Smart Home – Geek Chic Daily Lifestyle blog for the Smart and Stylish Fri, 03 Nov 2017 19:58:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Smart Home – Geek Chic Daily 32 32 Google Home Commands List: How to use Google Home (Video) Sun, 22 Oct 2017 04:00:55 +0000 This full list of Google Home Commands shows off Google Home's unique set of skills.

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Google Home is a voice-activated device that allows you to get answers from Google, stream music, listen to the news, play podcasts, control home automation devices, and a whole lot more. It’s powered by the Google Assistant, a digital personal assistant software developed by Google. This system allows Google Home to understand natural language, permitting you to vocalize Google Home commands to operate the smart speaker.

How to Use Google Home

You can initiate a conversation with your Google Home by saying “Hey Google” or “OK Google“. You can also launch Google Home by pressing and holding the middle-top portion of the device while you give your verbal command or question. This option provides the quickest feedback.

General Google Home Commands

Here are some common Google Home commands to get you started with using your smart speaker.

  • “What can you do?”
  • “Help”
  • “What is Google Home”

See what’s happening:

  • “What does my day look like?”
  • “What’s the latest news?”
  • “What’s on my calendar today?”
  • “How’s traffic to work?”
  • “What’s the weather like today?”
  • “How is the Dow Jones doing?”

Play music, news, & podcasts with Google Home:

  • “Play Jazz music”
  • “Play Katie Perry”
  • “Play holiday music”
  • “Play the album ‘Appetite for Destruction'”
  • “Play 93.9 in Washington, DC”
  • “Play ESPN Radio”
  • “Play NPR”
  • “Play CNN”
  • “Play Fox News”
  • “Play Screen Junkies podcast”

Adjust Google Home Volume:

  • “Turn up the volume”
  • “Set volume to 7”
  • “Max volume”
  • “What is the volume?”

Control media playback with Google Home:

  • “Pause”
  • “Pause playback”
  • “Resume”
  • “Resume playback”
  • “Stop”

Ask questions, find answers

  • “How far is Washington, DC to New York?”
  • “Who invented the traffic light?”

Have fun with Google Home:

  • “What games can I play?”
  • “Tell me a joke”
  • “Tell me a fun fact”
  • “What is my name?”

Make Hands-Free Phone Calls

Google Home allows you to make free phone calls to the U.S. and Canada. No set up is necessary. You can call contacts from your linked Google Account, call businesses, or call a number by saying it out loud.

  • Call 777-9311
  • Call Uncle Bob on mobile
  • Call mom
  • Call Taco Bell

News Commands

Here are commands for playing news on your Google Home.

  • “Latest news”
  • “What’s the latest news?”
  • “News Briefing”
  • “Play business news”
  • “Play political news”
  • “Play sports news”
  • “Play entertainment news”
  • “Play NPR”
  • “Play CNN”
  • “Play Fox News”

Google Home Sports CommandsSports Commands

Get the latest scores, schedules, and standings with these Google Home Sports Commands.

  • “Play sports news”
  • “Play ESPN Radio”
  • “When do the Eagles play next?”
  • “Did the Eagles win their last game?”
  • “What is the Eagles record?”
  • “What is the Sixers standings?”
  • “Who won the last NBA Finals”?

Ask for scores and results

  • “What was the score in the Sixers game?”
  • “Did the Cowboys lose?”
  • “Did the Steelers win?”

Ask about upcoming games

  • “Who’s playing in the NFL today?”
  • “When do the Flyers play next?”
  • “Who do the Temple Owls play next?”
  • “Who are the Cavaliers playing this week?”
  • “Who are the Warriors playing next week?”

Ask about league standings

  • “What is the NFC East standings?”
  • “NBA Standings”

Weather Commands

Ask Google Home about current weather and weather forecasts using these Google Home commands.

  • “What’s the Weather?”
  • “Will it be sunny today?”
  • “Will it rain today?”
  • “Should I carry an umbrella?”

