Ever since I got my hands on the Google Nest Mini, I've been experimenting with it, learning new tricks and hacks as I got familiar with the device.
Everyone grows tired of the usual monotonous tasks like music listening and indeterminate AI assistant interactions, which further begs the question- what else?
What else could the Nest Mini do? That's the million-dollar question. Well, let me tell you that there are quite a few tricks and hacks that you can try on your Google Nest Mini, and some of them are even entertaining.
After months and months of studying the device, learning most of its features and nifty tricks, I can help you learn a thing or two about your Nest Mini.
Google Nest Mini hacks include making use of the assistant for various tasks like making phone calls, doing online purchases, etc., to handy features like Find my phone, broadcast messages, creating and editing schedules and memos, etc. You could also control and set up Home automation solutions using the Nest Mini through the Google Home app.
Apart from these features and hacks, Google has supplied the Nest Mini with some quirky commands that you can try to bring about unexpected results.
Let's discuss these hacks in detail, shall we?
Before getting deep into the hardware and configuring side of things, first, let's talk about the tricks and features that you can bring about with mere voice commands.
All you have to do is speak the magic words, and the Nest Mini will take care of the rest. And you have Google Assistant to thank for this incredible piece of technology.
Now, there are a lot of commands that you can make use of to bring about a particular feature or application. And since the list is a bit long, I will be discussing only the most necessary and the quirkiest of features for the nonce.
Let's start with the simplest and the easiest of them all, alarms and timers.
Set Up Alarms and Timers
One of the most common features that you can employ on a bedside smart speaker is to set up an alarm for getting up early the next day for a brief morning jog or a lengthy gym session.
All you have to do is to command the Nest Mini, much like this- "Hey Google, set the alarm for 6 A. M", and there you have it, an alarm all set up for 6 in the morning.
Other phrases include: "Hey Google, wake me up at 5 in the morning", "Ok Google, remind me to water the plants at 10 in the morning", etc.
Another great feature that you can make use of is the timer. These features come especially handy when you want to time an activity precisely.
Cooking, breathing exercises, swimming, etc., are some of the activities that can benefit from this feature.
Commands like: "Hey Google, set a timer for 10 minutes", "Ok Google, countdown from 20", etc., may help you achieve the said function.
You can check for an alarm or check the status of the timer by simply asking the Nest about it. Try "Hey Google, what time did I set the alarm to?" to check the time you have set the alarm.
Make Phone Calls and Write Messages
Now we are getting into the thick of things; making calls and writing messages have always been so personal and dexterous since its invention. But now, you can substitute the aforementioned human touch for a competent Assistant.
Making calls has never been simpler. All you have to do is ask the Nest Mini to make a call, and you will get the ever-so-familiar ring.
You can also dial a number if you don't have the contact number embedded into your contact list.
Common commands include- "Hey Google, call Jose", "Ok Google, dial the number *********", etc.
To send a message using the Google Assistant, try "Hey Google, send a message to Jack" or "Ok Google, send a message".
The Google Assistant will then ask for the contact info of the recipient if you hadn't already mentioned it.
Next, you can recite the message content, which the Google Assistant will convert to text and send the message on your behalf.
And there you have it, a brief account on how to send messages and make calls thanks to the power of listening of the Nest Mini.
Make Shopping Lists or Even Shop Things Online
Convinenance and accessibility- two words that perfectly define a voice assistant, has not been anointed for the mere purpose of argument's sake but based on real-life practicalities.
And nothing screams practicality more than hands-free online shopping. You don't even have to open up your phones or smart devices to make a purchase. Try Google Assistant instead.
Before making purchases online, one would have to create a shopping list, you know, as per tradition.
And to continue our valued traditions, Google does allow the generation and modification of shopping lists anytime all the time.
Speak the words, and you shall have a shopping list in your hands in no time. Commands like "Hey Google, add chilli flakes to the shopping list" or "Ok Google, add Fava beans to the grocery list" will all yield results.
Now, if you want to make a purchase online, a command similar to "Hey Google, buy some Dark Chocolate from Walgreens" will help you make a purchase online.
Before you make purchases online, you will have to log in to a store account like Walgreens, Wholefoods, or Target. A payment and delivery address may also be essential to shop online.
Broadcast Messages to Other Nest Devices
Broadcast messaging is Google's way of group messaging with other Nest devices. The only requisite is to connect all the Nest devices to the same wireless network.
This feature comes especially handy when you want to notify or inform everyone in your household, or any other place, of a common agenda.
One of the best examples of this feature is to notify an entire household of dinnertime.
