My Computer My Way

Google Assistant can vì chưng a lot, but sometimes you need to know the right commands or questions. Find them here!

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Mitja has more than a decade of experience in the industry và has written for various publications in North America & Europe. He lives in Slovenia, loves sports, & is a self-proclaimed pizza expert.

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01What is Google Assistant?02How khổng lồ phối up and use Google Assistant03Google Assistant devices04The best Google Assistant commands by category05Google Assistant actions06Google Assistant routines07Google Assistant & smart home08Google Assistant vs Alexa
Google Assistant was announced at Google’s I/O developer conference baông chồng in 2016, và made its official debut on the Pixel phones in October of the same year. It’s available on all handsets running Android 5.0+ & with at least 1GB of RAM, or Android 6.0+ và at least 1.5GB of RAM. Supported phones also have khổng lồ have Google Play services installed and sport a minimum of a 720p display.


Assistant will only work if you have the device’s language phối to a language it supports. These include English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Russian, & many others in smartphones and tablets. Although Google Assistant doesn’t support quite as many languages as the competition, the danh sách is growing steadily. The only issue is not all Google Assistant devices support all languages. You can learn more about language tư vấn here.


The basics of Google Assistant are easy khổng lồ understvà, but there’s a lot more beneath the surface you may not be aware of. This post covers most of it — from explaining what is Assistant & how khổng lồ use it lớn the devices it powers và commands it understands. So whether you’re brand new to Google Assistant or have some knowledge about it, you should learn a few things in this post. Let’s dive in.

Also: Here is a danh sách of the best Google products you can buy

What is Google Assistant?


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Google Assistant is Google’s virtual helper. It allows you to get stuff done faster. You can use voice commands instead of performing tasks manually by tapping your finger on the screen a gazillion times.


Google Assistant is smart and very well integrated with Android. It can open apps, sover messages, make calls, play a specific tuy nhiên on YouTube Music, check the weather, control smart devices, set timers, grab general information, & many other things.


Of course, Assistant isn’t available just on phones. You can also find it on smart speakers, smartwatches, headphones, và many other products — more on this later.

How to mix up và use Google Assistant


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To use Google Assistant on your Android smartphone, you first have to lớn enable it. Don’t worry — the process is so simple even your grandma can vì chưng it, và it won’t take more than a minute or two of your time.


Step-by-step instructions on how khổng lồ enable Assistant:

Launch the Google phầm mềm.Tap the More option in the bottom-right corner.Head to Settings > Google Assistant.Select General.Enable the Google Assistant option.

Now that Assistant is turned on, it’s time to lớn take it for a spin. You can vì chưng that by either saying “Ok, Google” or “Hey, Google,” & then stating your comm&. An example of this would be, “Ok, Google. Play a funny cat video clip on YouTube.”


Keep in mind some phones have sầu to be unlocked for this khổng lồ work. If the screen is turned off when you say a commvà, Google Assistant will hear it but may ask you to lớn unlochồng the phone before it can perform the requested task. It’s an annoying feature that’s there for safety reasons.


There are a few alternative methods of summoning Google Assistant. The main one is to lớn press & hold the trang chủ button on your device and wait for Assistant to pop up. If you’re using gestures on Android 10 and/or don’t have a trang chủ button, you’ll have sầu to lớn swipe up from the bottom left or right edge. Some phones from brands lượt thích Nocơ và LG also come with a dedicated Google Assistant button.


Keep in mind you can also write to the Assistant instead of speaking lớn it. This comes in handy when you’re in public và don’t want people to think you’re crazy for giving your phone demands. To try this out, summon Assistant, tap the keyboard inhỏ at the bottom, and type in your request.

Devices


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There are two types of Google Assistant devices you must know about. One has Google Assistant built-in, while the other only works with Assistant. That means they don’t have Assistant built-in but can be controlled with voice commands via smartphones, smart displays, and other devices. We’ll take a closer look at the two options below.

Devices with Google Assistant built-in


Smartphones and tablets: Google Assistant is on board all newer phones and tablets và loads of older ones running at least Android 5.0. There are a few other requirements in this case, which you can check out in the intro of this post.


Smart speakers/displays: Getting either a smart speaker or a smart display is one of the first steps to take if you want lớn set up a smart home. A smart speaker can play the music you want, will answer any questions you may have, & can be used khổng lồ control other smart devices in your trang chính. A smart display basically does the same thing and allows you to watch videos on YouTube, make calls via Google Duo, và see who is at the front door when the device is connected khổng lồ a smart doorbell. You can check out the best smart displays if you’re interested in getting one.


