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How to Set Up Google Home, Mini, and Max Smart Speakers

The Esquire Expert Guide to the Best Smart Speakers of 2023

Before you go out and buy any old speaker, there are a few major specs you need to pay attention to.

Music services: Some streaming services won’t be available from all smart speakers. For example, Apple wants you to use its own platform, so you’ll be limited to using Apple Music and YouTube Music (though you can play Spotify tracks through AirPlay, which wirelessly casts music to your speaker). Google and Alexa will both play anything from Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.

Other connections: Alternatively, you can go a bit more old-school and physically connect your phone to some speakers with audio inputs or a 3.5mm plug, though we’d argue the whole point of a smart speaker is to free you from being chained to one spot.

Tweeters and woofers: No, we haven’t gone mad and turned into an anthropomorphic dog, we’re talking about what makes up a speaker. A tweeter focusses on reproducing high-frequency sound and will give you that crisp audio through vocals and treble-led songs.Woofers and subwoofers deal with bass, vibrating through down-facing cones for heavy-impact songs like R&B or rap. Most models you pick will have some combination of the two, with the better-sounding devices housing more variations.

Battery life: Smart speakers aren’t often that mobile, and will require you to plug them into a mains socket. However, some can be taken out into the world with the power of batteries, so you can jam out in the garden, down by the beach, or just in the park with a few bevvies. These are smaller devices that don’t weigh that much. The three battery-powered models on this list can last between eight and 18 hours.These ones may often be waterproof to some degree too, so they can survive a splash of rain or even a dunk in the pool in some cases.

Dimensions and weight: Following on from that, you’ll want a device that’s small and light enough if you want to carry it with you on your escapades. The mains-powered models will be heavier, weighing as much as 3kg and roughly the size of a kettle. Portable options can be as light as half a kilo and can be as small as a hockey puck or a cricket ball in some cases. The exception to this is B&O’s Beoplay A9, which is roughly the same size as a small chair and is akin to a bit of furniture.

Google Home essential guide: The best Google Assistant smart speakers

If you want to build a smart home controlled by the Google Assistant, the best place to start is by choosing your a device to act as your base; and your best bet there is a top Google Assistant smart speaker.

There are a wide range of native Nest and Google Home speakers, as well as an ever growing range of Assistant smart speakers from third-party companies such as Sonos, Bose and Marshall, to take care of things.

The good news is that the best Google Assistant smart speakers aren't just smart home hubs, they are fast becoming high-end audio devices, which can be combined to form multi-room speaker setups.

In case there's any confusion, these smart speakers are different from devices and appliances that are compatible with Google Assistant - those only become voice-controlled when you have a controller device to connect and talk to; smart plugs, cameras, motion sensors and the like.

These smart speakers all have the Google Assistant built inside, so you can usually just plug in and start using voice commands to control your devices and get the party started.

Read on for our top pick of speakers with Google Assistant inside - because it's no longer a case of Google Home or nothing.

The best native Google Home speakers

We've divided this guide into two sections: Google and Nest Home speakers and third-party Assistant speakers.

The latter covers the best Google Assistant speakers from brands like Sonos and Bose who, while often delivering better sound quality, occasionally lack features you'll find in Google's immediate speaker family.

The newest Nest smart speaker: Google Nest Audio

Buy now: | $99

The latest Google smart speaker - the Nest Audio - was revealed at the end of last year, and boasts a form factor and design that seemingly sits it in between the Nest Mini and the (now-discontinued) Google Home Max.

It's not really fair to call this an upgrade of the original Google Home speaker, which - as Google's first foray into the smart speaker arena back in 2016 - was getting pretty long in the tooth.

The Nest Audio is a completely new device, cheaper, with better sound, more smarts, and definitely not an air freshener.

It boasts 50% more bass and 75% more volume than the original Google Home, thanks to a revamped 19mm tweeter and a 75mm mid-woofer.

It's also an excellent smart home controller, turning any connected smart home devices on and off at super snappy speeds. The machine learning chip is supposed to help the speaker learn your most frequent commands and respond even faster.

