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Google Home: 5 Things You Should Be Asking Your Smart Speaker



Nest audio

The new Nest Audio is Google Home’s flagship smart speaker, replacing the 2016 original.

Juan Garzon / CNET

Your Google Home smart speaker can’t help with everything, but chances are it can do a lot more than you might expect. Most people already know that you can ask them to play music, cancel the weather forecast, or set a timer or alarm. But what about asking where you left your car keys? Or place an order at the nearby coffee shop? I bet you didn’t know Google Home could too. Keep reading as there’s a lot more where that came from.

Unlike Amazon’s Alexa, you don’t need to download or install anything to add features to Google Home. New features are constantly being added behind the scenes and most of the time you just need to ask to use them. (“ Hey Google, I need a sugar cookie recipe, for example. ”) For other tricks, including a few of these tips, just link an existing account to Google Home (which, as you’ll see soon, is pretty easy and quick to do).

So keep your questions to the end because chances are, Google Home is the one you should be asking, these five things it can surprisingly answer for you.

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If you have a tile tracker associated with your keys, you can have it ring with your voice once you pair it with Google Home.

Tile

Ask where your lost car keys are

There are two ways to get Google Home to find your car keys, depending on whether you’re using a tile tracker. If you don’t, next time you put your keys in a drawer or elsewhere, you don’t normally put them away, say, ‘Hey Google, remember I put my keys under the sink [or wherever you put them]. Then, the next time you can’t find them, say, “OK, Google, where did I put my keys” and Google Home will tell you.

If you have a tile tracker on your keychain, even better. Google can call it for you so you can locate it.

1. Open the Google Home appand then tap it + sign in the top left corner and choose Set up the devicethen tap Works with Google.

2. Press magnifying glass in the top right corner, then type “Tile” and tap Tile logo that will appear below the search bar.

3. Log in to Tile as you would in a browser and follow all on-screen prompts.

Now you can say “Hey” or “OK, Google is calling my keychain [or whatever you’ve named the Tile attached to your keys]“The next thing you know is your keys start to buzz. This trick works for anything you have a tile tracker hooked up to, like school bags, pets, you name it.

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Skip the line and order your favorite Starbucks drink from Google Home after linking your accounts.

Angela Lang / CNET

Order your favorite Starbucks drink with your voice

The next time you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to wait for your coffee order to be made, give Google Home your Starbucks order and it will place it for you so you can pick it up when it’s ready. For this tip, you’ll want to link your Starbucks account, so you’ll need the Google Assistant app.

1. Open Google Assistant app and tap it compass icon in the lower right corner.

2. Type ‘Starbucks’ in the search bar and tap on it Starbucks logo that appears below the search bar, then tap Linkthen tap Linking accounts.

If you’re not signed into Starbucks on your phone, you’ll need to enter your username and password, but for most people, everything else should happen automatically. From there, just say ‘Hey’ or ‘OK, Google, talk to Starbucks’ and tell the virtual barista what you want to order.

google home crossword puzzle

Google Home is an expert with words and can even help you solve word puzzles.

Dale Smith / CNET

Google Home is a dictionary, thesaurus, calculator and more

The next time you’re watching TV and a character says a word you’ve never heard (like “gasconading” or “coruscant”), don’t pick up a dictionary. Just ask Google Home what the word means. “OK, Google, what’s the definition of ‘anomalistic’?” or “Hey, Google, what does ‘cupidity’ mean?” Same thing if you need a thesaurus, translation, or word game help (check out our full article on all the handy things Google Home can do with language here).

Are you an expert with words, but not so much when it comes to math? Google Home will get you there too. However, you can use Google Home like much more than a calculator: it can count days, weeks, or years; convert measurement units; dealing with distances and many other calculations (check out our full article on all the numbers Google Home can use here).

Let Google Home read your horoscope

You don’t necessarily have to buy astrology to get a kick out of hearing your horoscope. And if you don’t like the way Google Home reads the stars to you the first time, you can easily try again with a different service. Just say “Hey Google, what’s my horoscope?” and it gives you a list of horoscope providers it can draw from.

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what is your sign? Tell Google Home and have your horoscope read.

Dale Smith / CNET

Arm yourself with dad jokes

You know what makes a pun to a dad joke? It’s a parent. (Boooo.) As a dad who loves punny one-liners, I’m always on the hunt for the next big groan. You can ask, “Hey” or “OK, Google, tell me a daddy joke,” to begin with, but for the creme de la creme, say “Talk to the best daddy jokes” instead.

Google Home is packed with all kinds of surprising, hidden talents. First off, it’s a great game console, especially if you enjoy role-playing style narrative adventures. Or try planning an assignment for the future using the new scheduling feature. Of course for most people it is no. All they do is listen to music, so make sure you set it that way for the best experience.


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