There is no refuting the fact that Google Assistant is the best Virtual Assistant in the world right now, be it on phones, on smart speakers, smart displays, smart TVs or any other device. However, other Assistants including Siri, Bixby, Cortana, and more don’t even stand a chance against the Google Assistant.
In simple fact, it is so robust and reliable that most of us don’t also use it to its full potential. While some people are familiar with the standard tips such as getting translations, playing games, getting nearby info, and more, there are a lot of great tips and tricks associated with Google Assistant which are highly useful but so far unnoticed by most users.
I will like to change that with this article, and while it is impossible to tell you about all the tips and tricks regarding Google Assistant, here are 15 of my favourites which you should try, and i hope you will find them useful?
Also, note that i will be using commands like “OK Google” and “Hey Google” interchangeably in this article as both of them can be used to invoke Google Assistant.
1. Select your favourite Google Assistant voice
It’s well-known that Google Assistant comes with a female voice with an American accent. But, if you don’t like it, you can go ahead and change its voice as now ‘Google Assistant’ supports multiple voices which include both ‘men and women’ voices with different accents.
Isn’t that cool? Even if you don’t have any issue with the default voice, it will be cool if you check out the other voices as they have quite a good sounding. So to change your Google Assistant’s voice, launch it and go to Settings > Preferences > Assistant Voice and select your preferred choice.
2. Get the summary for the day
One of the best things i do before i leave my home for work is to get my daily briefing from Google Assistant. Not only will it give me useful information such as traffic and weather, but it also gives me a break-down of all the tasks that i have planned for the day. This enables me to start my day with a good idea of how it is going to turn out, and i can sort out the best way to tackle any negativity that comes across my way.
The cool part is that you don’t have to set it up to get your summary. All you are required to say is, “Hey Google, Good Morning” and it will take it from there by relying upon all the relevant information to you. But do note that you must be synching your events with Google Calendar if you want to access your events through Google Assistant.
3. Identify songs
This is one of my most used feature of Google Assistant. It gives me the ability to identify songs. i love listening to music, and whenever i like a song which i don’t recognise, i say, “Hey Google, identify this song”, and in no time it identifies the song for me. The best part of this feature is that since every command is stored chronologically, i can go back to check out the songs at a later time and enter them into my playlist.
4. Create and access your shopping lists
Google Assistant helps to make it easy to remember you’re shopping and your grocery items. Anytime you want to add an item or even multiple items to your shopping list, ask your Google Assistant to do it for you. For instance, try saying, “Ok Google, add eggs, bread, and milk to my shopping list”, and it’ll do that for you.
And anytime you want to access your shopping list, say, “Hey Google, show my shopping list”, and it will display your shopping list. This command had made my life so much easier than it was before i knew the secret of the Assistant. Try it out, and i bet you will never forget another shopping item in your life.
5. Unlock phone, launch apps, and manage quick settings toggles
Regarding unlocking your phone and launching apps, Google Assistant can quickly help. To set up your phone unlock with your voice, navigate to the settings on the apps and search for Smart Lock. Here, under Trusted Voice or Voice Match, enable the “Unlock with Voice Match” option. Next time you want to unlock your device, you can use the magic word (OK Google or Hey Google), and your phone will open right away.
Bear in mind that while this feature is convenient, it is not as secure as a password or biometric authentication.
However, apart from unlocking your device, Google Assistant also allows its users to launch apps and replace their quick setting toggle. You can just say, “Hey Google, launch Netflix” and it will launch the app for you. If your link your Netflix account with Google Assistant, you can directly ask it to play any show from Netflix.
You can also manipulate your quick setting toggles by simply saying thing like, “Hey Google, turn off Wi-Fi”, and it will do that for you.
6. Listen to your favourite Podcasts
Another newest additions to Google Assistant is its ability to play podcast. While Google has already released a standalone podcast app, i never use it as i mostly use my voice control to listen to my favourite podcasts. i can say, “Hey Google, play Hardcore History podcast” and it will do that. The good thing about Assistant is that it remembers your last played location and resume from the exact spot where you left off which is super cool.
And also i can skip forward or backwards just by using my voice. Only by saying, “Hey Google, skip forward 30 seconds”, and it will do that. However, you can use the same command while listening to songs to go forth and back.
7. Get currency and unit conversions
Google Assistant is also very useful when it comes to performing any currency or unit conversions. i can say things like, “Hey Google, convert $56 into INR”, and it will do that in a matter of seconds. But not that when you say dollars, it automatically recognises the currency like US dollars. So if you want to convert other dollar currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars, you will have to express that in your command.
It’s also an expert at doing unit conversions. Whether you want to convert Pounds to Kilograms or Celsius to Fahrenheit, you can do that using your Google assistant. You need to use the convert command. For instance, i can say, “Hey Google, convert $100 into INR” and get my desired result displayed.
