One of Google Home‘s biggest advantages over competitors like Amazon Echo is the surrounding Google ecosystem and all the data that comes with it — and it all works right out of the box. Don’t have Google Home? You can use Google Assistant instead.
One place you can really see this shine is when using Google Home or Google Assistant to check traffic conditions. It works at any time for any destination. Just use the following voice commands with the specific address or the name of a store or business:
- “How long will it take to get to Costco?”
- “How long will it take to get to 1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View?”
When asking how to get to a specific store using the name, as in the example above, it appears to give you the results based on the one closest to you.
You can also specify the way you’re getting there:
- “How long will it take to walk/drive/bike/bus/train to Costco?”
Unlocking More Power With Google Home
If you add a bit of personal information to your Google account, you can unlock access to a few commands that are more specific and more useful.
First, enter your home and work address to Google Maps if you haven’t already. To do this, make sure you’re logged in to the same Google account you use with Google Home, and do the following in Google Maps on your phone:
- Tap the menu (hamburger) button.
- Go to Your places.
- Under the Labeled tab, tap Set once and go under Home and Work to add your addresses.
You can also add your address through the Google Home app.
Once you’ve added your addresses on Google Maps, you can go back to Google Home and now use commands that relate to your place of work and your home:
- “How long is my commute?”
- “How long will it take to get from work to Costco?”
In all these situations, in addition to letting you know how long it will take, Google can also give you some insight into traffic conditions for the fastest route available.
And don’t forget you can also use your Google Home to make sure the store or business you’re going to is open before you head out.
Using Google Assistant Instead
Android users can also use Google Assistant to get the same information that Google Home provides, no matter where they are. The advantage to doing it this way is that you can instantly open up the Maps app from the Google Assistant app if you need directions.
And of course, you could just do things the old fashioned way, and look it up on Google Maps on your smart phone!
What’s your favorite use for your Google Home? What tips and tricks do you find the most useful? Let us know in the comments.