The Nest Audio is fully wrapped in that familiar mesh fabric, much like the Mini. And in keeping with Google's efforts to fit into the modern home - which apparently is very pastel - Nest Audio comes in a nice variety of colors, Sky (blue), Sand (pink), Chalk (white), Charcoal (black) and the new Sage (green).

What we love

Great sound

Very competitive price

Unobtrusive design

What we don't love

No 3.5mm jack

Invisible buttons

No Apple Music or Amazon Music

Have a read of our full Nest Audio review for more info.

Best Assistant speaker for voice commands: Google Nest Mini

Buy now: | $49

The Google Nest Mini is a pebble-shaped smart speaker, and the most affordable of Google's own range. As well as blending into your decor with grey, black, coral and pale blue soft fabric finishes, it makes a neat second speaker around the house.

And at just $49 (and often on sale for much cheaper), it's perfect for anyone building a smart home on a budget.

Its Achilles' heel? Despite some improvements over the OG Google Home Mini, it still doesn't produce hugely powerful sound (hardly a surprise considering the size) and there's no 3.5mm out to your existing speakers, which its rival the Amazon Echo Dot does have.

What we love

That cheap price

Small and easy to place

On-device controls

What we don't love

No 3.5mm output

Awkward wire placement

Sound not amazing (obviously)

Read our full Google Nest Mini review.

Best for sound quality: Google Home Max

Buy now: | $299,

At the highest end of Google's Home family is the Home Max, which is still available in some online stores despite being officially discontinued by Google at the end of last year.

Despite not being part of the Nest branding it's still Google's best speaker for audio quality, which goes all-in on punchy, loud, room-filling sound. But power is expensive, particularly if you want to pick up two for a stereo setup.

However, of Google's lineup of first-party speakers, the Max is still the obvious winner by measure of sound quality alone. It's a hulking great thing, weighing nearly 12 pounds and measuring 13.2 x 7.4 x 6 inches in size. You'd better clear some room.

If you want a Google-built speaker worthy of your favorite records, this is still your best option, but while the Max plays it loud and proud, it's less well balanced than some of the third-party options below from Sonos and Bose.

What we love

Sound as hefty as its dimensions

Google Assistant outsmarts Alexa

Bluetooth support

What we don't love

Expensive (double if you want stereo)

Very, very large

Sound not as well balanced as others

Read our full Google Home Max review.

Best Google Home Smart Display: Google Nest Hub 2nd-gen

Buy now: | $99.99

What was once called the Google Home Hub is now the Nest Hub - which is now in its 2nd-generation. It's a tiny thing with a 7-inch display, but it all comes together for the best showcase of this category, in our opinion.

It also doesn't have a camera. If you want that, you should opt for the larger Nest Hub Max, whose 10-inch display also includes a Nest camera, which you can remotely view from your smartphone and make use of its motion detection features.

You can also make Duo video calls, and even wave your hands around for some fun (but novelty) gesture controls.

Both displays have an ambient EQ sensor that adjusts the display to the light around it, the result being that photos look fantastic when displayed on the Nest Hubs.

Packing a revamped chip for a faster Google Assistant Assistant, a third mic for better listening, and 50% more bass for music listening, the 2021 Nest Hub also has a temperature sensor, and Google's Soli gesture technology inside its diminutive design.

Soli is a radar-based gesture recognition system that, on the Nest Hub, allows you to tap the air to pause and resume media on the device.

It also enables the device's sleep sensing capabilities, able to monitor chest rise and fall unobtrusively and - crucially for a bedroom.

The new Nest Hub lets you control your smart home from its touchscreen, activate Google Assistant, play music, watch videos, or use it as a digital photo frame.

What we love

How small it is

Lack of camera good for the privacy-minded

Decent sound

What we don't love

Some may find it too small

No Zigbee/Z-Wave hub

Software still maturing

Read our full Nest Hub 2nd-gen review

The best third-party Google Assistant speakers

Like Alexa, Google Assistant is starting to turn up in more and more smart speakers built by other companies.

The only thing to bear in mind is that first-party Google Home speakers tend to get new Assistant features before others, but otherwise the experience is identical to the one you'll get on a Google Home.

