31 Google Home Hacks to Live Your Best Life [2022]

31 Google Home Hacks to Live Your Best Life [2022]

31 Google Home Hacks to Live Your Best Life [2022]

A home where everything is interconnected and controlled by a single system has been a dream concept for many and has been around for a surprisingly long time.

With the slow but sure pacing and adaptation of this tech, we have finally entered an era where it is possible to connect anything with everything.

At the top of this rat race amongst companies stands Google, with their heads rightfully held high with what they have accomplished with their Google Home Ecosystem.

With hundreds of devices being compatible with the Google Home Ecosystem, it is fair to say that there are a whole lot of unexplored google assistant features out there.

So with the power of the internet and my deep integration with the Google Home Ecosystem, I have curated a list of useful hacks you can do with your Google Home devices.

Google Home Hacks mostly include hacks relating to the Google Assistant, which includes adding languages, ordering food, Google Assistant Routines, doing macro tasks, stereo pairing two speakers, controlling a PC/laptop, Music playback hacks, tuning your instruments amongst many others.

Talk to Google in Multiple Languages

Talk to Google in Multiple Languages

Google, with its excellent voice recognition and translation engine, is intelligent enough to understand and reply in multiple languages.

This is not limited to your primary language too, so if you are bilingual you can directly speak in that language and Google will reply accordingly.

If a family member or friend prefers another language, they can also be added based on their preferred language using the voice match setting.

It is possible to link up to six voices to a Google Home device.

To add a voice to your Google Home device, simply follow the following steps:

  • Open the Google Home app on your smartphone/tablet with which the Home setup is linked.
  • On the upper right corner, tap on the Profile icon.
  • From the resultant pop up menu, open the Assistant settings.
  • Tap on the Voice Match settings and select Add devices.
  • Add the Google Home device to the specific voice by following the steps mentioned in the resultant pages.

This will link that voice to the selected speakers and the primary language of Google Assistant to that voice would be of their preferred language accordingly associated.

Of course, there are only a select number of languages Google can natively understand and reply accordingly and it should be configured manually during setup.

To add a second language to your Google Home setup, simply follow the following steps:

  • Open the Google Home app on your smartphone/tablet with which the Home setup is linked.
  • On the upper right corner, tap on the Profile icon.
  • From the resultant pop up menu, open the Assistant settings.
  • This takes you to your Google app's assistant settings, from which you can configure your language preference from the languages tab.
  • Select Add a language and choose the language of your choice from the list.

You can add multiple languages to this list and Google will respond and reply accordingly.

Do note that Google won't be able to understand if you mix two languages in one sentence. It should be in English, or in the specific language you included.

Change the Google Assistant's Voice

Change the Google Assistant's Voice

If you don't like the voice of the Google Assistant, you can easily change its voice based on the preset voice configurations included by Google.

To change the Google Assistant's voice, simply follow the following steps:

  • Open the Google Home app on your smartphone/tablet with which the Home setup is linked.
  • On the upper right corner, tap on the Profile icon.
  • From the resultant pop up menu, open the Assistant settings.
  • Select the Assistant Voice option from the resultant page.
  • From the options, choose your preferred voice.

Although the options are limited based on the primary language you have chosen, you will still have access to switch around with a male and female voice.

Change the Speed and Frequency of Voice Response From Google

Change the Speed and Frequency of Voice Response From Google

If you felt the reply from the Google Assistant was a bit fast or slow, or maybe you didn't catch the reply as expected, you can simply ask Google so.

If you want the reply to be slower, simply ask after the initial reply, "Hey Google, can you repeat that a bit slower".

If you want the resulting replies to be faster, simply ask, "Hey Google, can you reply a bit faster?".

Do note that these are temporary changes that will be active only during that particular continued conversation.

To change the speech rate for all conversations, simply follow the following steps:

  • Open the Settings of your phone/tablet.
  • In the searchbar above, type in Text to Speech and select the option that says exactly that. Alternatively you can also navigate to the Text to Speech menu directly.
  • Adjust the speech rate and pitch according to your preferences and click on the Play button to preview the setting.

