How to Have Fun with Google Home (When You’re Stuck at Home)
So you haven’t left your house in four days, and you’re not going to get outside any time soon. You’re starting to go a little stir-crazy, and you could really use a friend right now.
Well, great news, robots are here to save the day! If you have a Google Home, or even just Google Assistant on your phone, then you have a 24/7 digital companion ready and waiting to help you out. Here’s how to have some fun with your Google Home (or Google Assistant app) when you’re cut off from your human friends.
Stay in touch with the world
If you’re stuck home alone, it can be easy to lose track of time or forget what day of the week it is. Google Assistant can help you stay in touch with the real world in a bunch of different ways.
Set a routine
If you have smart home devices, like smart lights, then Google Assistant makes it easy to set up routines in your house. It can control your lights, locks, outlets, and even your home security system.
Set a morning routine that turns all your lights on after your alarm goes off and reads you the morning news. You’ll get a structured start to your day, and you’ll be reminded what day of the week it is, which is always helpful when you haven’t gone outside for a while.
If you’re working from home, it can be easy to forget to stay in touch with other people on your team, or even just to have lunch. Google Assistant can remind you to message that one person about that thing or remind you when it’s time to eat or clock out for the day.
Control your phone
If you have an Android (and especially if you have a Google Pixel), then Google Assistant lets you control your phone without even touching it. Google can read your messages to you, can tell you your notifications, and can open different apps with just your voice.
You can also compose voice messages for friends and family and check in on conversations. And if you forgot where you last set down your phone, Google Assistant can ping it for you.
Set the scene
Whether you want to adjust your environment so you can focus on work or so you can get ready to watch your evening movie in peace, Google Assistant can set the scene for you.
Control the lights
If you have smart lights, you can tell Google to turn lights on or off or adjust brightness.
Turn on a movie
Google Home devices work with Chromecast so you can put on a movie or TV show with your voice.
One of Google Home’s best functions: music. You can tell Google to put on some music or even to sing you a song. You can ask for specific playlists or just a general music genre.
Talk to people at the door
Sometimes you can’t answer the door, but you do need to know when your takeout order arrives. If you have a video doorbell (specifically one that works with Google Assistant), then Google Home can tell you when you have a visitor and let you speak to them through the doorbell’s two-way audio function.
Lock it down
Google Assistant can arm your security system and turn on security cameras when you’re ready to turn in for the night. If you have smart locks, Google Assistant can also lock your doors (so you don’t have to get up and double-check them yourself).
Have some fun
When you’re ready to kick back with your robot friend, Google Assistant has a bunch of different features that will make you forget it’s not human. You can play games, take quizzes, ask what’s on TV, and hear stories. Google Assistant even tells jokes.
Have “random fun”
If you say, “OK Google, random fun,” then Google Assistant will choose a random game or quote or quiz or story. It’s a bit of a crapshoot what you’ll get, and that’s the best part. Sometimes Google will tell you a joke, or sometimes it will ask you questions like, “How do you prefer to chop wood?”
Practice a new language
If you’re trying to pick up a new language, then Google Assistant can help you study. It can translate just about any language you throw at it, and it even has an interpreter function.
If you say, “OK Google, be my interpreter,” then it can help you have entire conversations with someone who speaks another language. It’s the perfect time to call your fourth grade pen pal who lives in France.
Ask for a crystal ball
You don’t have to track down one of those old plastic Magic 8-Balls, Google Assistant can be your very own fortune teller. If you say, “OK Google, crystal ball,” then Google Assistant will generate a mystical response to your yes or no question.
Other fun things to do with Google Assistant
- Ask to take a quiz
- Ask what’s on TV
- Ask to hear a story or a poem
- Ask to play a game
- Ask Google Assistant to serenade you or beatbox for you
- Ask to play Mad Libs
Think happy thoughts
Sometimes you just need a pick-me-up, and Google Assistant has a few tricks up its sleeve that can help.
Image search comforting pictures
If you have a Google Home with a screen, like the Google Home Nest Hub, then you can ask it to do a google image search for things like baby deer or puppies. You can also search your Google Photos for pictures you love, like that one with your grandma or that one from your international vacation.
Plan a trip for later
Even if you can’t travel right now, Google can help you plan a vacation for later. You can ask Google Assistant about flight options, have it give you currency conversions, and ask it to suggest restaurants in any city on earth. You can ask when the best time is to visit Thailand, or where to get fish and chips in London.
Ask for something good
When you need a piece of cheery news, ask Google Assistant to tell you something good. It will find you a piece of good news that will make you feel a little better about the world.
Explore Google Assistant’s easter eggs
Google has a bazillion different easter eggs to discover, but here are just a few of them for you to try out:1
- “OK, Google. What do you look like?”
- ”OK, Google. What’s your vector, Victor?”
- ”OK, Google. What’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
- ”OK, Google. Do you speak Morse code?”
- ”OK, Google. Who’s your daddy?”
- ”OK, Google. Oh no, baby, what is you doing?”
- ”OK, Google. Here comes dat boi”
- ”OK, Google. Set phasers to kill”
- ”OK, Google. Make me a sandwich”
- ”OK, Google. Do you ever get tired?”
- ”OK, Google. Up up down down left right B A”
- ”OK, Google. Where’s Waldo?”
- ”OK, Google. What’s cooler than being cool?”