Google Home can do this too

The Google Home is a handy and smart device that, in combination with the Google Assistant, can make many things in your life more efficient. However, the smart speaker can do much more than just predict the weather and set a timer; because there is no official manual, many possibilities are unknown to most users. Time to change that.

Tip 01: Rain shower

Shall we start with the weather now? Yes, but not in the way you probably think. Google Home is not only able to list the weather forecast, the company can also let you hear the weather itself. It reminds us of the WakeUp Light from Philips, which can wake you up or put you to sleep with a series of soothing sounds. For example, do you say, “Hey Google, what does rain sound like?” Then Google will sound a soothing rainstorm. This one won't last all night, but long enough to put you to sleep (60 minutes). In addition to rain, you can play all kinds of other soothing sounds, such as the sound of a river, but also the sound of a fireplace. That way you can easily use your smart speaker to fall asleep. It pays to try new things from time to time, because Google still regularly adds new sounds and commands.

Tip 02: Intercom

A Google Home is quite pricey, and we do not expect you to have several of these types of devices at home. However, the Google Home Mini is a lot more compact and affordable; this one is excellent for equipping the whole house with the functionalities of the Google Assistant. If you have multiple devices at home, you can use one device to send a message to all the other devices. Suppose the kids have a Google Home Mini in their room and it's dinner time, you simply say, "Hey Google, broadcast it's dinner time." Then the device will sound a bell on all other Google Home devices in the house, followed by the message: "It's dinner time." And yes, that's very impersonal, but it's still better than the roar upstairs (in an ideal world we'd all walk upstairs, of course), and in an age where kids live with so much technology, it's a nice option.

Google Home is the ideal remote control

Tip 03: Remote control

The nice thing about the Google Assistant is that it is a fairly open standard, which means that not only Google devices can be controlled using a device that contains the Google Assistant. Being able to control your Google Nest Hello doorbell or your Google Nest Learning Thermostat with your voice is great, but it's even nicer that you can also control one of the 1,500 other smart devices that Google supports via your Google Home. Do you have a Roomba robot vacuum? Then you can easily enable it via the Google Home. The same goes for smart lighting (such as those from Philips), your smart security system, and even your smart coffee maker, as long as these devices are supported by Google. So you almost no longer have to get off the couch.

Tip 04: Translate

You can guess where the Google Assistant gets all the information from. After all, the system is linked to all products and services of Google, and therefore also to the search engine. This Assistant can therefore translate almost everything that the search engine on your computer can do and is a fantastic example of this. You read something, and for a moment you don't know what it means. Then you simply say: "Hey Google, what does 'fromage' mean in Dutch?" Or the other way around: you want to explain something to someone in English, and you say “Hey Google, how do I say in English: we leave tomorrow at eight?” The answers from Google, just like the results in Google Translate, are not always error-free, but they definitely help you a lot further.

Tip 05: Calculating

Calculation is one of those functions that we thought we wouldn't use much, because how much work does it take to quickly open the calculator on your smartphone? Not much, but just asking your Google Home something is much more efficient. The reason for that is that you can do it while doing something else. Suppose you are writing a report in which you write that 4,932 people in the Netherlands each produce 11 kilos of waste per month, and you want to know how much that is in total. As you type, ask, "Hey Google, what's 4,932 times 11?" Google will repeat the sum for checking, then reply that it is 54,252. An answer you can type without having stopped typing for a second. Life doesn't always have to be hyper-efficient, of course, but this is really very practical.

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