The most challenging part about using a voice-based speaker is not knowing what it can do. Smart speakers such as the Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomePod can perform useful tasks just by responding to your voice. These functions can include turning other smart home products on/off, helping you to learn a second language, and much more.
Voice-activated speakers can perform a lot of other tasks too, including those less common and, in many cases, purely for fun. But with so many controls and commands to choose from, some awesome features slip through the cracks!
Here are a few Google Home commands you’ve likely never heard of before, but that are worth trying out!
Google Home Commands: Games
Google Assistant-powered devices such as the Google Mini, Google Home, and Google Max love playing games. My favorites include:
The best part of Mystery Sounds is just how quickly the game becomes difficult. Here, you’re asked to match the sounds with a creature or object. The quicker you give the correct answer, the more points you get. If you find yourself stumped, you can ask for assistance, although your point total will go down for getting help.
Just Say: “Hey Google, let’s play Mystery Sounds”
Hint: It’s not a puppy or a kitten, it’s a cat.
Ding Dong Coconut is somewhat similar to Mystery Sounds except you can play against a friend. In the game, you’ll need to associate words with sounds that you hear. However, this isn’t as simple as listening to the sound of a dog barking and matching it with the word “dog.” In the real world, the sounds that you hear have absolutely nothing to do with its word match.
Just Say: “OK Google, let’s play Ding Dong Coconut”
Hint: Be prepared to say the words, “diddly squat.”
With The Pilgrim and The Guardian, your journey to a temple at the end of the forest. Your job is to either attempt to enter the temple as the pilgrim or ask Google clues to open the door as the guardian. The goal is to match a clue with its password.
Just Say: “Hey Google, start The Pilgrim and The Guardian”
Hint: Playing as the pilgrim is so much more fun!
4. Mad Libs
Mad Libs also has a presence on Google Assistant-based devices. The iconic game asks you to fill in the blanks with random words to make funny mad libs.
To get started, you’ll be asked to give random words such as adjectives, nouns, and parts of the body. After you do, Google will let you hear your hilarious Mad Libs using those words.
Just Say: “OK Google, Play Mad Libs”
Hint: Don’t remember what an adjective is? You better find out before playing this game. “Hey, Google, what’s an adjective?”
Next, there’s SongPop, the 21st-century version of Name That Tune where you match a sound clip with the name of the song or artist based on the genre of music you select. This game is a ton of fun to play by yourself, or with an entire room of people!
Just Say: “Hey Google, Start Song Pop”
Hint: Only music aficionados should apply here.
6. What Game Is That?
Don’t know what game to play? Just say “Okay Google, let’s play a game.” Google will walk you through an ever-changing list of games from which to choose.
Google Home Commands: Music and Sound
Voice-activated speakers are great at playing music, no matter the streaming service. Google Home speakers, for example, can interact with Spotify, YouTube, iHeartRadio, and more. But moving beyond streaming services, Google Assistant can do even more that’s music and sound related, including the following.
White noise and ambient sounds are great at helping you fall asleep. There are lots of apps out there that provide these types of sounds for a small fee. However, Google Assistant can also do the trick by playing the sound of a waterfall, thunder and lighting, rainstorms, and more.
Just Say: “Hey Google, help me relax” or “Okay Google, what ambient sounds do you know?” or “Hey Google, talk to Sleep Sounds”
Yes, there are still terrestrial and internet/satellite radio stations available across the United States and elsewhere. For those times you’d like to ditch Spotify or Pandora, ask Google to play your favorite station instead. It will respond to the station’s call sign or number on the dial.
Just Say: “Hey Google, play 99.1 FM”
Identifying intervals and triads is a useful skill for musicians. The Music Ear Trainer uses a voice user interface (VUI) to coach you in identifying both musical intervals and triads.
Just Say: “Talk to Music Ear Trainer” or “Talk to Music Ear Trainer about triads”
10. Need Some Musical Help?
Can’t decide on the music? You can get help by saying, “Hey Google, drop a beat” or “Okay Google, sing a song.” Both of these commands offer hilarious responses.
Google Home Commands: Miscellaneous
There’s more to Google Assistant than playing games and listening to sounds. You’ll want to try these commands too.
With the book fairy, you can have random stories read to you. It’s perfect for those quiet nights when you have nothing to do.
Just Say: “Hey Google, talk to the Book Fair”
Fans of the Matrix will love the interaction that begins with Google Assistant by merely asking, “Are we in the matrix?” Also ask the assistant about the red pill and blue bill too; you’ll be glad that you did.
Just Say: “Hey Google, talk to Matrix quiz”
13. Who’s Right?
Thanks to a Google Home speaker, you don’t have to settle an argument using your fists. Instead, say “Okay Google, flip a coin” or “Hey Google, roll a dice.”
Want something even dicier? Say “Hey Google, roll a 36-sided die” or “Okay, roll three dice.”
Google Assistant isn’t quite ready to take the place of your doctor. However, when you have a medical-related question, it can prove useful nonetheless.
The Virtual Nurse offers information on illnesses, medications, and first aid procedures. For example, you can ask the nurse questions like, “Hey, Google, how do you perform CPR” or “What are the side effects of using Metformin?”
Just Say: “Okay Google, talk to the virtual nurse”
Are you ever feeling lonely? Wish there was someone who could listen to your problems and offer soothing words? Sentimental Friend is always there for you, no matter the time of day. Whether you’re happy or sad, Sentimental Friend can provide you with insight and words of encouragement.
Just Say: “Hey Google, talk to Sentimental Friend”
16. Finally, Try Some Follow-Up Questions
Google Assistant is noted for being able to answer follow up questions unlike many of the other voice assistants on the market. You can ask Google for the location of the nearest gas station followed by when the store closes or say “Okay Google, what’s playing at the nearest theater” followed by “How far away is that?”
As you can see, Google Home speakers can do much more than play music. Use the built-in Google Assistant (check our Google Home Cheat Sheet for a handy list) to play a game, enjoy some soothing sounds, and maybe even entertain yourself by asking Google Home funny questions. You’ll be glad that you did!