Best overall: Sonos One

Buy now: Amazon, | $199

Sonos' debut smart speaker is still going strong, which was slightly tweaked under the hood from the first iteration (but you'll barely notice) a couple of years back.

The biggest update, however, is Google Assistant, which now joins Alexa on board. You can only have one voice assistant running at a time, but just having the option puts Sonos a cut above most.

The One comes with that typically great Sonos sound, in a smaller and more affordable speaker than the Sonos Move. You can pair two together for stereo sound, and the addition of Assistant means you can use this as a Chromecast controller too.

What we love

Awesome sound

Both Google Assistant and Alexa

Loads of ways to listen, including AirPlay 2

What we don't love

Still has some hearing problems

Some Google features are MIA

Read our full Sonos One review.

Buy now: Amazon, | $399

Sonos went portable for the first time with the Move – and it's bringing Google Assistant with it. Well, sort of. The Assistant is built in (as is Alexa, but you can only choose one) and you can use it so long as the Move is on your Wi-Fi. But in Bluetooth mode the Assistant will, sadly, go deaf.

Still, this is a great speaker and the long range of Wi-Fi means you can put the Move just about anywhere in your home and enjoy music and the Assistant uninterrupted.

There's a good chance you'll even manage to stretch it to the backyard, something Sonos had in mind when making the Move. Did we mention it also sounds fantastic? Just a shame it costs so much.

If you want a portable Sonos speaker that won't dent the bank balance as much then you should also consider the smaller Sonos Roam, which also packs in the Google Assistant.

What we love

Brilliant sound in both modes

Very durable

Long battery life

What we don't love


Mic pickup a bit iffy

Really heavy

Read our full Sonos Move review.

Audio Pro G10

Buy now: | £225

Swedish hi-fi specialist Audio Pro's first stab at the smart speaker market is the G10; an all-singing, all-dancing, multiroom box of tricks, which not only packs in the Google Assistant, but also has Chromecast, AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth all on board, as well.

It's a super stylish, 3rd-gen-Echo-lookalike, which is wrapped in a woven fabric that comes in either dark or light grey.

In a very Scandinavian way, there are multiple ways to position the G10. It can, of course, be used as a regular bookshelf speaker, but there's also a fixture on the back that can be used to attach it to a wall bracket or - and you better get yourself to Ikea, quick-sharp - a ceiling rail.

One thing we did notice, which is either a bit annoying or super handy - depending on where you sit on the smart speaker security spectrum - is that the G10 will enter a low-power standby mode if you haven't used it for a while.

This means that you might say, "Hey Google" to it and get no response. A simple tap of the voice assistant button up top gets Google's Assistant back in the game though (as does initiating playback from your phone).

Bose Home Speaker 500

Buy now: Amazon | $299

Like Sonos' speakers, the Bose Home 500 arrived with just Alexa, but the company has since rolled out Google too. And like Sonos, you'll only be able to have one running at a time. That makes a superb speaker even better, putting Google's smarts on top of top-tier audio quality and a lovely-looking speaker.

Our biggest complaint is the price, which puts it neck and neck with the Sonos Move, but you do get the same portability.

In fact the only major difference, other than how the sound is tuned, is that small screen, which will display album artwork for a little extra spice.

Read our full Bose Home Speaker 500 review.

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance

Buy now: Amazon, | $2,250

The Beosound Balance is a super high-end smart speaker that wants to give your bank balance a right hammering.

This AirPlay 2 enabled speaker, which has the Google Assistant baked in, is first and foremost an audiophile-grade bookshelf speaker, with the smarts very much on board to complement the acoustics.

On the sound quality front, that solid oak base houses a pair of 5.25-inch bass drivers, which teams up with two 3-inch full range drivers, two 2-inch full range drivers and a 0.75-inch tweeter for a maximum 104 dB SPL volume.

Thanks to the "Active Room Compensation" capabilities (think Sonos Trueplay or the HomePod's reposition sound adjustment), you'll get carefully controlled beams of sound for a clear acoustic experience from the front and rich sound enhancement at the back.

Google and Nest Home smart speakers: Considerations before buying

Before splashing your hard earned cash on one of the smart speakers above, it's worth spending a bit of time doing your research.

