Guide to Google Home and Google Home Mini
Google Home serves as an assistant for any room in your house. It's a smart speaker that responds to your voice, your requests, commands and your questions. Oh, and it plays music, too. All you need is an Internet connection, so it can help you get the information you need at lightning speed. Here's how to determine which Google Home device works best for you.
Types of Google Home devices
- Google Home regular: The original size Google Home is a welcoming curvy shape with a white body mesh bottom that stands 6 inches tall and 3 inches around.
- Google Home Mini: Cute as a button, this little oblong device fits in anywhere, even on your bedside table. It comes in colors ranging from neutral to Chalk, Charcoal, Aqua and Coral. Buy it as a single or in pairs.
- Google Home Max: Large and in charge and in Charcoal, this assistant has the heart-pounding bass of a quality speaker.
Listening to music
- Request a song: Ask Google to play your favorite song. It'll head to your default service, such as YouTube, and start playing. If it doesn't have it, that means you might need to subscribe to one of Google's compatible music services.
- Request better sound quality: Using Bluetooth technology, your Google Home can pass the song along to a default speaker that's better and it'll start automatically playing songs on that higher quality speaker. Create groups of multiple speakers to play a single song synced throughout your home.
- Request a playlist: You can search for a song numerous ways. Search by lyrics if you don't know the name of the song. Or ask Google to search for a playlist of any type of music.
- Music on TV: If you have a Chromecast-enabled television, you can also ask Google Assistant to play music through your television.
Training Google Assistant
- Recognizing voices: Google Home's Google Assistant recognizes up to six distinct voices and customize answers based on who's talking.
- Wake words: Wake up your assistant for help by using the term ""Okay, Google,"" or ""Hey, Google."" You can ask questions for a few seconds after using the wake words without repeating them over again.
- Goodbye words: To put your assistant back to sleep, simply say ""Thank you,"" and the mic will shut off.
What to ask Google Home
- Recipe assistance: You can ask Google Home to help you cook with step-by-step instructions. It's like having a cooking instructor.
- Making calls: Have your assistant place a call for you with the sound of your voice.
- Read aloud: Lull you and your child to sleep by having it read aloud stories from Disney or Nickelodeon. Or read aloud yourself to your child, but have Google Home add appropriate music and sound effects to your story.
- Shopping lists: You can ask it to make a shopping list for you, and you can also create to-do lists, gift lists and more. Google Home can shop for you too, by placing orders online.
- Weather plus: Ask your assistant what your commute looks like, what the weather will be later in the evening or any other information you need to make your day run smoothly. Use the new feature, called ""Routines,"" to further customize the information your assistant gives to you at the start of your day.
How Google Home transforms your home
- Compatible devices: Connect Google Home to thousands of compatible devices to change your home into a smarter home.
- Lights: Turn off connected indoor and outdoor lights by asking your assistant to handle it, or use the Google Home app on your smartphone to do the same.
- Locks: Forgot to lock the doors or shut the garage door on your way out? Do it through your app. You can also unlock your door for your kid who forgot the keys. Watch your doors through connected doorbells and security cameras.
- Energy usage: Lower your bills by having Google Home track your energy usage through connected devices. Use your assistant to lower your room temperatures.
- Watering: Save your garden and lawn by regulating the sprinklers. Forgetting to water your plants is a thing of the past.
- Washing clothes: Google assistant can't physically put clothes into your washer or dryer (yet), but it can let you know when the load is done.