As one of the world’s most popular digital assistants, Google Home has become a part of our daily lives. Not only have we debated the best way to activate the assistant (Is it OK Google or Hey Google?), but we’ve also marveled at Google Home’s innovative TV marketing campaigns as well as the ease which it brings to our lives.
You likely know the most common ways in which Google Home can help you get through the day. The most popular Google Home commands include things like:
- “OK Google, what’s the weather like today?”
- “Hey Google, how’s the traffic on my route to work today?”
- “OK Google, play Jay-Z on Spotify.”
- “Hey Google, set a timer for five minutes.”
But, of course, Google Home can also control your smart home devices, allowing you to turn on the coffee maker, lock the front door and turn up the heat with the sound of your voice.
The Best Google Home Commands
While all these commands are super helpful, they are just the very beginning of what Google Home can do. Let your digital assistant make your day a little easier by using these 16 lesser-known but incredibly useful voice commands.
“OK Google, compliment me.”
If you’re feeling a bit down or self-conscious, you may be able to use your Google Home to get you out of your funk. Use the command, “OK Google, compliment me” to be buttered up by your digital assistant. To do so, Google Home uses the Compliments app on Google Play. We won’t spoil all the lovely things the smart home device can say, but we promise you’ll feel more loved than ever with a Google Home by your side.
“OK Google, flip a coin.”
Can’t decide what to have for dinner, which route to take to work or any of the other menial choices we have to decide between on a daily basis? Google Home can help. Not only can your digital assistant flip a coin to help you choose between two options, but it can also pick a number between one and 10 if you have a variety of options to pick between. And, even better, Google Home won’t be offended if you don’t like the choice it makes.
“Hey, Google, tell me a story.”
Google can spin a tale or two. While they may not be the most in-depth novels, they’re still not bad. Try the command, “Hey, Google, tell me a story,” the next time you need to take your mind off of things or you can’t think of another fairy tale to tell your kids before bed. Google actually gets these stories from various applications on Google Play, so you can expect to hear a different story each time you ask for one.
“OK Google, tune my instrument.”
While this Google Home command may not be useful for the majority of the population, anyone with their own musical instrument or with a child who is learning to play will appreciate the fact that Google Home can help you tune an instrument. Say, “OK Google, tune my instrument,” and your Google Home will play a series of tones to which you can match the corresponding notes on your instrument of choice. You can also ask Google Home to play a specific note by saying, OK Google, play an F sharp,” if that’s more useful to you.
“Hey, Google, how do you spell orangutan?”
Yes, you can use Google’s extensive knowledge of the English language to help you send the perfect text or email. Your Google Home can spell just about every word in the dictionary, as long as you can pronounce it correctly. Not only can this help you write a beautiful letter, but it can also help your kids perfect their spelling words before the big quiz. Or, you can expand your knowledge of the English language by learning to spell some of the longest words in existence. How you choose to use this spelling superpower is up to you.
“OK Google, what’s the best pizza delivery near me?”
Google is integrated into every part of our lives. Google Maps is the most used application for directions and searching for nearby businesses. Because Google Home is another Google product, it can access all that amazing Google Maps data and provide it to you orally. Ask your digital assistant, “OK Google, what’s the best X near me?” And, it will provide a list of options. Google Home can also provide directions, opening times and read reviews for businesses around the world.
“Hey, Google, how many calories are in pizza?”
If you’re trying to watch what you eat, Google can help, even if the answers it gives are brutal. Simply ask, “Hey, Google, how many calories are in X?” and it will answer with the correct portion size and the number of calories you’re currently eating. This is, of course, very helpful if you’re counting calories, but it can also be used if you need to decide which food is healthier for you or your family.
“OK Google, play the song that goes, ‘what you really really want.’”
Yes, Google knows music better than you do. In fact, it likely knows the lyrics to every song ever professionally released. So, when you ask, “OK Google, play the song that goes, ‘what you really really want,’” it will play the Spice Girls classic “Wannabe.” Of course, this trick works best if you ask Google about the real lyrics of the song and not just what you think you’re hearing.
