Google Home & Our Family: Top 10 Uses›December 7, 2018 ›Brett ›Google, Google Assistant, Google Home, Family
Our Family Loves Google HomeWe have 5 Google Home devices spread throughout our house and we use them daily. We have the Google Home (Standard), and 4 Google Home Minis (I hope to soon add a Google Home Max but will need to convince Talia).
We use them mainly for entertainment and for making our life easier. We have been asked by quite a few people what we use them for, so I decided to write this article about the top 10 ten ways that Google Home helps our family. If you, like many, have been given a Google Home, and aren't sure what to use it for, the following might give you some ideas.
First Things First, Get a Google AccountBefore we get into the benefits of Google Home for families, make sure you get yourself a google account. Google accounts are free, and you can even use a non Gmail email address if you like. If you currently use Gmail, that email address is your google account, and you are set to go. The Google Home works very well with your google account.
Shopping ListYou know Google has Gmail and Calendar, but did you know that amongst their huge product array is 'Shopping List'.
My wife and I have a Google account each, and have a shared shopping list. We named the shopping list 'Our Shopping List'. This list is a list of items stored in the cloud. It can be accessed anytime by either of us. To add to the shopping list, all we do is say "OK Google... Add 'Milk' to our shopping list". Lo and behold, it's saved. When we do the shopping, we bring up this list, and check them off as we go. If we go to the store, we look the items up on our phone. Its easy, and being shared between us, it works really well.
Music / SpotifyAll google home devices are also speakers, so playing music from them comes naturally. The sound from the mini is not as good as the standard Google Home, but they are still very good.
Google connects to quite a few music platforms, but we only use Spotify. You can ask google to play a song, a playlist or an artist. You can also control the music volume, shuffle the music and go to the next song. All done by voice control.
A slightly advanced feature is to play the music on 'All Speakers'. You need to set this up in the Google Home App, but once it is defined, you can ask Google Home to play through a specific group of speakers.
What is the Time?We use this feature too much. Probably a good indicator that we don't have enough clocks in the house, but maybe we just don't need clocks anymore.
When you have a young family like we do, knowing the time is important. Keeping up with nap times, feed times and when is my wife getting home from work time. Google is there to help you.
"OK Google... What's the Time?". It's as easy as that, you now have the time. It also works for the date and day of the week. Yes, sometimes I have to ask what day of the week it is.
Talk to the WigglesThis is a pretty new feature. Asking Google to talk to the Wiggles, will have your kids heading on an adventure with Emma Wiggle.
"OK Google... Talk to the Wiggles"
You will be helping Emma get to a Wiggles concert by helping her make decisions like what guitar to bring. Your kids will be dancing, learning colours, counting and more. A really fun addition to Google Home for families with young children.
Telling Jokes 🤣If you love Dad Jokes, then the jokes that Google blurts out will be right up your alley.
"OK Google... Tell Me a Joke", is all you need for some really bad dad joke to head your way. Personally, I really love these jokes. I do wish they had more on rotation though, I feel as though I have heard them all about 5 times each.
One of my personal favs: Why did Adele cross the road? To say "Hello" from the other side.
Animal SoundsOur kids love this feature. If you want to know what an animal sounds like, just ask Google, and you will hear an audio recording of that animal. We have tried lots of different animals, and it has almost all of the popular ones, and as Talia discovered by accident, there is even a Unicorn audio recording.
OK Google... What sound does a Unicorn Make?
Store Open HoursA really handy tool for busy families, and we personally use this a lot. If you want to know what time a store opens or closes, just ask Google.
"OK Google... What time does Woolworths close in Townsville?"
It pays to be specific with this one though. Add your town or suburb to the end to ensure you get the correct hours for the store you are after. You might want to check on public holidays, but I have found it to be quite accurate.
Controlling DevicesGoogle Home is a device, but it is also an App that controls a network of devices. Google home really comes to life when you add smart devices to your home.
We have Wi-Fi lights and Chromecast on our Stereo System. We also used to have Chromecast on the TV before we decided to get rid of the TV. There is a whole range of smart devices compatable with the Google Home system, and once you add them, you can control them with your voice.
"OK Google... Turn off the lounge room lights."
"OK Google... Make the lights in the dining room blue."
"OK Google... Play 'Forensic Files' from Netflix on the TV".
Setting AlarmsThis is a really handy feature, and it helps our family a lot. We set alarms for just about everything, not just to wake up in the morning.
We set the alarm for 2 hours time so we can turn off the garden hose. We set an alarm for 1 hour to get something out of the oven. You can set an alarm for a time, or set an alarm for a time period. Very useful.
"OK Google... Set an alarm for 2 hours time."
"OK Google... Set an alarm for 6pm."
Find My PhoneFinding your phone may sound like it is associated with Apple, but its a feature that Google also uses. We both have Android phones, which allows us to ask Google where our phone is. It then offers to make your phone ring, which overrides the silent feature. Very handy when you have a busy family and don't want to search the house for your phone.
Bonus Google Easter EggsGoogle home is filled with easter eggs. Which are basically little surprises you get when you ask certain things.
Here is a great list of Google Home easter eggs: 70 Google Home Easter Eggs
Here are our favourites:
"OK Google... why is six afraid of seven?"
"OK Google... spin the wheel."
"OK Google... What does the fox say?"
"OK Google... flip a coin."