If you have multiple Nest devices connected to the same network and dispersed throughout the house, commands like " Hey Google, broadcast that 'dinner is served'" will do the job.
Other broadcast commands include: "Ok Google, tell everyone it's game time", "Hey Google, broadcast everyone to do their chores", etc.
You can also broadcast messages even while away from the Nest Mini by using the Google Home app.
"Hey Google, Find My Phone"
Our phones are the most prized and essential gadgets that help us get through the day. And what will you do if you can't find your phone one morning while on your way to work?
Fret not, because you have the Nest Mini to aid you, right? Speak the words and let the Nest Mini do the rest. As the title suggests, a command similar to "Google, find my phone" will make your phone start ringing an audible beep.
You can make this feature work even while the phone is in silent or DND mode.
But for the feature to work, you will need your phone and the Nest device to be connected to the same network. Also, the phone should be within striking distance from the router.
Did you know that the Nest Mini has an array of four LEDs on the top to indicate the status of the Google Assistant command registration process?
Here are some of the common LED signals that may be useful:
- All of them white- detected the trigger "Hey Google", and is waiting for the command.
- White LEDs flash and fade- did not recognize the command, try again.
- White LEDs running left to right- Google Assistant is processing the command.
- White LEDs pulsing- Responding to your command.
- Solid Orange LEDs- Microphone is OFF and will remain unresponsive to your commands.
Hacks That You Can Try Using Google Home App
Now that we have looked at some of the best hands-free tricks you can try on your Google Nest Mini, let's take a gander at some hacks that may require some hands-on configuring.
Almost all of the configuring part of your Nest Mini takes place through the Google Home app in your smart device, so make sure to connect both your devices to the same stable network.
Let's start with how to make the Nest Mini recognize multiple members.
Manage Multiple Members
Did you know that you can register up to 6 members on the same Nest device? Well, now you do, and with this addition, you will be able to segregate lists, tasks, memos, and whatnots according to the user.
You can also make the Nest Mini recognize individual voices by training the Google Assistant to do so. But that's a whole nother story.
To add multiple members to your Nest Mini, follow these steps on the Google Home app.
1. In the Home app dashboard, click and open the Add icon on the top left.
2. Tap on Add person to Home.
3. Type the name or the e-mail address of the person you want to add.
4. Click on Confirm to seal the deal.
Google's Very Own "Family Bell"
You all must be knowing what a group-remainder is, don't you? Well, if you are unaware of such a term, it is a reminder set up by the host to inform all the other participants of the group of an upcoming activity/event.
Google calls this feature Family Bell.
It is very similar to a broadcast message, minus the instant nature of the broadcast message since it requires setting up beforehand. And as the name suggests, it is ideal for family events and activities.
To set up a Family bell, follow these steps on the Home app.
1. In the Home tab, click and open the Profile icon on the top right corner of the app.
2. Select the Assistant Settings option, and then click on the Family Bell option.
3. Tap on Add Bell, and then enter the Bell announcement and the time of the event.
4. If you would like to repeat the event, select the days on which to repeat the event.
5. Choose the devices on which the Family Bell should play.
6. Click on Create Bell to confirm the selection.
Create Speaker Groups
Unlike the age-old method of daisy-chaining speakers to play music simultaneously, you can create what Google calls speaker groups to interlink multiple Nest devices to form a unified whole.
Like so, you can play media simultaneously on all the linked Nest speakers for your listening needs(party mode!).
But make sure you have all the speakers connected to the same network for this feature to work.
Follow these instructions on the Google Home app to achieve the said feature.
1. On the Home tab, click and open the "+" icon on the top left.
2. Select Create Speaker Group. Then proceed to select the devices you would like to add to the Group.
3. Give a name to your Group, and click on Save to complete the setup.
Now you can play music from your favorite music streaming app on all your Nest devices.
Do note that changing the volume of an individual Nest speaker will affect every other speaker connected to the Group.
Schedule a Downtime for the Nest Mini
Even if the Nest Mini is one of the best Smart speakers available right now and most of its features are pretty useful, sometimes, the device may get on your nerves.
Casual mentions of Google or the Assistant can make the Nest Mini wake and become a cause for vexation. Also, its notifications and reminders are pretty loud and annoying.
A great example of such annoyance is during nighttime.
Luckily, Google did take into account such scenarios and have provided an option to temporarily make the Nest Mini go into a state of silence.
Downtime disables most of the notifications and reduces the volume on your Nest Mini. This feature also makes the Assistant unresponsive to commands.
To enable Downtime on your Nest Mini, follow these steps on the Home app.