Here are the key things you should be thinking about...

How much should you spend?

It's easy to jump in at the very low end with a Google Nest Mini, which you can find for less than $40. In fact, you can go even cheaper as Google still actually sells the older Google Mini for around the $30 mark.

These little smart speakers are a really quick and easy way into a Google Home speaker setup.

They don't offer the best sound, though Google has made strides in quality with the latest Nest Mini. For those who want to listen to your music, you'll need to go for something bigger - enter the all-new Nest Audio.

The basic functionality here is the same as the mini speakers, but it comes with better microphones that are better at hearing you.

Obviously the sound quality is much better too, but, if you want high-end sound, you'll need to spring for something even more expensive; either the Max from Google or a third-party speaker.

What about Google Smart Displays?

The newest wrench in the gear of smart speakers is a display. A smart speaker with a screen makes a lot of sense in certain locations around the house. For instance, a kitchen is a great place for these because you can take a look at recipes and follow along.

Smart Displays also you quick access to information with visuals so you can see a week's worth of weather forecasts, YouTube videos, feeds from security cameras and video doorbells, touchscreen controls for smart home devices, video calls and a whole lot more.

Smart speakers with displays also add interactivity. You can use your fingers to swipe and tap through results from your assistant rather than having to listen to a bunch of options.

The audio quality isn't as good as other smart speakers, though, largely because all the speakers are facing in one direction, but they're getting better all the time - the Nest Hub Max certainly won't leave you feeling short changed.

What can a Google smart speaker do?

So what can these Google Assistant speakers actually do? The features are pretty much identical across the range.

Let’s start with music. First up, they are all Wi-Fi connected speakers, with varying audio quality, that you can control with your voice via the "Hey, Google" or "OK Google" phrase which wakes Google Assistant. The Google Home and Max also have a touch interface on the top – tap to play or pause and move your finger in a circle to tweak volume.

You can set your music streaming service as a default – it supports Spotify Free and Premium, Google Play Music, Pandora in the US, TuneIn, YouTube Music in the US and Australia and iHeartRadio. You can tell the speaker to play a track, artists or genre, skip tracks and stop the music. You can also tell Google Home to play a radio station.

The Home, Home Hub, Mini and Max can also be connected to use as a multi-room system in your house (more on that in a bit), which is pretty nifty though obviously very much on the budget, low quality end of things. They also work as Bluetooth speakers, so each speaker can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth to play music.

Let’s stay with media controls for a minute. Google Assistant talks to TVs with a Chromecast plugged in. You can also plug a Chromecast Audio into your speakers to make them Wi-Fi enabled, but that device is discontinued.

You'll also be able to add your TV to your multi-room audio setup. Voice controls for playing, pausing etc work for apps including YouTube, Netflix and Google Photos as well as CBS and the CW.

You can also set up Voice Match profiles for the Spotify and Netflix profiles of everyone in the house so that when you speak, you get your own account.

The great thing about all Google Home and Assistant smart speakers is that they can all team up to form part of a multi-room audio system.

It doesn't matter if you have an ageing Google Home smart speaker, the brand new Nest Audio, some Google Nest Minis, third-party Assistant speakers or even with Chromecast built-in, you can get going with a Google multi-room system.

You can create groups of speakers, stereo pairs and more. Ad you can control everything with just your voice.

Using the same Google Assistant commands you'd use for a single speaker, you can say things like...

"Hey Google, play Wonderwall on all speakers"

"Ok Google, play Badly Drawn Boy on my office speakers"

"Hey Google, set volume to 6 downstairs"

"Ok Google, play/pause/resume/stop/play next song on Upstairs group"

Google Assistant and TVs

Google Assistant is naturally built into Android TVs from the likes of Sony and Philips but that's not where it stops. LG's TVs don't run Android TV, but they do come with Google Assistant built in. Samsung has also announced that all of its 2020 smart TVs will come with the option of Google Assistant or Alexa.

There are an increasing number of TVs, like those from Vizio, that are at least building in Google Assistant support. If your TV does have it built in, you will find a 'mic' button on your remote control to start talking to your set – no wake word needed here.