Assign Relationships to Your Contacts

Assign Relationships to Your Contacts

With Google Assistant, you can assign specific contacts with a relationship tag for easier access to that particular contact.

For example, you can assign your Mom's contact as Mom, and invoke Google Home tasks like "Hey Google, Call Mom" to directly call the contact.

This is such a neat trick that makes the whole Google Assistant vibes more personal and tight. You can also assign custom names to your contacts in this manner.

To assign names to your contacts, simply follow the following steps:

  • Open the Google Home app on your smartphone/tablet with which the Home setup is linked.
  • On the upper right corner, tap on the Profile icon.
  • From the resultant pop up menu, open the Assistant settings.
  • Scroll down and tap on the You section and click on the Your people option.
  • Tap on Add person in the resultant screen.
  • The page will ask you to select the contact from your contact list and assign the tag you need with the contact.
  • If you use a specific pronounciation, select the Record your own option under the name pronounciation setting and record away.

Order Food Using Chatbots

Order Food Using Chatbots

Some restaurant chains have set up chatbots that are linked to Google Assistant, making it possible to order food without touching your phone!

Companies that have enabled this feature are Dominoes Pizza, Panera Bread, and Dunkin Donuts, to name a few.

Just give the following command "Hey Google, order xxx from yyy". For eg, "Hey Google, order pizza from Dominoes using Dom".

Dom is the chatbot service that Dominoes uses for securing orders by chat.

Currently, there are a few restrictions though, in that you can only order food that has been previously ordered. For a new order, you need to take out your phone.

There are also a set of prerequisites that need to be set up on your Google Assistant, like your address and payment details.

But barring the initial hurdles, the time to place your order with only your voice is pretty efficient and it only gets better with each order.

As an alternative layman method, you can also give a command "Hey Google, call the nearest Dominoes" to place a call and order away.

Broadcast to Other Google Home Speaker Devices

Broadcast to Other Google Home Speaker Devices

With the smart home devices connected to the same Google Home Account and WiFi network, you can broadcast messages across the Google Home connected devices.

In this way, you can use your Home speakers in a walkie-talkie fashion to talk to a specific speaker in a room, or to all speakers in the house.

Just use commands such as "Hey Google, announce xxx" and the message will be instantly announced. For eg, "Hey Google, announce its time for bed".

You don't even need to be in your home to send broadcast messages. Just simply tell the Google Assistant to broadcast to your connected home.

Check Your Schedule for the Day

Check Your Schedule for the Day

Google is smart enough to curate its own scheduling calendar based on your Google calendar and other connected calendar inputs for better productivity.

With this, you can simply invoke your schedule for the day by using the following command: "Hey Google, What's my schedule today?".

You can also ask specific contents, such as "What do I have for 3 pm today?" and "What am I doing tomorrow".

You can also add items to this schedule by simply giving the commands: "Add a meeting with my Boss at 5 pm today" and it will be added and synced across your calendars.

This is a fantastic feature as all your schedules and meetings will be duly notified and adding or editing the schedule is a simple voice command away.

"Good Morning Google"

"Good Morning Google"

Google Assistant Routines is an amazing feature that launched competing for smart assistants, namely Samsung's Bixby and Amazon's Alexa shortly after.

Although Google has been late in this addition, it did have a watered-down version called Rules before pushing out their own version of Routines.

Google Assistant Routines, simply put is a list of actions that are implemented when a single command is given to the Google Assistant.

These actions can include anything that the Google Assistant can make changes over and this makes daily recurring tasks a whole lot faster and convenient.

There are a few preset routines set up by Google that are turned on by default. "Good Morning Google" is one such command that triggers multiple actions.

When you give the command of "Good Morning Google", the following actions are initiated:

  • The Google Assistant tells you about the current weather and for possible changes during the day.
  • The Google Assistant gives you your schedule for the day and lists out the events in chronological order.
  • The Google Assistant reminds you of any pending tasks or remainders you have set for the day.
  • The Google Assistant reminds you if your battery is running low.
  • The Google Assistant finally plays the news for the day curated based on your interests and frequent topics you usually check out.

You can also rearrange or add in new actions to custom suit your morning requirements, such as turning on lights.

