If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for ways to save time. I’m not very busy, notice: I’m mostly lazy. And the less time I spend doing things, the more time I have doing things Nope to do things.
Enter the Google Assistant. He is very good at setting timers, which must be among his most frequently requested tasks. But it can do so much more, some of which can lead to real time savings every day. Here are a handful of Google Assistant commands that I use every day on my Android phone.
” Hello “
Pro tip: Hold down the Assistant button and say “hello” while your spouse is nearby. This will start the routine…and you will have said hello to your spouse.
By default, this routine will tell you about the weather, what’s on your calendar, reminders you’ve set, upcoming birthdays, and if your battery is low. Finally, it will read you the news.
You can change this routine and others like it by launching Google Assistant, simply saying “routines,” then tapping the Routines cog.
“Help me leave on time”
Often lose track of time? This tip is a godsend if you’re trying to cram too much each morning. Half an hour before your departure, say “help me leave on time” and your assistant will start a 30-minute countdown.
It will nudge you to the 20, 10, 5, 1 and zero minute marks with a small chime and a message about how much time you have left. You can also customize these schedules using the same workflow described in the previous tip.
And if you have an extremely fluctuating commute, use the “Tell me about my commute” command to get an idea of when you should start the 30-minute countdown.
Oh my favorite. As someone who is both lazy and likes to multi-task, the “read this” directive makes short work of long articles.
If I start to feel like, about three paragraphs, everything I’m reading might take a bit, I’ll just hold down the Assistant button and say, “Read this.”
A quick whiff of technological achievement later, and my phone reads me aloud as I circle the house.
Call someone on speakerphone
Now, for this one to work, you’ll need to enable the “Hey Google” feature (see how here), which simply means your phone will listen for you to say “Hey Google” instead of launching the Assistant app.
But it’s very handy when your hands are full, covered in cake batter, or carrying one or more children.
Once activated, say “Hey Google, call Slippery Pete on speakerphone” (of course, replace Slippery Pete with someone in your contact list). He will then dial that person’s number and put you on speakerphone so you can get around safely.
“Find My Phone”
I realize the irony of using your phone to find your phone, but if you have another Google Assistant-enabled device, such as a tablet, second phone, or smart speaker – it will become your new best friend whenever you can’t find your phone.
Say “find my phone”, and it will set off your finicky handset to ring as you wander around the house searching. Bonus tip: If that doesn’t work, try accessing the Google Find My Device page from a web browser. It will locate the locations of your Google-connected devices and ring them for five minutes straight.
“Take Me Home”
As someone who is perpetually lost, I usually bark this order into my phone while driving, followed by a slew of explanations, but it still works!).
Say “take me home” and Google Maps will open, lock your location, and start taking you back to familiar surroundings.
” Good night “
If you find yourself typing too much before setting your phone on its charger each night, check out the “good night” routine to see if you can automate some or all of it.
By default, saying “good night” to Assistant prompts you to set the alarm, tells you if your battery is low, and then plays soothing sleep sounds for a while.
However, you can, and should, customize this routine to your liking by saying “routines” and tapping the Routines cog. Open the Bedtime routine and tap the “Add action” button to automate things like adjusting your ringtone volume, turning on “do not disturb,” and letting you know tomorrow’s weather.