Chromebooks: Assistant is available on most Chromebooks — but you have sầu to turn it on first. You can get the job done by opening the settings, selecting “Google Assistant” under “Search & Assistant,” and then turning it on. Once that’s done, you can summon it with a hotword & then state your demands. If you’re in the market for a new Chromebook, we have sầu a menu of the best ones lớn spkết thúc your money on here.


TVs và streaming devices: Google Assistant runs natively on Google TV and Android TV boxes like the Nvidia Shield TV & Xiaomi Mi Box S. It’s also available from the Chromecast with Google TV. All you have sầu lớn vì chưng is press the dedicated Assistant button on the remote và say a commvà.

Devices that work with Google Assistant


Smart security cameras: While some cameras have Google Assistant built-in — lượt thích the Nest Cam IQ — most of them work best paired with smartphones or smart display devices. That way, you can see what’s going on in your backyard or the kitchen. Those interested can kiểm tra out the best security cameras you can get at the link.


Lamps & light bulbs: If you’re starting lớn phối up your smart trang chủ, getting a lamp or a few light bulbs that work with Assistant is a smart & affordable move. You’ll be able to lớn turn the lights on/off with voice commands, even when you’re on the road. This allows you to lớn make it look like someone is at trang chính while the house is empty, to scare off the bad guys. It’s a great triông chồng, although getting a large và scary dog is a better option.


Headphones: Several headphones work with Assistant, including the lathử nghiệm Google Pixel Buds and Sony’s popular WH-1000XM4. You can sumtháng Assistant with a tap/press of a button và tell it lớn skip a tuy nhiên, turn up the volume, và more. You can check out the best Google Assistant headphones here.


Smartwatches: Smartwatches running Google’s WearOS work with Google Assistant. It comes in handy for checking the weather, tracking a run, or setting a reminder, among many other things. Smartwatches aren’t as popular as some expected them lớn become, but they still have sầu a loyal following — check out the best models here.


These are just some of the more popular devices that have sầu Assistant built-in or work with it. There are many others, including smart plugs, thermostats, & garage door openers, to lớn name a few.

Also: The best Google Assistant devices for your home

The best commands by category


Now that you have sầu your devices set up, it’s time to lớn issue some useful voice commands. Most commands apply regardless of the hardware you’re talking to lớn, but there are some exceptions, such as attempting khổng lồ watch a Netflix Clip on a speaker!


You can find a full breakdown of the ever-growing danh mục of commands over at Google’s official directory, but we’ve covered some of the most useful ones below.

General queries“Good morning” — This command is a catch-all for your morning routine. Assistant can give you a weather report, details on your route khổng lồ work, và recite the lademo news bulletins.“Wake me up at …” — Assistant can fill in as your personal alarm clock.“xuất hiện …” — xuất hiện up any ứng dụng on your phone just by saying its name.“Set a reminder for …” — Add reminders lớn your calendar, complete with time và place, so you’ll never miss a date again.“Set a timer for …” — Slow cooking a chicken or baking some muffins? The Assistant’s timer setting is beneficial for nailing those recipe timings.“Turn on Bluetooth” — Toggle Công nghệ Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, your phone’s flashlight, & pretty much every other hardware option without reaching for a settings thực đơn.“Add … to lớn my shopping list” — Google can store online shopping lists for you, & when paired up with Assistant, you can quickly add & remove sầu items via voice.Music“Play classical music” — Instead of playing music by tuy vậy, artist, or album, picking a genre can be a great way khổng lồ discover new music.“Play … radio” — You don’t have sầu to stream from a service like Spotify. Assistant can also play online radio stations.“Skip song” — As well as play, pause, và stop, you can skip along.“What’s playing?” — Assistant can give sầu you artist và tuy vậy info for anything currently streaming.“Turn it up” — Volume can be adjusted up và down at 10% increments, or mix to lớn a specific màn chơi.Pictures và video“Show my pictures of … “ — If you use Google Photos, Assistant can piông chồng out pictures of people, places, & dates on request.“Play … on TV” — Link up your streaming accounts on your smart TV or Chromecast, & Assistant can play shows directly onlớn your TV.“Stream … from Youtube” — Catch up with your favorite YouTube shows.“Turn on subtitles” — Quickly toggle subtitles on or off và even pick your desired language without reaching for the remote — the same works for dubbing too.Tips, tricks & fun“Find my phone” — We’ve all misplaced our phone, but if you’ve connected your smart speaker lớn your Google tài khoản, ask it lớn find your phone &, given your handset has a data connection, it will ring.Chechồng movie times — Assistant is quite good at finding localized results, so asking “what time is showing” will display local cinema results. In fact, you can check the open times and details for many local businesses listed with Google.