This is a great command that enhances your productivity for the day and lets your mind settle on what is your goal for the day.

"Good Night Google"

"Good Night Google"

"Good Night Google" is a command that initiates a preset routine that is auto-enabled by Google for all Google assistant-enabled devices.

When you give the command of "Good Night Google", the following actions are initiated:

  • The Google Assistant reduces the volume of the replies to not disturb the mood of winding down for the night.
  • The Google Assistant asks for whether to set an alarm to wake up.
  • The Google Assistant reminds you if your battery is running low.
  • The Google Assistant ends the night by playing some sleep sounds.

You can also rearrange or add in new actions to custom suit the winding down requirements, such as dimming the lights.

"Hey Google, I'm Heading Out"

"Hey Google, I'm Heading Out"

"Hey Google, I'm heading out" or "Hey Google, I'm leaving" commands prep the Google Assistant to initiate the security features that you have enabled for your smart home.

When you give the command of " Hey Google, I'm heading out", the following actions are initiated:

  • The Google Assistant adjusts the connected smart devices to settle down to a low power state, nil state or a preset state.
  • The devices include thermostats, smart plugs, TVs, lights, etc.
  • The door lock systems and security systems are also enhanced to note that the owner has left the compound.

You can also rearrange or add in new actions to custom suit the security requirements, such as auto-locking smart locks and enabling constant security footage capture.

"Hey Google, I'm Back"

"Hey Google, I'm Back"

"Hey Google, I'm Back" or "Hey Google, I'm Home" lets Google know you are back from your outside chores and initiates the following actions:

  • The Google Assistant resets the connected smart home devices to what it was before you left.
  • The devices include thermostats, smart plugs, TVs, lights. etc.
  • The door lock systems and security systems are also brought back to their normal state and alerts of any malicious activity in the premises while you were gone.

You can also custom add actions, such as broadcasting to the whole Google Home speakers in your system and playing custom set music or podcast of choice.

"Hey Google, Lets Go To Work"

"Hey Google, Lets Go To Work"

When you're commuting to work, simply give the command "Hey Google, let's go to work" and the following actions will be initiated:

  • The Google Assistant checks and relays information about your commute to work and possible traffic congessions.
  • The Google Assistant tells you about the current weather and for possible changes during the commute.
  • The Google Assistant gives you your schedule for the day or for your work calendar and lists out the events in chronological order.
  • The Google Assistant reminds you of any pending tasks or remainders you have set.

You can also custom set it to play a podcast or music album of your choice.

"Hey Google, Lets Go Home"

"Hey Google, Lets Go Home"

When you're commuting back home from work, simply give the command "Hey Google, let's go home" and the following actions will be initiated:

  • The Google Assistant checks and relays information about your commute back home and possible traffic congessions.
  • The Google Assistant sends/reads unread texts of conversations you have preset to be read back.
  • Broadcasts over the whole Google Home speaker network that you are on your way back and the estimated time to reach home.
  • Adjusts the connected smart devices such as thermostats, smart plugs, lights, door locks, etc according to your custom settings.

You can also custom set it to play a podcast or music album of your choice.

Custom Routines

Custom Routines

You can also custom set routines based on your requirements, by setting up your own custom command line to generate a specific set of actions.

To set up custom routines, simply follow the following steps:

  • Open the Google Home app on your smartphone/tablet with which the Home setup is linked.
  • On the upper right corner, tap on the Profile icon.
  • From the resultant pop up menu, open the Assistant settings.
  • Select the Routines option and tap on the New (+) button to set up your custom routine actions and triggers.

You can set up countless custom phrases to trigger actions. Do note that this is local and is native to your specific Google account linked to your Google Assistant.

Set Up Macro Tasks Ft IFTTT

Set Up Macro Tasks Ft IFTTT

You must have noticed by now that Google Routine actions can be somewhat restrictive based on how they work and initiate.

Only the select actions mentioned by Google can be triggered, and this can be a bit underwhelming to some who wanted to squeeze more from the routines feature.

Enter IFTTT, an app that lets you configure macro tasks similar to Google Assistant routines, but much more powerful and has way more flexibility in its selection of actions.

