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Got a new Google Home? Here’s everything it can do

by Brandon Russell | December 25, 2017December 25, 2017 11:00 am PST

When Google launched the Home, it was very clearly attacking a market cornered by Amazon. Now, with the Home, Home Mini, and Home Max in its arsenal, Google is making a pretty good case for ditching Alexa for good.

Why are people so interested in Google’s lineup of smart home devices? Because they’re smart. Really smart. It can do everything Amazon’s Alexa can do, but better. The best part is that Google’s Assistant, which is in every Home device, can easily answer follow-up questions and handle more complex queries.

If you just got a Home and aren’t sure what to do with it, your life is about to change.

Hands-free calling

Once your phone is hooked up to your Home device, you can easily call a friend or loved one; you can even call local businesses. Just link your Google account, sync your contacts, and that’s it. It’s a feature that’ll come in real handy the next time your hands are full with cooking ingredients.

Try these commands:

  • Call Trader Joe’s
  • What is the nearest pharmacy? Call them
  • Call Mom

Get all the answers

Whether you want a quick fact or you need to know the score of the Lakers game, Home is there to give you all the answers you need. It’s like performing a Google search with your voice.

Try these commands:

  • How tall is Tom Cruise?
  • Why is the sky blue?
  • How far is the sun?

Voice match

Voice Match enables households to share a Google Home device. With the feature turned on, Google’s powerful technology will recognize who’s speaking and adjust the experience to that person. Google has a thorough guide on how to set this feature up and how it works. Basically, if you have more than one person who wants to use the Google Home, Voice Match is a must.


Shop until you drop

Not only can you create a shopping list, but you can add items to your cart and even buy items. You can buy items from Google Express, for example, including food and cleaning supplies. It’s the easiest and most convenient way to shop.

Try these commands:

  • Add toilet paper to my cart
  • Add hand soap to my cart
  • Add paper plates to my cart

Get a brief of your day

The My Day feature provides users with a quick snippet about their day, including weather, calendar, commute, news, and more. It’s the easiest way to plan your day without staring at your phone first thing in the morning.


Control your home

Whether you’re controlling lights are adjusting the thermostat, Google Home integrates with several of today’s most popular smart home devices. There are over 1,000 smart home devices that support Google Home, so chances are your devices are compatible.

Try these commands:

  • Set the temperature to 72 degrees
  • Turn of the living room lights
  • Show me the backyard camera

Set alarms and timers

Rather than using your phone’s alarm, the Google Home is a great way to gently awake from your slumber. It beats fiddling with a bright screen when you’re half asleep.

Try these commands:

  • Set alarm for 6 a.m. tomorrow
  • When is my alarm set for?
  • Cancel my alarm

Play games

The next family game night, try using Google Home for some fun jokes, trivia and more. You can try to answer riddles, play Mad Libs, and even make Assistant speak like Yoda. Fun that is.

Try these commands:

  • Sing a song
  • Where’s Waldo?
  • Mad Libs

Play Netflix—and more

With Hulu, Netflix and/or HBO connected, you can command Assistant to play content on your TV (with a Chromecast hooked up). There’s something so satisfying about sitting back and saying, “Ok Google, play Stranger Things on my TV.”

Try these commands:

  • Play John Oliver on HBO
  • Play TechnoBuffalo on YouTube
  • Play Stranger Things on Netflix


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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