Ask about the weather forecast:

Modifiers: this afternoon | this evening | tonight | tomorrow | a specific day (e.g. Friday) | this week | this weekend | next week | the next 1-10 days

  • “Will it be sunny this afternoon?”
  • “Will it be cold this evening?”
  • “What’s the weather tomorrow?”
  • “Will it rain this weekend?”
  • “What’s the weather Friday?”
  • “Will it snow next week?”
  • “What’s the weather like over the next 5 days?”

Ask about weather in a specific location

  • “What’s the weather like in New York?”
  • “Will it rain in Paris this weekend”?

Google Home Music CommandsMusic Commands

Below is a list of Google Home music commands. Google Home currently supports the following music services: Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio, TuneIn, Google Play Music, and YouTube Music (as of August 2017).

  • “Play Christmas music”
  • “Play holiday music”
  • “Play party music”
  • “Play music from the 70s”
  • “Play music by Beyoncé”
  • “Play music by Ray Charles”
  • “Play the album ‘Appetite for Destruction'”
  • “Play ‘College Dropout’ by Kanye West”
  • “Play ‘Roar’ by Katie Perry”
  • “Play classical music on Spotify”
  • “Play Madonna on YouTube”

Control music playback “Pause”

  • “Pause playback”
  • “Resume”
  • “Resume playback”
  • “Stop”
  • “Skip”
  • “Next”
  • “Next Song”
  • “Previous”
  • “Previous Song”

Adjust Volume “Decrease volume”

  • “Turn volume up”
  • “Set volume to 7”
  • “Set volume to 50%”
  • “Increase volume by 10%”
  • “Set volume to maximum”
  • “Max volume”
  • “Minimum volume”
  • “What is the volume?”

Ask who or what is playing?

  • “What song is this?”
  • “What’s playing?”
  • “What artist is playing?”

Radio Commands

Play local music, news, and talk radio stations using these Google Home commands. Find available local radio stations on and search for stations in your city or zip code.

  • “Play 93.9”
  • “Play 88.5”
  • “Play Majic 102.3”
  • “Play New York 98.7”
  • “Play New York 97.1”

Podcast Commands

Here are Google Home podcast commands. Check out to find some great podcasts to listen to.

  • “Play Screen Junkies podcast”
  • “Play ‘Now Playing – The Movie Review Podcast’ podcast”
  • “Play video game podcast”

Control podcast playback

  • “Pause”
  • “Pause podcast”
  • “Resume”
  • “Resume podcast”
  • “Stop”

Control episode playback

  • “Next”
  • “Next Episode”
  • “Previous”
  • “Previous Episode”

Ask who or what is playing?

  • “What’s playing?”
  • “What podcast is this?”

Fun and Games CommandsFun and Game Commands

Have fun with Google Home with these fun and game commands.

  • “Tell a joke”
  • “Sing a song”
  • “Entertain me”
  • “Tell me a fun fact”

Play a game

  • “What games can we play?”
  • “Play lucky trivia”
  • “Play Mad Libs”
  • “Play Crystal Ball”

Misc Fun

  • “Flip a coin”
  • “Roll a die”
  • “Give me a random number from [number] to [number]”
  • “Count to [number]”
  • “Give me a quote”
  • “Give me an inspirational quote”

Questions and Answers

Here are some general questions you can ask Google Home.

  • “My PS4 won’t turn on”
  • “Can dogs eat chocolate?”
  • “How far away is the moon?”
  • “How many countries in Africa?”
  • “What are the benefits of apple cider vinegar?”
  • “At what temperature does water boil?”
  • “Who is Charles Barkley?”
  • “Where is the Statue of Liberty?”
  • “How far is Springfield Mall from here?”


  • “Define per capita”
  • “What does velocity mean?”
  • “How do you spell Gypsy?”

Math Commands

  • “What is 37 x 42?”
  • “What is 20% of $80?”
  • “What is the square root of 144?”

Unit Conversion

  • “How many cups in a gallon?”
  • “How many feet in a mile?”

