Virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa are becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives. Recently, Google released their competitor to Amazon’s product. Aptly named, Google Home, the Google Home Assistant can help you in surprising ways you might not have realized at first. Here are 15 Google Home features that might surprise you.
1. Use It as a Speaker
It’s common knowledge that the Google Home comes equipped with a Bluetooth speaker. However, it’s not limited to just connecting to your phone and playing playlists. Google Home can connect to many music streaming services, like Spotify and Pandora. Not only that but with an integrated chrome browser on any computer, you can easily connect your computer to Google Home and use it as a desktop speaker.
2. Read the News from 1851
Google Home has a database of news headlines going back all the way to 1851. All you have to do is ask for the news on any specific day. It will then read the headlines of that day and summarizes the news contained in that article.
3. Find Your Phone
With just a simple phrase, Google Home Assistant can place a call to your phone to help you find it. If your phone is on silent or vibrate and is compatible with Google Home, it will even come out of silent mode in order for you to hear its ring.
4. Turn Your Lights On or Off
Google Home is advertised as the central hub for all your smart devices. If you have compatible lights such as the Phillips Hue bulbs, then you can ask the Google Home Assistant to turn off and on the lights for you without pressing a switch.
5. Use Touch Commands
The Google Home is equipped with touch-sensitive technology that knows where your fingers are and can register many gestures. You can tap the top to pause and unpause music and sliding your finger to the side opens up the volume control. Google has promised more functionality of touch commands in the future.
6. Get an Uber
By connecting your Uber app to Google Home and specifying a few settings, you can ask Google Home for an Uber and one will go right to your house in a matter of minutes.
7. Cook Recipes
Perhaps one of the most useful functions, Google Home can look up over five million recipes via several databases such as the New York Time and Food Network. The Google Home Assistant will go through the recipe step by step and you can even ask it for conversions and ingredient substitutions.
8. Play 20 Questions
Google Home is connected to Akinator, which is an online version of 20 questions. You simply think of something, and Akinator, via Google Home will ask questions to narrow it down. It’s perfect for when you are bored or want to keep your kids occupied.
9. Keep A Shopping List
Google Home has a lot of functionality in the kitchen. If you notice you’re missing something, simply ask Google Assistant to add the item to your shopping list. That shopping list is automatically sent to any integrated phone or smart device.
10.Integrate With Chromecast
If you have Chromecast, Google’s home TV option, then you can use Google Home and voice commands to control it. You can ask for specific videos, or tell Google Home to rewind, forward, or skip to a specific time.
11. Know Your Traffic
By adding your home and work locations to the Google Home app, the Google Home Assistant can tell you about traffic conditions and possible alternate routes you can take to save time.
Related: Google Maps Tricks You Didn’t Know
12. Impress Your Guests
The Google Home allows your guests to use it as well. All they have to do is pair their device with Google Home, a step that literally takes seconds. Once it is paired, they can issue commands and ask questions just as you can.
13. See Your Pics on TV
Google home can be given access to your photo accounts, like Google Photo and Photobucket. Once you do, you can use Chromecast to show your pictures on TV and even ask for specific pictures based on location and date.
Google Home comes with over 15 ambient sounds, including forest ambiance and crashing waves, to help you relax or fall asleep.
15. Hear a Joke
Google Home can even tell jokes. Just ask, and you shall receive.
With all these things you can do with Google Home and more features added soon, now is a great time to buy this fantastic home assistant.