Google recently introduced its Google Home and Google Home Mini as direct competitors to Amazon Echo and Echo Dot in India. These are smart speakers powered by Google Assistant that respond to voice prompts and are designed to make life simpler.

So, in case you’re planning to get the Google Home/ Home mini or have already bought one, here are some of the best Google Home tips and tricks you should know to get the most out of these voice-assisted smart speakers:

1. Set up Your Music Streaming Services and News Sources

The Google Home can be customized to be more specific and personalized. You can tell it which music service – Saavan, Gaana, or Play Music, to use for playing music or from which news source you want to consume the information.

Here’s how to set it? Go to More Settings on your Google Home app, and set your preferences.

2. Long Press to activate Google Assistant

Google Home’s AI – Google Assitant, can also be triggered by long pressing the touch surface of the speaker. You don’t always have to speak the hot keywords like Hey Google or Ok Google to get the work done. Just press and hold the on the top of the Google Home to ‘Start Your Request.’

3. Enable Guest Mode and Multiple Voice Recognition

The Google Home can take commands from multiple users simultaneously. It will read out personalized data of individual users, and share subscription services like Google Play Music, without logging in or logging out of the service every time.

You can also allow other users to stream on your Home speaker by turning on the guest mode. To activate Guest Mode, head over to Google Home app> Go to Devices > Tap on the three-dot icon on the top-right corner > and select Guest Mode. From the follow-up screen toggle the switch in front of Guest Mode.

Also Read: Nokia 7 Plus Review – Is it worth Rs 26,000?

4. Google Home Can Take Notes For You

Your Google Home can also take down notes or make shopping lists at your command. All you have to say is “OK Google Add Tissue Paper to my Shopping List” and it will add tissue papers to your shopping list of Google Home app.

5. Disable Microphone

Google Home is constantly listening for hot words using its far-field microphones. However, if you are worried that this may lead to your privacy being compromised, you can mute the microphones using a dedicated hardware button.

6. Keep Tabs On Your Stuff With Google Home

If you keep forgetting where you kept a particular document or any other item, you can take some help from Google Now. All you have to do is say “Okay Google, my passport is in the filing cabinet” and it will remember it for you. Later on, you can simply ask “Hey Google, where’s my passport?” to find it.

7. Use Google Home As Bluetooth Speaker

Google Home is an independent device that only requires your phone for the setup process. However, you can also use your Google Home as a Bluetooth speaker. All you have to do is say “Ok Google, Bluetooth Pairing” and the speaker will be discoverable to all nearby devices. Now, go to the phone’s Bluetooth settings and pair to Google Home.

Or, you can do it from the Google Home app without voice command. Go to Google Home app from your phone > head over to Device> Settings scroll down to the bottom of the list. Tap on the “Paired Bluetooth Devices > Enable Pairing Mode”. Once you do that, you’ll get a message, ‘pairing mode’ on your screen, now quickly jump to phone’s Bluetooth settings and pair it with your Google Home.

8. Find Your Phone With Google Home

With Google Home, you can also find your phone easily. Just prompt the speaker with “Ok Google” and say “Find My Phone”. Your phone will start ringing on maximum volume even when the silent mode is turned on.

9. Enable Night Mode On Google Home

The Google Home has a night mode that lets you dim LED lights on the surface and lower its volume so you don’t wake up or disturb others. You can either manually turn this feature on, or schedule it to trigger at the same time every day.

To activate Google Home night mode, open your Google Home App> Go To Device Settings> and scroll down to find Night Mode. Once you do, tap on the option> toggle Night Mode.

10. You can be anyone on Google Home

Google Home knows your name from the account you have registered. But, you can easily change that and recreate a new identity in this AI world. You could be the king, boss, Iron Man, or the Hulk, or whatever fancy yourself.

To do that, jump to Google Home app, tap the three lines in the top left corner and select ‘More Settings’. Now, select ‘Personal info’> ‘Nickname’> and, under ‘What should the assistant call you’, tap the pencil icon and enter the name you’d prefer. Now, ask Google Home “who am I”, and it will call you by the name you fed.

11. Cast Your Audio on Home

You can also cast audio of your phone to Home via Wi-Fi. This will give you faster streaming and better range compared to Bluetooth. You will even be able to play music while not in the same room.

To do so, launch Google Home app from your phone > Tap on the ‘Hamburger’ sign in the top-right corner. From the slide screen, select Cast Screen/Audio from the options> and select “Cast to” device.

That’s not all you can also cast your desktop audio to Google Home. To do so, make sure both your Google Home and PC are connected to the same network. Then, open Chrome browser on your PC> click on three-dots on the top right corner> select Cast option> and you can connect to the Google Home speaker.

12. Ask for a joke

Just like Amazon Alexa, Google Home also has its witty side, and you won’t be disappointing by it. Just ask the Home, “What all you can do?” and it will give you an expansive list of fun activities including poetry, beatboxing, and a host of trivia games.

You can also check out its humor by asking Google Home “Ok Google, Tell me a joke“.

13. Play Games On Google Home

Bored? Google Home has a solution for that too. Apart from streaming music and controlling your smart home, you can play tons of games on the device. These games are divided into different sub-categories: Guessing games, Adventure games, Classic games, Party games, Trivia, and Maths and number games.

To access the list of games, Open the Google Home app, tap on the hamburger menu icon on the top-right corner, and click on the Explore option. On the follow-up page, type Games on the search bar and start playing.

14. Broadcast Messages

Now, if you have more than one Google smart speaker at home, you can use broadcast a common message to notify or alert all family members. You could say things like ‘it’s time for dinner’, and the Assistant will ring a dinner bell on every speaker.

To broadcast your messages on all Google Homes/ Mini at home, just say “OK Google, broadcast” followed by your announcement, and every speaker tied to your account will broadcast your message.

15. Rename your Home Speaker

At the time of setup, you will be given limited names to choose between for your Google Home. But, that can be changed once you are through to the setup process.

To do so, jump to Devices settings from Google Home app> scroll down to Device Info list and select Name> change to whatever you want to name it> and remember to tap on ‘Ok’.

16. Be the first one to taste Google Home updates

Google rolls out new updates to its Google Home over the air, and you can get priority access by enrolling in preview programs. Once you enroll in Google Home Preview Program, you will get early access to new features for the smart speaker before they are released publicly. Also, these users will be able to submit feedback and suggestions to the Google Home team.

To register for Google Home Preview Program, head over to the App> tap on the Devices icon in the top right corner. A list will of Google Home Devices show up> tap on the three-dots icon and select Settings> under the Device settings toggle the Preview Program switch by tapping on it. And, you are registered. From now on, you will be able to test the update beforehand.

Top 16 Google Home Tips and Tricks

Google Home still has a long way to go before it can be really useful as an assistant. But considering the announcements at Google I/O this year,  things are going to improve at a rapid pace! Until then, you can try these cool things on your Google Home, and if you think we missed out on some interesting tips/ trick, don’t forget to let us know in the comment section below. We are listening.

Also Read: The 10 Biggest Highlights Of Google I/O 2018

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