Currency Conversion

  • “How many pesos in a dollar?”
  • “What is the dollar worth in London?”


“How do you say, ‘Where is the airport’ in Spanish?”

Date and time

  • “What is today?”
  • “What is today’s date?”
  • “What time is it?”
  • “What time is it in Tokyo?”


  • “When is Easter?”
  • “How many days until Christmas?”

Local Business Commands

Use these commands to find local business information such as addresses, phone numbers, and business hours.

  • “Is there a pharmacy near me?”
  • “Find me a coffee shop”
  • “Where are ATMs near me?”
  • “What is the phone number of the nearest plumber?”
  • “What is the address of Starbucks?”
  • “What time is Best Buy open?”
  • “When does Best Buy close?”

Calendars and Reminders

  • “Create a calendar appointment for Tuesday at 2pm”
  • “What does my calendar look like?”

Google Home Commands List How to Use Google Home

Manage Alarms, Timers, and Lists

Use these Google Home commands for alarms, timers, and lists.

  • “Set alarm for 7am”
  • “Set daily alarm for 6am”
  • “Set alarm for 8am called ‘vitamins'”
  • “Snooze”
  • “Snooze for 15 minutes””Cancel alarm”
  • “Cancel vitamin alarm”


  • “Set timer for 5 minutes”
  • “Set 1 minute timer for jumping jacks”
  • “Set 20 minute timer for casserole”
  • “How much time left”
  • “How much time left on my casserole”
  • “Pause timer”
  • “Resume timer”
  • “Cancel timer”
  • “Cancel casserole timer”


  • “Add bread to my shopping list”
  • “Add bread, peanut butter, and jelly to my shopping list”
  • “What’s on my shopping list?”


To begin using Google Home’s recipe functionality, follow these steps:

  1. Find a recipe using the Google Assistant or Google Search using your compatible phone or tablet. Press the “Send to Google Home” button on the recipe you would like to prepare.
  2. When you are ready to begin preparing the recipe, say “OK Google, stat recipe” or “OK Google, start cooking”.
  3. Follow the voice prompts. You can also use the commands below:

Recipe Commands

  • “Start cooking” (This is the best way to restart the process)
  • “Next ingredient”
  • “Previous ingredient”
  • “Next step”
  • “Previous step”
  • “Third step”
  • “What’s step five?”
  • “Repeat”
  • “How many teaspoons in a tablespoon”
  • “Set a 40 minute timer for my baked chicken”
  • “How much time left for my baked chicken”


  • “Order an Uber”
  • “How’s my commute to work?”
  • “How long will it take to bike to work?”

Air Travel

  • “Find flights to Las Vegas?”
  • “Find non-stop flights to Orlando?”
  • “How much are flights to Miami?”
  • “How much are flights to Nassau, Bahamas in November?”
  • “How much are flights to Philadelphia in two weeks?”
  • “How much are flights to Dallas in next weekend?”
  • “When is the next flight to Portland?”

Smart Home Commands

If you have compatible smart home devices, you can use the following commands:

  • “Turn on/off the living room lights”
  • “Dim bedroom lights to 50%”
  • “Change living lights to [color]”
  • “Turn temperature to 72 degrees”
  • “Raise temperature 5 degrees”


Follow us and Share

If you have Google Home commands and tips you would like to share, please share them in the comments section below. The best shares will be added to the list. If you have questions about Google Home, or if you would like for me to try a command for you, post your question or request in the comments section.

Lastly, please support the ongoing additions and improvements to this page by using one of the sharing buttons below. If we get enough support, we’ll consider sponsoring some related giveaways.

Google Home Commands, Tips, and Hacks - - 2017

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Google Home Pros and Cons Review: Advantages & Disadvantages Fri, 20 Oct 2017 13:00:27 +0000 In my Google Home pros and cons article, I review its features that are 2nd to none. I also specify show stopper issues such as the annoying way it ...

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Google Home Facebook GroupThinking about buying a Google Home?

