3 tricks to make your Google Home more useful

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These tricks will help make your Google Home more useful.

Digital assistants are all the rage these days. From Google Assistant to Alexa to Siri these AI-powered helpers are growing in popularity. As more users adopt them, their capabilities and integrations continue to grow.

Google’s lineup of Home devices includes some of the most popular digital assistant gadgets on the market today. They can carry out a huge array of tasks to make your life easier, keep you entertained, and make your home smarter.

Here are three ways to make your Google Home more useful.

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Create Routines

It’s easy to use voice commands to interact with Google Assistant. Triggering it with phrases like “Okay Google” or “Hey Google” is enough to get the process rolling. However, sometimes asking Google to play a song on Spotify or tell you the time isn’t enough.

Sometimes you want to do something more complex—like turn on a few of the smart lights you have in the living room while also adjusting the thermostat once you arrive at home.

For those situations, Google Assistant’s routines come in handy. With them you can create custom commands that tell the Assistant to carry out a set of tasks simultaneously.

To start, open up the Google Home app and tap “Routines” from the Assistant settings page. Then, select “Manage routines.” There you’ll find a few pre-made routines to give you inspiration. You can also choose “Add a routine.”

This allows you to create your own procedural list with ease. For instance, a routine coded by the phrase “Good morning” could trigger Google Assistant to give you the weather forecast, tell you the time, and even start your smart coffee pot.

Use the Hands-Free Google Remote

No one likes getting up to find the remote during an intense Netflix binge. If you find yourself wishing you could control the TV with your voice while using a Chromecast or compatible smart TV, then Google Assistant is ready to help.

To use Assistant as a remote you’ll need to first add your TV or Chromecast to the Google Home app. Then, connect your streaming accounts (like Netflix and Hulu) under the Assistant settings menu within the app.

In some cases, you’ll also need to change a setting called consumer electronics control (CEC) on your TV. This allows Google to control it with a voice command. Since it’s usually off by default, you’ll need to check your TV’s settings menu to enable it.

From there, you should be all set. Just ask Google to play your favorite show, sit back, and relax. It can even control the volume so you never need to touch the remote again.

Find Your Missing Phone

Maybe your remote control isn’t the only thing that’s missing. If you find yourself misplacing your smartphone in the house, then fear not. Your Google Home device can help you find your missing phone—even if it’s in silent mode. The only stipulation is that your phone needs to be on and connected to either Wi-Fi or mobile data. That shouldn’t be an issue most of the time.

To use this nifty feature Android users need to install the Find my Device app on their phone. Follow its simple prompts to set it up completely. After doing so, you’ll be able to say, “Hey Google, find my phone.”

This will trigger your phone to ring at maximum volume so you can follow the sound to find it. For iPhone users, this feature is still useful. Under the privacy settings menu within the Google Home app look for “Phone” and then an option to “Add recovery phone.” Following the steps there will let Google Assistant call your phone if it is lost.

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