As smart devices take over most menial tasks, such as light bulbs, thermostats and even ovens that can preheat themselves, the introduction of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant has made things easier.

More and more homes are now functioned by voice-controlled systems such as Apple’s HomePod, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant, which is now upping its game by evolving and adding more and more features. And some of them are quite handy. Remember the viral video of a kid getting Alexa to do his homework? Well, Google Assistant is as much useful and has quite a few tools too to set up things here and there at your home. Here are some of them:


Make Google Assistant the hub for all smart devices

If you have come across that Macaulay Culkin’s ‘Home Alone’ advertisement for Google Assistant, chances are you already know that Google Assistant can do anything you ask.

Google Assistant can become a single voice-controlled hub so that all your smart devices, from Philips Hue lightbulb to Honeywell thermostat, could be controlled by a single source. You won’t need to keep tabs on a number of smart devices in your home. Simply open Google Assistant, select the menu icon in the upper-right corner and choose Settings and then add any compatible smart devices which are active in your home.

Keep spam calls at bay

Google has equipped the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL with a feature that will enable the Assistant to answer calls in your place. Just enable ‘Call Screen’ feature and the Assistant will answer the call on your behalf. You could even get the Assistant to keep a record of the transcript of the conversation for you to review it later.

Line up your favorite shows on Netflix or listen to news headlines

Already planned a movie night with loved ones? Then simply give a voice command to Google Assistant to queue up your favourite films or episodes from the TV shows you love as the popcorn pops in the oven.

Just make sure that Netflix is also installed on your Android device and you have linked the app; say “Play Bird Box on Netflix” and Google Assistant will line it up and play it on the preferred device in a fraction of seconds.

While some devices have in-built Google Assistant these days, however, it’s very easy to have it on your phone as well.

While you are busy grabbing your things before leaving for work, you can call out Google Assistant and say “Play the news”; The Assistant will start reading stories for you from specific sources or a media website that you ask it to.

Make a shopping list or keep a check on appointments, emails

Next time you won’t be forgetting anything when you are out shopping. Just ask Google Assistant to “Add [item] to my shopping list” and it will do it. The Assistant will put everything you need in one place and even read it out so that you don’t forget anything.

In addition, you can also connect Gmail and Google Drive to Google Assistant to enable it to respond to your email or appointment related queries.

Samba Shiva Thadavarthi
Mr. Shiva is a technologist by profession and technical writer by passion. He has served in several organisations as Research and Development manager and wrote versatile articles on the current trends of technological transformation.

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