IFTTT stands for IF This Then That, and the abbreviation itself is self-explanatory in how it initiates tasks and actions in hand based on the input signal given.

IFTTT was a very popular app to set macro routines and with Google buying the app, its seamless integration with Google Assistant only skyrocketed its popularity.

To set up IFTTT with your Google Home system, simply follow the following steps:

  • From the iOS Appstore or Google Play Store, download the IFTTT app.
  • Create an IFTTT account. Simply click on the Connect with Apple, Google, or Facebook text at the bottom and log in with Google.
  • In the search bar, type in Google Assistant and select the connect button on the resultant tab near the result.
  • After successful authorization, you can integrate preset recipes aka routines or make your own.

With IFTTT, you can connect with services like Pushbullet, Dropbox, Ada Fruit, Philips Hue, and a lot more and do the most niche and concentrated tasks possible.

You can set up macro tasks such as locking or shutting down your Google Drive/OneDrive enabled computer using programs such as Assistant Computer Control.

The app also contains a massive amount of preset routines set by users that they found to be of great use to their lives.

Although the app works best with a premium subscription of $4 a month, the basic plan is good enough for a small list of routine tasks.

Control Your PC

Control Your PC

As mentioned above, IFTTT is a fantastic service to expand upon the scope of routines and further customize the intelligence factor of the Assistant based on our needs.

With IFTTT, you can also control your home PC to an extent, with the help of services such as Assistant Computer Control (ACC).

But ACC still doesn't give you total control of the PC with your Google Home devices.

Enter: Push2Run, an open-source program for Windows PC that enables you to run programs, issue commands, open system files, and even type on your computer.

All this is done using the inputs from your Google Home system, making this an absolute necessity for including your computer in the Google Home system too.

In order to control your PC like mentioned, you need to make sure you have the following things ready:

  • The Google Home system connected and linked to the same WiFi connection and Google account.
  • PC or laptop running Windows. Mac is not supported as of writing this article.
  • Push2Run program, which you can download here.
  • Pushover app, which is used to relay real time notifications across multiple platforms.
  • IFTTT.

In order to setup Push2Run, simply follow the following steps:

  • Download the Pushover app on your Google Home system connected phone/tablet.
  • Create an account on the app. The free account is enough in most cases.
  • On the PC/Laptop, install and run the Push2Run program.
  • From the Options Window, click on Enable Pushover.
  • Add your Pushover ID and details to authenticate the service with the Push2Run program.
  • Now, on your phone, log into IFTTT and link your Pushover account to IFTTT.

This links your computer directly to the IFTTT app via PushOver. For more detailed instructions, you can check their official website here.

You can also use other services such as Dropbox or Pushbullet to relay notifications instead of Pushover.

Launch Specific Episodes of Shows on Channels

Launch Specific Episodes of Shows on Channels

A lot of people don't know this, but you can call out to your Google Assistant to play a specific episode of a TV show on your TV directly without opening the specific channel.

Of course, you need to have the service linked to your Google Assistant and you should have a working subscription on the specific channel to get it working.

Google Home natively supports channels such as Netflix, Disney+, ESPN, Amazon Prime, and many more.

You can simply give the command "Hey Google, play episode x on z". For eg, "Hey Google, play episode 3 season 5 of Peaky Blinders on Netflix".

This command is a timesaver and widely used by most seasoned Google Assistant-dependent users for the sheer convenience it provides.

It also skips through the homepage catalog and brings you straight into the meat and potatoes of the plate.

You need to be first connected with the particular service before invoking this command to have the best results.

Add to Your Shopping Lists

Add to Your Shopping Lists

You can make your own shopping list by using the following command: "Hey Google, add xxx to my shopping list". This adds that particular item to the list it creates.

You can easily access this list by going to the Google app.

This list can be configured to be synced with your Google Keep notes for easy editing across multiple platforms.

This makes it a whole lot easier to remember and add items to your list, especially when you don't have your phone nearby.

Add to Your To-Do Lists

Add to Your To-Do Lists

This is similar to your shopping list, but for tasks to do during the day or the week, depending on your desired time frame.

