The best Google Home features you should know about
Editor's Pick

Are you considering getting a Google Home smart speaker? Do you already have one and want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best Google Home features you might not know about. Have a look and make sure you’re putting yours to good use.

Control your smart home

Best Google Home features

One of the coolest Google Home features is its ability to function as a central hub for your smart devices.

Google Home is compatible with over 1,000 smart-home products from brands like LG, Whirlpool, GE, and Nest. It can respond to voice commands to dim the lights, adjust the temperature, turn on the TV, open the garage door, and so much more.

Play white noise while you sleep

If you have trouble sleeping — whether because of noisy neighbors, because you want to block out traffic, or simply because you find silence unnerving — Google Home can play some white noise for you.

Of course, it can also play sounds to help you catch some Zs. Try, “Hey, Google, play rain sounds,” or “nature sounds,” or “oscillating fan sounds.” Whatever helps you sleep, Google Home can help you out.

One of the best Google Home features is the ability to make handsfree calls

Kind of a no-brainer, but this is one major advantage of having your contacts stored in a device that can respond to your voice and connect to the internet.

“Hey, Google, call Nana.” Easy as that. This is easily one of the best Google Home features.

Remember where you left things

Finding your phone is the most common use of this function since it’s already tied to your Google Home.

One great Google Home feature is its ability to find all those other easily forgotten items dotted around your home, like your passport or house keys. Just say something like, “Okay, Google, my passport is in the filing cabinet,” and it will remember when you later ask, “Hey, Google, where’s my passport?”

Control your TV

Best Google Home features

Not only can you connect your Google Home to a smart TV, but this feature also means you can do things like add voice controls to Netflix to skip to whatever you want to watch, quickly and easily. Of course you’ll need a device like Chromecast to use this handy Google Home feature.

Set up daily routines

If you’re like me, getting into a routine can feel impossible. It’s a lot easier to make plans than stick to them. Do 10 push-ups before breakfast? Prepare a lunch to take to work tomorrow? Get through your chores? All of those sound easy enough until it’s time to actually do them.

Your Google Home can act as your conscience, sitting on your shoulder to remind you of your priorities. Set up a system that works for you. Maybe you need multiple daily reminders to do something. Maybe once a week will suffice. It’s your call.

Whatever seems right for you, Google Home can do it. The only downside is now you won’t have an excuse if you skip any of those weekly jogs.

Get your shop on

Best Google Home features - Best Shopping Apps for iPad

Maybe more ways to shop online isn’t the wisest use of technology, but if you’re going to do it anyway, why not use Google Assistant?

You can use your Google Assistant to order items from participating retailers, including Costco, Whole Foods Market, Walgreens, PetSmart, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. It’s literally as easy as saying what you want out loud — seriously, say “Okay, Google, order paper towels,” and you’ll have paper towels delivered to your door.

Have it tell you some jokes

While you can use your Google Home for all kinds of useful things that will make your life run more smoothly, don’t forget that the smart speaker also has quite a sense of humor.

Asking Google to tell you a joke will pull from a huge online collection of witty one-liners. The jokes are seemingly endless, but if you ask continuously for a few days, you may start to see some repeats.

One great example (groan if you must): “What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t come back? A stick.” Okay, so this isn’t one of the most groundbreaking of all the Google Home features, but it’s a great time waster!

Set reminders

We’re all busy, and technology even has a way of making us feel even more scattered and strapped for time.

Google Home can help offset that with programmed reminders. It may seem relatively simple, but this feature can really make your life easier. Consider the examples below:

  • “Hey, Google, remind me to watch Atlanta every Thursday at 10pm.”
  • “Hey, Google, remind me about Lucy’s baby shower on July 12.”
  • “Hey, Google, remind me to pick up dry cleaning next Wednesday at 3pm.”

Get tips on local hot spots

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, always going to the same places in your neighbourhood. Maybe it’s a local pizza joint, or a nearby dive bar. If you’re looking to shake things up, or you’ve simply moved to a new area, Google Home can help you find local restaurants and services.

Whether you want to find a good ramen place, a place that offers salsa lessons, or just a quiet park to read in, Google Home can be a great city guide.

Check out easter eggs

On the entertainment side, Google Home can do more than tell jokes.

There are countless easter eggs to check out. You can get Google Home to beatbox, make animal noises, sing a song, read a poem, and more.

You can play Google Home games like trivia, tic tac toe, or blackjack too. The list of voice-based games Google Home can play is impressive, and each can make for a great distraction when you need it.

Or, go ahead and ask for a joke or two.

These are some of the best Google Home features we can think of, but there are plenty more. What are some Google Home features you’re particularly fond of? Did we miss any of your favorites?

Let us know in the comments, and we’ll be sure to update this list to make sure you don’t miss out on possible functions to make your life easier or more enjoyable.

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