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Asking further questions This is a little more hit và miss, but Assistant can often understvà follow-up questions. Sticking with the previous example, you might ask “what’s playing at followed by “what time are they showing ,” và Assistant will rethành viên that you’re talking about the same cinema.“Beatbox!” — Does what it says. Enjoy.Tune an instrument — Ask for a specific note, and Assistant can provide. Handy for tuning guitars và other instruments.“Tell me a joke” — A library of groaners that are sure lớn lighten anyone’s mood.“Recite a poem” — Assistant has a selection of classic poems ready khổng lồ help you unwind.“Do you like Star Trek, or Star Wars?” – Be prepared for a range of confusing crossover answers sure lớn delight và infuriate fans in equal measure.

We’ll let you discover the rest on your own:

“Do a barrel roll.”“What’s the loneliest number?.”“Make me a sandwich.”“When am I?”“Beam me up, Scotty.”“How can entropy be reversed?”“Tell me a joke.”“Up up down down left right left right B A start.”“Who’s on first?”“I am your father.”“Set phasers khổng lồ kill.”“Did you fart?”“It’s my birthday.”“It’s not my birthday.”“Who let the dogs out?”“Do you want lớn build a snowman?”“How many roads must a man walk down?”“Who is the real Sllặng Shady?”“Who ya gonmãng cầu call?”“Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?”“Where’s Waldo?”“Party on, Wayne.”

Also: Here’s a guide on all Google Home and Assistant commands

Google Assistant actions


Google Assistant is powered by actions, which are the little conversations you have sầu with Assistant to get anything done. While Google provides many actions out of the box, additional commands for interacting with third-các buổi party hardware và software can be added to lớn Assistant via Assistant apps.


Users can discover third-buổi tiệc ngọt apps for the Assistant via the Actions ứng dụng directory on the website và Smartphone devices. The directory is designed lớn allow users khổng lồ find new apps và customize their assistant ecosystem. It includes products ranging from trivia applications to lớn fitness và TV tools designed to work with external hardware.


Here are a few examples of third-party actions for Google Assistant:

There’s a budding ecosystem of third-các buổi tiệc nhỏ tools and applications, with over one million actions now available. Developers can build their Assistant Apps & actions using either Dialogflow or the Actions SDK. Dialogflow is a “conversational platform” that offers easy-to-use IDE, machine learning, and other tools while wrapping the functionality of the Actions SDK.

Google Assistant routines


Google Assistant routines allow you khổng lồ trigger multiple actions with a single phrase. For example, you can get the weather report, turn on Công nghệ Bluetooth, & launch the Netflix ứng dụng by saying “Let’s go” to lớn Google Assistant.


In addition khổng lồ making your own, there are six ready-made routines available, all of which you can customize to lớn your liking. One of them is called the good morning routine. When you say, “Good morning,” or “Tell me about my day,” Assistant can:

Turn off silent mode.Adjust lights, plugs, the thermostat, và other smart devices (if you have sầu any).Tell you about the weather.Insize you about your commute.Tell you about your today’s calendar events.Give you today’s reminders.Adjust truyền thông media volume.Play music, news, radio, a podcast, or an audiobook.

We have a dedicated post on this topic. Check it out to learn about the other five routines or how you can mix your own.

Here: Learn everything there is to lớn know about Google Assistant routines

Smart trang chính tips


One of Google Assistant‘s most powerful features is its ability khổng lồ act as your connected smart trang chủ hub. Assistant can be used lớn control a wide range of devices, starting with your Chromecast or TV through lớn something as seemingly humdrum as a light bulb. All of these devices can be configured and controlled through the Google Home tiện ích.


Google Assistant is compatible with over 50,000 smart trang chủ products from over 5,500 brands. A directory listing all supported platforms is available here. Product categories include:

Lighting, plugs, outlets, và other electrical gear.Washers, dryers, refrigerators, vacuums, air conditioners, và other home appliances.Cameras, locks, và security systems.Speakers, mạng internet radquả táo, & other audio equipment.

You’ll want to connect your devices first. Each device will guide you through the necessary cài đặt, which usually requires little more than standing near the device with your Wi-Fi and location on, hitting a button, và naming the device. To add new devices to your smart trang chủ, head inlớn the Google trang chủ app, tap the plus icon in the top left corner, followed by Set up device. Then follow the setup instructions.