Simply add to your To-Do list by giving the command " Hey Google, add xxx to my to-do list".

You can also custom name these To-Do lists to match your particular subject of the list, such as travel, work, personal, etc.

These too can be configured to sync with the Google Keep account linked with the Google Account.

These types of lists are especially useful when your hands aren't free, like in situations when you are in the shower or cooking and you want to jot something down.

Remember Stuff

Remember Stuff

You can ask Google to remember stuff so that if you forget, you can ask Google where you kept it.

You can simply ask Google to remember by using the following command: "Hey Google, remember xxx". For eg, " Hey Google, remember I kept my watch on the shower shelf".

You can invoke the information by simply using the following commands: "Hey Google, where xxx". For eg, " Hey Google, where is my watch?".

This might seem pointless as you are already ingraining the information while telling Google to remember, but this feature is a boon if you have multiple things to remember.

Using this feature over time, you would appreciate just how much of a part Google plays in storing such information and have this sense of relief you won't forget stuff.

Find Your Phone or Tablet

Find Your Phone or Tablet

If you misplaced your phone or tablet, you can simply ask Google to find the device by asking the following command "Hey Google, Find my phone".

Provided the phone is connected to an internet connection, either the home WiFi or mobile data, the assistant will push an action to make your lost device ring.

The device should also be linked to the Google account of course, in order for the Assistant to specifically contact that lost device.

This is a very handy feature when sofas and couches literally consume remotes and phones without you even knowing it.

Ask for Recommendations

Ask for Recommendations

In case you are drowning in choices for a good place for a date or a chill night out, you can always ask Google for recommendations to a nice restaurant or bar.

You can simply ask for recommendations by invoking the following command: " Hey Google, What are the xxx". For eg, "Hey Google, what are the best burger joints near me?".

Google understands even commands such as "Where can I get office stationery?" and "Tell me the most popular bars in Silicon Valley".

You can ask any list-based recommendations to Google and as long as the replies are search engine optimized, which most current posts usually are.

Dr Doggy

Dr Doggy

Dr. Doggy is an AI that is implemented to have meaningful conversations about symptoms or doubts that relate to the welfare of your dogs.

You can simply invoke Dr. Doggy with the following command: "Hey Google, ask Dr. Doggy if xxx". For eg, "Hey Google, ask Dr. Doggy if my dog can eat chocolates".

Although this is not medical advice, Dr. Doggy is a fair place of reference and a search engine optimized AI that provides a fun way to induce quality information.

My Wine Guide

My Wine Guide

My Wine Guide is also an AI that specializes in being the best sommelier you can find digitally for all your wine needs.

This tells you the best wine and food you can find around you and relays the information based on the countless reviews on their rich database.

You can simply call in for the wine guide with the following command: "Hey Google, what's My Wine Guide's recommendation for the best wine around me?".

Tune Your Musical Instruments

Tune Your Musical Instruments

Google recently added a tuner program onto their search engine that lets you tune your string instruments without needing an external tuner.

You can call in the tuner with the following command: "Hey Google, open Google Tuner".

This opens up a tab where you can freely tune your guitar to your desired pitch.

This is a lifesaver inclusion, as string instruments can get off-tune easily and you might not always have an external tuner around.

The best part about this tuner is that this is cross-platform and web-based, so all you need is a device where you can go a simple Google search.

Ask Google to Play a Specific Musical Note

Ask Google to Play a Specific Musical Note

The Google Tuner needs a screen to work properly as it shows its tuner levels with a graphic meter. This is not an ideal use case for home speakers specifically.

But fortunately, you can simply ask Google to play for you a particular musical note, for eg with the following command: "Hey Google, play the C Sharp(#) note".

With this command, you can easily tune any instrument and all you require is an acute sense of hearing for musical notes.

Stereo Pair Your Multiple Speakers

Stereo Pair Your Multiple Speakers

If you have multiple Google Home speakers in one room, you can pair two speakers together to set up a stereo sound profile.

The only prerequisite is that they should be of the same model, as different models have different sound hardware to configure the stereo sound.

