 2 are both great options in the market for smart security cameras.
  • Lock the front door: While Google Home doesn't technically support any smart locks just yet, you can quite easily use a service such as IFTTT (If This Then That) to pair your Google Home to an August or Kwikset Smart Lock. From there, you can use commands like "List my locks" or "Unlock the back door" to remotely control all the locks inside your home.

Google Home accommodates a growing list of compatible smart home devices. It is impossible to list all of them here. Here's a full list of all the different smart home devices supported by Google Home and Assistant.

Miscellaneous Google Home Features

Google Home also lets you do a lot of random stuff that serves as a test to just how intelligent its systems are. Here are a few cool things that you can ask Google to do for you:

  • Order baby diapers: As long as your Google Home is connected to a Google account with a valid credit card, you can use Google's own online shopping mechanism to order goods from any of its commercial partners. Ask Google to shop for paper towels, order pizza and more!
  • Did the Knicks win?: This shouldn't come as a surprise, but Google can give you live updates on sports matches in baseball, hockey, soccer and cricket. Ask "How are the Warriors doing?" or "Who's playing in the NFL today?" and get answers on the latest sports events of your choice.
  • How long will it take to walk to the library?: Google Home is fully integrated with Maps, meaning you can ask questions about traffic, routes and locations and get accurate answers based on recent evaluations. It can also help you browse for flights and hotels.
  • Help me relax: Google is equipped with a plethora of relaxing ambient music that it can play for you on demand. Use commands like "Play forest sounds" or ask "What other ambient sounds do you know?" to help take off that extra load from a hard day at work.
  • Find my phone: As long as your smartphone is connected to the internet and accessible via GPS, Google can ring your phone remotely to help you figure out its exact location. 
  • Entertain me: The Google Home has access to a plethora of fun applications and games to help entertain you when you're feeling bored. It can sing you a song or even tell jokes that make you laugh.