Want to know if you should get this device or an Amazon Alexa device instead? Before making your purchase, check out the Google Home pros and cons listed in this article. I review the reasons why you should consider Google Home over other devices, and why you might want to wait until it supports more features.

Buy the Google Home Now

Google Home Pros and Cons

Please note that the Google Home pros and cons listed in this review reflects the current functionality of the device, as of October 2017.  Just like the Amazon Echo before it, expect more features and functionality to be added to Google Home over time. For now, check out my current assessment.

Google Home Pros and Cons Review Advantages and Disadvantages - pros

Google Home Pros

Here are some of the pros and advantages of the Google Home wireless speaker:

  • Second to none in its ability to answer questions. The biggest advantage Google Home has over other voice controlled apps and devices is its ability to to provide factual responses to questions.  The device leverages Google’s Knowledge Graph, a system that contains millions of facts about people, places, and things, and how all of these entities are connected. This allows Google Home to provide responses to questions far beyond the capabilities of other voice controlled apps and devices. Google Home can also understand follow up questions. For example, you can get answers to questions like, “How are the Sixers doing?” and “When is their next game?”.
  • Can cast video to your TV. The second biggest advantage the Google Home has is the ability to cast video to your TV. Currently, you can cast video from YouTube. Support for Netflix and other video services are expected to be added over time.
  • Can identify different voices: Initially a missing feature, this ability ensures that multiple people can get personalize results for GH.
  • Can cast audio to multiple devices. Using Chromecast Audio, you stream music to one or more sets of speakers in different rooms.
  • Supports Google Play Music and YouTube Music. These services are not available on Alexa devices.
  • Pretty good sound quality considering its size. For casual music listening, I think Google Home sounds good.
  • Appears to understand my Spotify requests better than Alexa devices. In my personal experience, I’ve encountered far fewer mistakes with Home versus Alexa. Your mileage may vary.
  • Aesthetic design and customizable appearance. Google Home looks like a small piece of furniture that can be customized to match your decor. The Echo looks like a speaker while the Echo Dot looks like a hockey puck.
  • Hands-free calling. You can make calls with your voice to any number in the US and Canada.
  • Step by step cooking instructions: Google Home will walk you through preparing food. I’m not sure how useful this is, however. If GH ever gets a display, this feature would be really cool.
  • Works with free Spotify Accounts: Enough said!
  • Bluetooth audio streaming: This is another feature it should have had in the beginning but I’m glad it’s available now.
  • Availability: Google Home is (or will be) available in these countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United States (except Puerto Rico).

Google Home definitely has some positive traits. But what about the negatives? Check them out below.

Google Home Pros and Cons Review Advantages and Disadvantages cons

Google Home Cons

Here are some of the cons, limitations, and drawbacks of the Google Home:

  • GH doesn’t have as many skills as the Amazon Echo: While I’m happy about the skills GH has acquired since its launch, it still trails the Amazon Echo in skill count. With that said, more analysis is required to determine how big the actual gap is.
  • GH also lags in third-party support when compared to Amazon Echo: As of this writing (August 2017), Amazon Echo has more compatible smart home products and accessories than the Google Home.
  • GH doesn’t have a built-in screen. Google Home can display results on a tablet or on your TV, but this is not the same as having a dedicated display like the Amazon Echo Show.
  • Can’t read or send emails or messages. You’ll have to use your phone for that.
  • Can only recite items in our main calendar. Home doesn’t support shared or secondary calendars.
  • Costs more than the comparable second generation Amazon Echo. Something to consider.
  • Doesn’t have an audio out port. An additional $35 Chromecast Audio purchase is required to stream to external speakers
  • It’s powered by Google Assistant, which is different than Google Now. This may create some confusion for people that already make use of Google Now powered phones and tablets.
  • Launch phrase not customizable. Thus, multiple devices may respond, or at least, wake up when you use the launch phrase. Also, your devices will occasionally be activated by Google TV commercials.
  • I don’t like the lack of buttons on the top of the device. I find the swipe-oriented volume control to be finicky and annoying. I’d much prefer physical buttons or clearly marked capacitive buttons, and not the current where’s Waldo button implementation.
  • Doesn’t hear me from a distance as well as the Amazon Echo does. Your mileage may vary.