Features include searching for movies and TV shows, playing music or podcasts, controlling the volume and power of the TV and asking internet search questions as well as getting weather, calendar and traffic info on screen. You can also link the TV to your Google Home app to control the smart home gadgets you've added, which includes viewing security camera footage, for instance, or video doorbell feeds.

TV not got the Google love? You can just give it some with a Chromecast dongle, then link that dongle to your Google Home or Nest speakers for voice control.

In the world of set-top boxes, the Nvidia Shield TV already supports built-in Google Assistant, while TiVo announced built-in Google Assistant (and Alexa) voice controls and options.

A good way to find out what else Google Assistant can do is to explore the Google Home app. The features generally split into two groups: AI butler and smart home controls.

On the butler, or concierge, side of things you can ask Google Assistant all sorts of questions and have it complete various tasks just by talking to it. You can set up a My Day program of news, weather, traffic and calendar updates that the Assistant reads out when you ask, for instance, “What’s my day like?” plus you can ask for info on all of the above plus commute times, flight info, weather forecasts, upcoming events and local businesses.

You can also get info on sports teams, stocks, unit conversions, dictionary entries and well, plain old facts. Plus, there's translations. You can get short translations in about 30 (and growing) languages. You can also use the Nest Hub to act as a translator. It'll translate entire conversations, though in our experience it needs a bit of work.

Getting more practical, you can set a timer (a popular use case), an alarm or a reminder (including new interactive alarms for kids) and add an event to your Google calendar.

You can make calls to contacts, numbers or businesses right there on the speaker. You can also add items to a shopping list in Google Keep. It’s worth noting here that you can now give Assistant two commands at once e.g. “Hey Google play pop music and what’s the weather?” and it will handle both.

Google Home Actions are how Google Assistant is able to interact with existing apps. These are the equivalent of Alexa’s Skills and can make it more useful when it comes to reference, productivity and getting things done with voice controls. Best of all, Home learns them automatically so you don’t need to set them up.

Outside of the smart home, there are third-party Actions for calling an Uber, asking questions on Quora, ordering and tracking pizza deliveries from Domino’s, doing quizzes on BuzzFeed, looking up lyrics on Genius, looking up recipes on Food Network and working out with FitStar. You can even set multiple Actions, allowing you to group multiple tasks into one command.

The third way you can use Google Home is as a voice control hub for smart home gadgets outside your TV and speaker setup. In the app you can set up devices by going to ‘Home Control’ and selecting the brand/device, for example Philips Hue.

It’s all pretty simple, and there's no QR code nonsense, as with Apple HomeKit. And, if you have a device that's compatible with Google's Seamless Setup feature then things are even easier.

Depending on the tech, you can do things like turn gadgets on and off, change settings and set up routines.

You can see a full list of Google Home-compatible devices here – it includes smart thermostats, security cameras, lights, robot vacs, plugs, locks, fans and more. Assistant is improving all the time and Google will soon allow smart home tech and appliance manufacturers to create their own custom voice control commands.

Another useful thing is Routines, which let you set up these type of automated scenes with Google Assistant. If you’re more interested in this side of things, you can always pair it with a system like Wink, Hive or iHome but we'd recommend trying Google's own Routines first.

If you want to have bit more fun with Google Assistant, see our list of fun Easter Eggs, jokes, references and games to try out.

Some of our faves are:

"OK Google, clean my room"

"OK Google, how do you like your coffee?"

"OK Google, who shot first"

"Hey Google, is the cake a lie?"

"Hey Google, party on Wayne"

Google Assistant: Privacy

One of the reasons people might be scared of getting a smart speaker, especially one from a company that already knows so much about our online lives, is privacy.

If you want to read through Google’s policy on Home, you can do so here. With the company recently unifying Home and Nest under one roof, it's also published a bunch more privacy promises, which you can find here. Here are some of the key policies from Google:

How to Set Up Google Home, Mini, and Max Smart Speakers

Deciding to buy a Google Home smart speaker is just the beginning. After you get it up and running, you have access to abundant lifestyle enhancement capabilities, such as listening to music, communicating with friends using the intercom feature, language translation, news and information, and the ability to control other devices in your home.

