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Google Assistant has been listening to us laugh, cry and panic about life for the past four years now. It’s hard to believe as it’s become such an essential part of many users’ digital lives.
But while Assistant’s available on phones, devices like the Google Home and Home Mini now are slowly making their way into South Africa. And this begs the question: do you even really know how to use it?
Well, we take a look at some super random and extremely useful commands, tips and tricks you can use on your phone or your smart speaker.
Essential Google Assistant commands
Preface all these commands with “Okay Google”, “Hey Google” or “Hi Google”.
General useful phone commands:
- Bluetooth pairing. – Switch on Bluetooth pairing on your device.
- Lumos. – Switch on your torch (or your connected smart lights).
- Nox. – Switch off your torch.
- Hang up.
- Find my phone.
- Turn the volume up to [0-11]. – If you own a Google Home or Mini, you can adjust the speaker’s volume using this command.
- Be quiet. – Pause Google Assistant for a period.
- What is the time?
- Set a timer for [time OR duration].
- Good morning! – Assistant will cycle through traffic, news, your agenda and weather with this single command.
- Do I need an umbrella today? – An easy way to ask Assistant if it’s going to rain.
- What is the weather today?
- Tell me about my day. – Today’s agenda.
- Tell me about tomorrow. – Your agenda for tomorrow.
- When is my next meeting?
- Tell me something good. – Nothing but good news.
- Play the news.
- Please set a reminder for [event] at [time].
- Please change (last) reminder for [event] to [new time]. – This is particularly useful as Assistant has a nasty knack for settings reminders I ask for 12, for midnight and not midday. Adding “last” into the command will prompt Google to change the reminder you’ve just added, too.
- What is the [currency]/[currency] exchange rate?
- How far is [place] from [place]?
- How much is a flight from [place] to [place]?
- Where can I eat in [place]?
- What is the closest [food place] to me?
- What is the tip for [cash amount]?
- How do I say [word] in [another language]?
- What is the time in [place]?
Kitchen and home:
- How many [measurement] are in [measurement]? – A good example of this is converting ounces into
- How do I make [this dish]?
- What can I make with [these ingredients]?
- Find me a recipe for [this dish].
Music and media:
- Help me relax. – Assistant will play relaxing sounds/songs.
- Play me some relaxing music. – Assistant will play, well, random relaxing ambient music.
- Play me something [mood]. – Looking for something Google deems sad, happy or upbeat? This command will play these mood-specific tracks at random. It’s hit-and-miss, but a good way to discover new music.
- Play [this specific playlist]. – Great if you want to listen to a specific playlist. It gets complicated the more complicated your playlist names are, but Assistant is surprisingly good as guessing what you’re looking for.
- Please add this song to my music. – Will add the song to your library (works for Google Play Music).
- Shuffle this playlist.
- Play some music.
- Pause. – Pauses the current song.
- Play a song for me.
- Play next OR Skip song. – Skips to the next track.
- Play the last played song. – Particularly helpful if you ask Assistant to play random songs.
- Play music on [this app]. – If you own multiple streaming service packages, this is essential.
- Play [this artist] or [this album] or [this song].
- Play [song lyrics]. – Don’t quite remember the name of the song in your head? Tell Assistant the lyrics you do remember and it’ll find it for you.
- What song is this?
- When did this song come out?
- What does [band or artist] sing?
Learn something (for kids and adults):
- What sound does [animal] make?
- What does [this word] mean?
- Spell [word].
- Who is [person’s name].
- Who invented [thing]?
- Where is [place]?
- Show me pictures of [person or place].
- What is the answer two [math problem]?
- Sing a lullaby.
- Did [team] win last night?
- What was the score between [team] and [team]?
- What is the current [sports league] table/standings?
- When does [team] play next?
- Delete what I just said. – This will prompt Assistant to remove your previous utterance from its record.
- Delete what I said [time period]. – This will scrub your utterances to Assistant for the period you ask.
- Tell me a joke.
- Roll dice.
- Flip coin.
- Serenade me.
- Compliment me.
- Love me
- I’m bored
- I am your father.
- What is the meaning of life?
- What does the fox say?
- Give me a super power.
- How do you like your coffee?
- Are you friends with [another virtual assistant]?
- Will you be my Valentine?
- Make me a sandwich.
Feature image: Andy Walker/Memeburn