To pair two Google Home speakers in a stereo fashion, simply follow the following steps:

  • Strategically place the speakers in order to get the best stereo effect. It is recommended to place them at the same height as each other and on a level surface.
  • Make sure your Google Home speakers are connected to the same WiFi network.
  • Open the Google Home app on your smartphone/tablet with which the Home setup is linked.
  • Tap on Settings on the top right corner of the page and click on the Audio setting.
  • In the resultant page, click on the Stereo Pair option.
  • Select the speakers you want to pair as stereo.
  • Now the lights on the speakers will start flashing. Configure the left and right speaker accordingly from the app.
  • Follow through with the steps to configure the room details and naming.

This pairs your speakers to a stereo configuration and now your audio channels will easily pass through the left and right channels across the two speakers.

Search for Songs Based on Internal Contexts

Search for Songs Based on Internal Contexts

Over the years, there have been gazillion songs across all languages and platforms, and at times songs can have the same name to spark a lot of confusion.

For every song like 'Beautiful' from Eminem, there will be similarly named songs, like 'Beautiful' by Akon. Google would just play the song that it first finds.

To counter this, Google can easily recognize internal context related to the song. So you can simply say the command "Hey Google, play Beautiful by Akon".

You can even mention random lyric lines stuck onto your mind and Google will find the song for you. For eg, "Hey Google, play that Flo Rida song that goes na na na".

Searching Harder-To-Pronounce Words

Searching Harder-To-Pronounce Words

There are also cases where you want to play songs from bands that are hard to pronounce, like 'Sunn O)))' or 'CHVRCHES'.

To counter this, you can give commands to google by spelling out each letter of the particular unpronounceable words.

You can simply do this by using the following command: "Hey Google, play a song by x-x-x-x..". For eg, "Hey Google, play a song by B-O-N I-V-E-R".

This especially helps lots if the song is based on a non-English name and Google might find it hard to judge such names.

Routine Hacks for Music Search

Routine Hacks for Music Search

Spelling out each letter of unpronounceable words can become a chore, especially if the word is quite lengthy and if you use this particular command frequently.

To solve this, you can use the Google Assistant Routines feature to your own benefit.

Simply set a custom routine by using the steps mentioned before and set the voice hot word to be that specific song name. Then set the action as playing that album on Spotify.

This is a workaround solution to a problem that will eventually be fixed in the future, but this only further expands the power that routines bring to the table for Google Assistant.

"F**k You, Google"

"F**k You, Google"

Google is a company run by humans (at least for now!) after all, and at the current stage of AI, there might be a lot of instances of bugs or issues you might face.

These issues can be especially annoying if you paid quite a fortune to set up your perfect smart home and a temporary bug hits your system on a recurring basis.

Google has initiated a creative way to let off steam onto your Google Home system while helping pave a way for fixing the issue too.

By simply giving the command "Hey Google, F**k off" or "F**k you, Google", Google opens up their bug report window and asks if you want to send logs to Google.

This is not restricted to that specific word too, as most profanity aimed at Google initiates Google to open up their bug report charts in most cases.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Google Home is a fantastic system that has a major role to play in the future of smart homes.

The sheer convenience they bring to the table and the ease of use of all the devices supported in their network is the major reason they have a slight edge over their competition.

The open-source integration also helps to an extent in delivering more consumer input compatibility and connections to the already great foster.

I hope my article on the Google Home hacks you can do with your Home lineup has been time well spent.

Have a good day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can Google Home Speakers Work Without an Internet Connection?

Without an active WiFi connection, Google Home speakers can only function as nonsmart Bluetooth speakers, but this still needs initial pairing via the Google Home app.

Is Google Home always listening?

Google Home has its microphone enabled at all times, but none of the detected sounds are recorded until the hot words "Ok Google" or "Hey Google" is spoken.

Can you use Alexa and Google Home together?

Google Home and Alexa can work in tandem with no issues, provided you are okay with using two command centers and the devices linked don't overlap with each other.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family. I worked in several technology companies and startups in the bay area after graduating from Santa Clara University. I currently work as a consultant for startups and tech companies.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family. I worked in several technology companies and startups in the bay area after graduating from Santa Clara University. I currently work as a consultant for startups and tech companies.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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