How to Set Up Google Home, Mini, and Max Smart Speakers

Before you begin, you need:

An iOS or Android smartphone or tablet

An internet account and router with Wi-Fi capability

A Google account

Google Home smart speaker (includes Mini or Max)

Follow these instructions to set up Google Home.

Plug the Google Home smart speaker into a power outlet using the provided AC adapter. It powers on automatically. Download the Google Home app on your smartphone or tablet from Google Play or the iOS App Store. Download For: iOS Android Open the Google Home app and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies. Go to Devices and allow it to detect the Google Home device. When the device is detected, select Continue on your smartphone screen and select Set-up devices. If you don't see Set up devices, tap Get started > Set up new devices > Create another home > Next and enter a home nickname. You can change your Google Home name later. After the app successfully sets up the selected Google Home unit, it plays a test sound. If it doesn't play the sound, select Play test sound on the app screen. When you hear the sound, choose I heard the sound. Using the Google Home app prompts on your smartphone, select your location (if you haven't done so already), language, and Wi-Fi network. You will also need to provide your password. To enable Google Assistant features on a Google Home device, select Sign In in the Google Home app and enter your Google account username and password.

Use Voice Recognition and Communication

To use Google Home, say "OK Google" or "Hey Google" and then state a command or ask a question. Once Google Assistant responds, you are ready to go. One fun thing to do is say "Hey Google, what's up?" You'll hear an entertaining response that changes each time you ask the question.

You must say "OK Google" or "Hey Google" each time you ask a question unless you activate the Continued Conversation feature. This feature allows you to interact with your Google Home naturally. So, you can ask Google a series of questions without saying "OK Google" before each question. However, if Google Home doesn't detect any questions after 8 seconds, you must say "OK Google" to start another conversation.

To enable the Continued Conversation feature:

Go to the Google Assistant or Google Home app on your smartphone. Go to Settings in the Google Assistant app or More Settings in the Google Home app. Select Preferences and tap Continued Conversation.

This feature is only available in the U.S.

The multi-colored indicator lights on the top of the unit flash when Google Assistant recognizes your voice. After it answers a question or completes a task, say "OK Google, stop" or "Hey Google, stop." However, the Google Home smart speaker does not turn off. It is always on unless you physically unplug it from its power source. If you want to turn off the microphones, there is a mute microphone button.

When communicating with a Google Home smart speaker, speak naturally and at an average pace and volume level. Over time, Google Assistant becomes familiar with your speech patterns.

Change the Google Assistant Voice

The default voice response of the Google Assistant is female. However, you can change the voice to male by following these steps:

Open the Google Home app on your smartphone. Select the Menu icon in the upper-left corner of the screen. Under Google Assistant, select More Settings. Under Account, choose Preferences. Select Assistant Voice. Before you finalize your choice, tap the speaker icon to hear how it sounds.

Try Language Capabilities

Google Home smart speakers can operate in several languages, including English, French, and German. In addition to these languages, Google Home devices can translate words and phrases into languages supported by Google Translate. For example, you can command any of the following:

OK, Google, say "good morning" in Finnish.

OK, Google, say "thank you" in German.

Hey Google, tell me how to say '"where is the nearest school" in Japanese.

OK, Google, can you tell me how to say "here is my passport" in Italian?

You can also ask a Google Home smart speaker to spell about any word, from cat to supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It can spell many words in some foreign languages using English spelling conventions, although it does not include accents or other special characters.

Play Streaming Music

If you subscribe to Google Play, you can play music by saying "OK Google, play music." However, if you have accounts with other services, such as Pandora or Spotify, you can command Google Home to play music from those as well. For example, say "Hey Google, play Tom Petty music on Pandora."

To listen to a radio station, say "OK Google, play [radio station name]." If it is on iHeart Radio, the Google Home smart speaker will play it.

You can also listen to music from most smartphones using Bluetooth streaming. Follow the Google Home app's pairing instructions on your smartphone or say "OK Google, Bluetooth pairing."

If you have a Google Home Max, you can physically connect it to an external audio source (such as a CD player) with an analog stereo cable. However, you may need to use an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter to complete the connection.