Next: What is a smart trang chủ, và why you should want one


If you didn’t vị so during thiết đặt, you’d gain greater flexibility over your smart home page by making use of Google Assistant’s Nickname and Room assignments. This will allow you lớn refer lớn specific devices or rooms when issuing voice commands lớn better direct your requests. To add, edit, và delete names & rooms, head into lớn the Settings thực đơn & click Home control of the Google Home phầm mềm.


For example, assigning your lights to a room that you label the bedroom means that you can say, “Hey Google, turn off the bedroom lights.” Similarly, you can mix your home page up so that “OK Google, play music on my living room speaker” works, even if you’re talking khổng lồ a different smart speaker or your phone in the kitchen.


If you plan on setting up a smart trang chủ, getting a smart speaker or a display is a must. The reason why is that controlling smart products via your phone is not that great. You often have lớn unlochồng your phone before Assistant performs the requested action. This kills the entire smart trang chính charm. There’s no limitation like this with a smart speaker or display.


The smart speaker will act as your hub to control every single, smart device in your home, including light bulbs, blinds, and others. You can kiểm tra out a few of the most popular Google Assistant smart home commands below so you’ll get an idea of how useful they may be to you.

“Turn on ” or “Turn off — Turn a light on or off.“Dlặng the ” or “Brighten the — Dyên or brighten a light.“Set lớn 50%” Set a light brightness to lớn a certain percentage.“Turn on all of the lights” or “Turn off all of the lights” — Turn on or off all lights.“Dim/brighten by 50%” — Dlặng or brighten lights by a certain percentage.“Turn green>” — Change the color of light.“Turn on lights in ” or “Turn off lights in — Turn on or off all lights in a room.“Make it warmer/cooler,” “Raise/lower the temperature,” “Raise/lower the temperature two degrees,” or “Set the temperature to lớn 72 degrees” — Adjust the temperature.“Turn on heat/cooling,” “Set the thermostat to cooling/heating,” or “Turn the thermostat lớn heat-cool mode” — Switch khổng lồ heating or cooling modes.“Set the heat lớn 68,” “Set the air conditioning to lớn 70,” or “Set thermostat khổng lồ 72” — Set the mode và temperature.“Turn off thermostat” — Turn the thermostat off.“What’s the temperature inside?” — Check the ambient temperature on the thermostat.“Turn on cooling/heating,” “Turn on heat/cool,” “Set the heat to lớn 68,” “Set the air conditioning to 70,” etc. — Turn the thermostat bachồng on.“Hey Google, what’s the thermostat mix to?” — Check the thermostat temperature.

Google Assistant vs. Alexa


Google’s closest competitor in the assistant và smart trang chính ecosystem is Amazon’s Alexa & the retailer’s Eđến speakers.


At a glance, Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa are very similar. Both allow users to interact with simple voice commands. There’s plenty of crossover between the types of typical actions — or skills, as Amazon calls them — that can be issued, ranging from weather forecasts to streaming music.


In terms of design, the lademo generation speakers are starting khổng lồ look different. Amazon has chosen a spherical thiết kế for its newer Echo and Emang đến Dot devices. Meanwhile, Google’s new Nest Audio is taller and narrower, while the Nest Mini is round và flat lượt thích a hockey puck.


Like Google, Amazon is also positioning Alexa as an option for third-party speakers and smart display manufacturers. Alexa already has a large hardware ecosystem encompassing speakers, TVs, vehicle infotainment systems, và even smart mirrors & bathtubs. Google is actually playing catch up in product portfolio kích cỡ & partner support, but the company is closing the gap.

More: Everything you need to know about Amazon Alexa


However, there are some major differences between how the two ecosystems operate and the type of functionality they’re trying to lớn offer. Most notably, Google can operate on smartphones và in the trang chủ, while Alexa is mostly tied to lớn smart home page products. Assistant is primarily designed khổng lồ be used on a handphối, keeping track of your calendar, route to work, & other little bits of information. You can download Alexa on your phone from the Play Store, but the experience isn’t all that great. 


The best way khổng lồ think about the differences is that Alexa is prominently a smart trang chủ hub and interacts with other services. On the other h&, Google Assistant is much closer khổng lồ a PA, keeping track of the little details you might need throughout your day. Although the lines blur once you start using Assistant in smart trang chủ products, there are still more similarities than differences between what the two can bởi.