As you can see, Google Home definitely has some missing features. Should you still consider buying it? Check out my buyer’s recommendation below.

Google Home Pros and Cons Review Advantages & Disadvantages

Should you Buy Google Home?

Before you buy any voice-activated device, the first question you need to answer is, what will you use it for? Will you use it to play music (and subscribe to a paid music subscription)? Will you invest in compatible smart home devices? Will you use it to ask questions or to play games? If any of this appeals to you, then you might find a voice-activated device to be worth its cost.

Google Home versus Amazon Echo

Once you decide to buy a voice activated device, the second question to answer is, should you buy a Google Home or the Amazon Echo? Here are my suggestions:

Get the Google Home if you…

  • Want to ask complex questions that leverage Google’s Knowledge Graph.
  • Want to make free, voice-activated telephone calls.
  • Want the device to recognize different voices.
  • Want to cast audio and/or video.

Get the Amazon Echo if you…

  • Want more options for compatible smart home products and accessories.
  • Want to use skills not offered on the Google Home.
  • Want to use Amazon services you already pay for, such as Amazon Prime, Amazon Video, Amazon Music, etc.
  • Want a built-in screen.

The third option, of course, is to buy a Google Home Mini and an Amazon Echo Dot. This is the cheapest way to get the best of both worlds.

Which decide will you choose?

Will you buy the Google Home? Will you get the Amazon Echo? Will you get both devices or none at all? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Google Home Facebook Group

Sources: Google Best Buy

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How to use Google Home to order things online from Costco, PetSmart, and more Sat, 18 Feb 2017 23:46:05 +0000 You can now make online orders with your Google Home. Click to find out how to set it up, and to see a list of participating stores.

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Google Home gets a new trick! Online ordering!

Google just announced that their Google Home voice-activated speaker can now be used to make online orders!

Google Home can now be used to order from retailers such as Costco, PetSmart, Target, and more. Now through April 30th, 2017, you can skip service fees and membership fees, per the related Google blog post.

With this announcement, Google Home is one step closer to matching the capabilities of its greatest rival, the Amazon Echo. Online ordering has been available on the Echo for quite some time.

What is Google Home?

Google Home is a voice-activated speaker that can answer questions, play media files, and more. For more information on Google Home, see this article. To purchase Google Home, click the Buy button below:

Buy Google Home

How do I make online orders using Google Home?

In order to use this new feature, some set up is required. Visit this page for directions.

Once you complete the setup process, you can begin shopping online by using commands like the following:

  • “OK Google, How do I shop?”
  • “OK Google, order paper towels”

Perhaps I’ll create a video demonstration of the order process. Let me know in the comments section if this is something you would like to see!

How to use Google Home to order things online

“Through April 30, 2017, when you shop via Google Home, you don’t have to worry about additional service or membership fees.” – Google Blog

What stores can I order from using Google Home?

Here’s a list of top stores you can order from using Google Home:

  • Costco
  • Fry’s Electronics
  • Google Store
  • Gymboree
  • Kohl’s
  • Nine West
  • Payless ShoeSource
  • PetSmart
  • Pier 1 Imports
  • Staples
  • Target
  • The Vitamin Shoppe
  • Toys”R”Us / Babies”R”Us
  • Walgreens
  • Whole Foods

Click here for a complete list of stores. If you click the link on a particular store, you will be taken to that store’s page on Google Express. You may find some discounts or other specials on that page.

Google Home Shop Online - Google Express StoresAre you going to shop online using Google Home?

Do you plan to make online orders using Google Home? Have you already purchased products using Google Home? Please share your thoughts and experiences using the comments section below.

I remain skeptical about how many people will actually make use of this capability. I personally don’t want voice activated access to my credit card. 🙂 However, if you want me to do a quick video showing the online order process, post a request in the comments section. 😉

Buy Google Home

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