While your Google Home is playing music, you can interrupt with a question about the musical artist or something else. After it answers, it returns to the music automatically.

Google Home supports multi-room audio. You can send audio to other Google Home smart speakers around your home (including the Mini and Max), Chromecast for audio, and wireless powered speakers with Chromecast built-in. You can even place devices into groups. For example, you can have the devices in your living room and kitchen designated as one group and your bedroom devices in another group. However, Chromecast for video and TVs with Chromecast built-in does not support the Groups feature.

Once you've established groups, you can send music to each group and change each device's volume or all of the devices in the group. You also have the option of controlling the volume of Google Home, Mini, Max, and Chromecast-enabled speakers using the physical controls on each unit.

Make a Phone Call or Send a Message

You can use Google Home to make free phone calls. If the person you want to call is on your contact list, say something like "OK Google, call [name]." You can call anyone or any business in the U.S. or Canada by asking Google Home to dial the phone number. You can also adjust the volume of the call using voice commands. For example, say "Set the volume at five" or "Set the volume at 50 percent."

To end the call, say "OK Google" followed by stop, disconnect, end call, or hang up. You can also place a call on hold, ask Google Home a question, and then return to it. Tell Google Home to place the call on hold or tap the top of the Google Home unit.

Play Videos

Since Google Home devices do not have screens, these devices cannot show videos. However, you can use them to show YouTube videos on your TV using a Chromecast unit or directly on the TV if it has Google Chromecast built-in.

To access YouTube, say "OK Google, show me videos on YouTube." If you know what type of video you are looking for, you can say something like "Show me dog videos on YouTube" or "Show me Taylor Swift music videos on YouTube."

You can also use your Google Home device to control a Google Chromecast media streamer or a TV with Chromecast built-in.

Get Weather and Other Information

If you say "OK Google, tell me the weather," it will tell you. By default, weather alerts and information match the location of the Google Home. However, you can find out the weather for other places by providing Google Home with the relevant city, state, or country.

In addition to weather, Google Home provides traffic information (ask "How long will it take to drive to Costco?"), sports updates, word definitions, unit conversions, and fun facts.

With fun facts, ask Google Home specific trivia questions such as:

Why is Mars red?

What was the largest dinosaur?

How much does the Earth weigh?

What is the World's tallest building?

How does an elephant sound?

You can also say "Hey Google, tell me a fun fact" or "Tell me something interesting." Google Home responds each time with a random piece of trivia that you might find interesting.

Shop Online

You can use Google Home to create and maintain a shopping list. When you place a delivery address and payment method (credit or debit card) on file with your Google account, you can shop online. Use Google Assistant to search for an item or say "Order more laundry detergent." Google Home will give you some choices. If you want to hear more options, say "List more."

When you make your choice, select and buy it by saying "Buy this." Then follow the checkout and payment procedures as prompted.

Google partners with a large number of online retailers to make shopping possible.

Cook With Food Network Assistance

Don't know what to cook tonight? Check out the Food Network Assistant. Say "OK Google, ask Food Network about fried chicken recipes."

Google Assistant establishes voice assistance between you and Food Network. The Food Network voice assistant acknowledges your request and confirms that it has found the requested recipes. It either emails the recipes to you or asks if you would like to request more recipes. If you choose the email option, you will receive the recipes almost instantly. Another option is to have the Food Network Assistant read you the recipe step-by-step.

Call for Uber Rides

You can use Google Home to reserve a ride on Uber. First, download and install the Uber app (with a payment method) on your smartphone and link it to your Google account.

Then, say "OK Google, get me an Uber" and enter a pick-up destination in the Uber app. After that's taken care of, you can find out how far away your ride is so you can be ready to meet it or find out if it is running late.

Implement Smart Home Controls

A Google Home smart speaker can serve as a control center for your home. For example, use it to lock and unlock doors, set thermostats for areas of the house, control room lighting, and provide limited control of compatible home entertainment devices. You can control TVs, home theater receivers, motorized projection screens, and more, either directly or through compatible remote control devices like Logitech Harmony, Nest, or Samsung Smart Things.

However, you need additional control accessories and compatible home entertainment devices to use the Google Home smart home features effectively.


February 07,2023

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