1. In the Home tab, tap and open the Settings icon.
2. Select the Digital Wellbeing option.
3. Click on Set up, and then you can select the needed filters for your Downtime. If you have already Set up the Filters, skip the setting up part and move on to tap New Schedule under Downtime.
4. Follow the prompts on the screen to schedule the Downtime.
Use Continued Conversation With Your Google Assistant
Another nifty feature that lets you, the user, converse with the Google Assistant without needing to speak "Hey Google" every time is the Continued Conversation feature.
After the initial excitement using the Google Assistant, one will grow weary of the necessity to start any command with the "Hey Google" trigger.
Google knew very well of this human flaw and hence the Continued Conversation feature.
With this feature, you will be able to converse with the Google Assistant as you would with a human being, and it's not creepy at all!
Usually, this feature comes enabled as default on your Nest Mini. But in the off chance the feature is disabled, follow these steps on the Home app to enable the feature.
1. In the Home tab, click and open the User icon on the top right corner of the app.
2. Tap on Assistant Settings and then click on Continued Conversations.
3. Make sure to toggle the feature ON and exit the menu.
You can test the feature by asking the Google Assistant something and following up the question with another one.
Set up a Schedule or a Routine
Everyone must have a routine or a way of doing things that you strictly adhere to, right?
The best example of such a routine in the morning one when you want to wake up to the warble of the birds and warm sunlight, run the coffee machine and have a quick rundown of the day's forecasts and the news.
What if you could make all of these things come to life with a mere command?
That's right, the Google Nest Mini, thanks to its smart home capabilities, can open the shutters, run the coffee machine, and brief on the day's happenings with a mere command. All you have to do is to set it up properly.
You can set up a routine on your Nest mini by following these steps on the Google Home app.
1. In the Home tab, click on the Routines Icon.
2. You can now select from the pre-made routines the one you want.
3. To change the trigger command with which you can activate the Routine, click on "When I say to my Assistant". Then select Add another.
4. After reciting the trigger, click on Done.
5. Go back to the Routines tab, and click on Add Action to modify the Routine.
6. Choose a Routine of your choice, and select the Actions you want in your Routine. Tap on Done.
7. Click on Save to finalize the Routine.
You can also make custom routines to your liking.
To make a custom routine, go to the Routines tab and click on the "+" icon near the bottom of the screen. Follow the instructions to set up a custom routine.
Depending on the routine you have selected, a trigger may be needed to start the routine. You could also create custom triggers, as I've mentioned above.
For a morning routine, the default trigger is "Hey Google, good morning".
Another great example is the routine to follow when you return home. The command recommended by Google is "Hey Google, I'm Home", and the Google Assistant will adjust the light and whatnots in your house to your liking.
Apart from the practical stuff, Google has also infused some funny easter eggs that you can bring to life once you figure out the proper triggers.
Some of these commands are:
- "Hey Google, up, up, down, down, left, right, B, A".
- "Hey Google, inconceivable".
- "Hey Google, read a poem".
- "Hey Google, tell me a joke".
- "Hey Google, am I fat?"
- "Hey Google, wubba lubba dub dub".
- "Hey Google, are you Skynet?"
And there you have it, a comprehensive guide on the tips, tricks, and hacks that you can try on your Google Nest Mini.
Make sure to try out each and every hack mentioned in the article. You can save a lot of time with the help of the home automation features the Nest Mini has to offer.
You can also test the capability of the Google Assistant by asking it arithmetic questions, even complex ones.
Google has also provided the Nest Mini with some quirky, funny commands that are sure to result in some surprising answers. Make sure to check them out too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Google Nest Mini always listening?
The Google Nest Mini, like any other smart speaker available right now, is always listening to the sounds and the voices all around it. But, it doesn't register any of the sounds unless it's very own catchphrase-"Hey Google" or "Ok Google" is said. You can view your voice recordings by logging into the Home app and by going to the Home tab>User cion>My activity.
How to add a music service to the Nest Mini?
To add a music service to your Nest Mini's list of preferences, follow these steps on the Google Home app.
1. In the Home tab, click and open the "+" icon.
2. Tap on Music under the Add services section.
3. Select the Service from the list.
Can you control the lights using the Google Nest Mini?
Yes, you can control the lights on your premise, provided that the lighting fixture does have smart home capabilities. Google recommends using the Philips Hue series of bulbs and lighting solutions as the best lighting solution compatible with the Google Nest series of smart speakers. Other manufacturers that support Google Nest integration are Lifx, TP-link smart bulbs, Nanoleaf, Wiz LED, Osram Lightify, among others.
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