8. Expertly use Google Lens
Google Assistant comes with a default support for Google Lens. The Google Lens feature sits right at the bottom of your Google Assistant page, and you can use it to do a couple of cool things. You can use the Google Lens to search for similar products on the web, copy text, identify different plants and animals, scan codes, discover books and media and more. What i mostly use it for is to extract and copy text.
It comes handy when i need to open a URL on my phone which someone is showing me on their device. i merely launch the Google Lens, bring the link in focus, tap on it, and it is copied. I can then tap on the link to open it in my browser. It is quite handy.
9. Use location-based reminders
If you are in the category of people who always forget tasks, then you should be using location-based reminders as they come in handy. I pretty use the location-based reminders for pretty much everything that i need to do when i reach someplace instantly.
For example, i can say, “Hey Google, remind me to turn on the motor when i get home”. Now, when i get home, the Assistant will remind me of what to do. This is a genius tip and will come in handy.
10. Stay on top of sports
You can also be ahead on sports using Google Assistant, and it’s great for keeping track of livescores or the standings of your favourite team in an ongoing tournament. All you need to do is ask questions like,
“Hey Google, get me EPL standings.”
“Hey Google, how many goals Manchester United scored in the last match?”
“Hey Google, when is Chelsea playing next?”
“Hey, Google, who’s playing in EPL today.”
However, you can switch between team names and leagues to know the scores about your favourite teams and sports.
11. Control Android TV, Chromecast, and Smart Home Devices
Using Google Assistant can also help you control your smart home devices and your Chromecast even your Android TV just with your voice. Other commands you can use to do that are,
“Hey Google, turn off the porch light.”
“Hey Google, play Suits on Netflix.”
“Hey Google, play Beebom on YouTube.”
So, i recently bought myself a Google Home Mini and using it to control my TV, casting videos on my TV, and managing the smart switches around my home has been a bliss. You should also give it a try.
12. Set up Routines to automate your tasks
Routines are the precise way to automate your tasks using your Google Assistant. An example is, whenever i get home from the office, i do a couple of things. First, i turn on the Wi-Fi on my phone and switch off the mobile data. Next, i turn on the bedroom lights and turn on the motor. And finally, i turn on the geezers so that i can take a nice warm bath. Now, all these can be done manually, or i can decide to use the routines feature on Google Assistant to replace all these tasks for me. So, Routines allow me to perform a chain of actions with just one command.
To get started, open your settings page in your Google Assistant and scroll down to find routines once you tap on it, you’ll see that there are a few pre-created routines that you can customise.
For example, i have assigned all the actions mentioned above to “I’m home” routine. Similarly, you can edit routines to match your efforts. You can even customise your routines by touching the plus button if you want to. Once you start making it a habit, using Routines will save you a ton of time.
13. You can use multiple languages to speak to Google Assistant
Another newest addition to Google Assistant is its ability to recognise and understand multiple languages at the same time. This feature is convenient for bilingual families as they can both use their tongues to ask the questions. Of course, for it to work, your language has to be in the Google assistant supported languages list.
Currently, the supported languages include German, French, Italian, Spanish, and more.
To start using this new feature, open the Google Assistant’s settings and then tap on Preferences. Here, touch on “Assistant languages” and then add the second language of your choice. Also, note that you can only select two languages at a time.
14. Always get good news from Google Assistant
If you are fed up of hearing bad news from all the news sources you know and want to have some relief in your life, Google Assistant has just the perfect thing for you. Only a few months back, Google released a new feature for its Assistant which will allow users to receive a summary of uplifting news stories from around the world.
According to the tech giant, the stories focus on people who are solving problems for their communities and the world as a whole at large. If you want to listen to these stories, say the magic word, “Hey Google, tell me something interesting”, and it will tell you the best things are happening around the world. Also, note that this feature is region locked and still not available in countries like India.
15. Make use of the explore tab
If you have been having a lovely time while reading through these tips and tricks for Google Assistant and you want to discover some more tips by yourself, visit the Explore tab in your Google Assistant. You can enter the Explore tab by tapping on the icon in the top right corner of the assistant page. Here, you can find the list of favourite and new commands that you can use to enjoy more features that are not on this list.
Most of the tips and tricks mentioned here have been discovered by using the Explore tab. It is quite useful, and you should make it a habit to visit it every few weeks.
I have had time to integrate most of these tricks and tips into my daily life. i am especially fond of identifying songs i find interesting. Do check the list and let us know your favourite Google Assistant tips and tricks from the list but if you are yet to have favourite, please do try out the tips mentioned above and tricks.
Also if you have discovered some new tricks yourself, kindly share them by writing it/them in the comments section below.