“Hey, Google, find my phone.”
Because Google Home can connect to Android phones, it can also help you find your phone. The command, “Hey, Google, find my phone,” causes your connected phone to ring and therefore, allows you to trace it by the sound. Of course, this works best if you know your phone is already in your house.
In addition, with a connected phone, Google Home can also read your messages, send WhatsApp messages, make phone calls and pair your phone with another Bluetooth device.
“OK Google, remember that I hid the key under the rock.”
Probably one of the more useful commands, Google Home can remember where you put things and remind you later. Simply tell Google, “OK Google, remember that I hid X in Y.” For example, you might say, “OK Google, remember I hid the house money in the coffee tin.” Then, later when you need to find what you hid, you can just ask Google, “OK Google, where is X?” Or, “OK Google, where is the house money?” Your Google Home will then tell you exactly where you hid the item you’re looking for.
“Hey, Google, play Mad Libs.”
Google can really help you get the party going. In addition to single-player games you can play between yourself and your digital assistant, Google Home has a selection of multi-player games built-in. These include SongPop, Movie Trivia, Animal Trivia, Freeze Dance, Rogue’s Choice, Jungle Adventure and Musical Chairs. Our favorite, however, is Mad Libs, which allows you and your friends to create outrageous stories by filling in the blanks. There was a time when you needed a Mad Libs book to do so, but thanks to 21st-century technology, you can now play anywhere there is a Google Home.
“OK Google, delete everything I said this year.”
Late last year, digital assistants were all over the news thanks to their questionable privacy policies. It turns out, these devices record everything you tell them in logs that are available to the companies that create the devices. Just like your computer records your search history, these devices keep their own histories unless you manage and delete those records. Google Home has that ability built into it. So, if you don’t want anyone to know what you’ve told Google Home, simply ask it to delete everything you’ve said in a given time period. You can also access Google’s privacy portal with the voice command, “OK Google, how are you keeping my data safe?”
“Hey, Google, what’s your best pickup line?”
Do you need a new pickup line to use on Tinder? Or are you trying to seduce your partner? As unlikely as it seems, Google Home can help with this dilemma. Ask, “Hey, Google, what’s your best pickup line?” and Google Home will give you loads of suggestions. Just be warned, these might be more suited to electronic devices than real humans, but we’re willing to bet that whoever you’re trying to pick up will enjoy the story once you get past the cheesiness you’re about to subject them to.
“OK Google, it’s homework time.”
For parents and kids alike, remote learning is a total nightmare. Luckily, Google Home can help. Simply say, “OK Google, it’s homework time,” and Google will offer to help you with just about anything. It can tell you about historical events, teach you poetry and even help with math problems. It’s enough to wish that we had a Google Home when we were growing up. You might even wonder if it’s cheating to give you kids Google as their teacher. But, we promise you, it’s not.
“Hey, Google, help me wash my hands.”
Yes, even your Google Home has been impacted by COVID. Not only can Google Home give you the most current updates on the pandemic, but it can also help you and your family wash your hands. When given the command, “Hey, Google, help me wash my hands,” Google will play a song for 40 seconds, the recommended amount of time for washing your hands according to the World Health Organization. You never know what Google will play, and the surprise makes safe health practices about as fun as they can be.
“OK Google, remind me to buy milk when I get to the grocery store.”
Another interesting use of Google Home is to remind you to do things when you get to a certain location. This draws on two useful abilities of the Google suite. First, Google Home can integrate with Android devices, and second, Google usually knows your location through Google Maps. This allows you to easily set reminders like, “OK Google, remind me to buy milk when I get to the grocery store.” And, then, you’ll never forget anything again, as long as you remember to look at your phone.
Need To Upgrade Your Google Home?
If your current Google Home isn’t working quite as well as it used to, then it may be time to upgrade your smart home hardware. The latest version of the Google Nest Mini Chalk has more power for better sound and is available in four different colors.