Getting the most out of your Google Assistant

google assistant, smart home assistant, smart home automationGoogle Assistant can help with almost anything these days, including looking up your old photos, helping you find new podcasts to fall in love with, and finding your phone.
If you’re forgetful or absent minded and you’ve got a Google Assistant then you’ll most likely already know how to use your Google Assistant to remind you to do things but there’s a whole world of things your Smart Assistant can help with.

Making lists and notes

First of all you’ll need to add an app such as Google Keep,, or Bring to your Google Assistant. Keeping things on brand will probably cause the least friction, and Google Keep is a great resource for keeping everything online you want to read, listen to, or watch later in one place. Even before you start adding your own lists or sheets to it, you can identify any websites you find with labels of your own, making them easy to organise.

Adding a list, reminder, or note of your own on Keep is simple, you just need tell your Smart Assistant what you want it to do with your notes, things to remember or ideas, then add a title and labels to make them easier to find later on. Try creating a specific list first, such as “create a shopping list”. Once it exists you can ask Google to “add milk to my shopping list”.

If you’re on the move you can always use Keep to store voice notes. Just tap on the microphone symbol and record your thoughts. When you’re done speaking the recording ends and a new entry will be created with both an audio recording and text transcript.

(Since I mentioned Sheets, here’s a fab trick I’ve discovered while working with Google Drive and all the Office style tools. If you want to open a brand new spreadsheet, word processing document, form, slideshow, or even a new website just write the function you want followed by .new into your Google browser. So if you want a brand new spreadsheet type in and a new spreadsheet appears faster than if you went into drive and clicked on New Sheet. A word processing document is created when you type in and a new website template is creates when you type in All the changes are saved instantly and you can open any of them on any other device that you’re logged into with your Google account.)

Send a reminder to someone else

Sick of asking the kids to do their chores? Has your mum said “Oh, remind me to…” and you know you’ll never remember to do it? Google Assistant has assignable reminders which let you tell other people not to forget things. It’s a handy way to collaborate and make sure you know who’s supposed to be doing what, and it reduces the chances of them forgetting to do the things which need doing, making your home a happy, harmonious space. All you need to do is say “Hey Google, remind mum/dad/Sarah/Mark to take out the rubbish at 8pm” and as long as you’ve set up personal relationships and voice match in your Assistant they’ll get the message.

Find your phone

With two factor authentication it’s important to know where your phone is all the time. We’ve all put our handsets down and forgotten where they are, called it from another and bingo! it’s in the very first place you looked. But what if your phone is on vibrate? Well, Google Assistant is here to come to the rescue. Just yell “Hey Google, find my phone!” and you’ll hear a custom ring, even if your phone is set on silent or do not disturb. To make it work with iPhone you just need to choose to accept notifications and critical alerts from the Google Home app.

Find photos you’ve saved

While you may not be able to find specific photos buried on your phone’s camera roll you are able to search for photos by date “Hey Google, find photos from last summer” or by particular date “OK Google, find photos from August 2020”. Once you’ve got what you were looking for you can then share them by telling your assistant “Hey Google, share these photos with mum” and as long as ‘mum’ is a part of your registered home contacts the pics will pop up on her devices.

Find your next favourite podcast

You can search podcasts by topic, title, author or presenter. That makes searching for new podcasts via voice command just as easy as it would be to search in your podcast app. Once you’ve found what you’re looking for you can search more deeply by asking Google to play the podcasts you like from specific dates or seasons, just like you did with photos. And provided the podcast’s author has annotated the description properly you can search for specific episodes.

Find news and magazine articles and web pages then have them read to you

If you’re on the move, you can’t see your screen properly, or your eyes are just tired from too much screen time, then have Google Assistant read the article to you instead. You can also get it to read your email to you. in fact Google will read any text, so even if you’re looking at a page in a language you don’t speak you can translate it and then ask Google to read it to you.

For any Smart Home Automation system to work effectively you need strong, reliable broadband internet data which is consistent throughout the home. Briant Broadband provide both fibre and wireless internet data to customers throughout the Worthing area while Briant Communications install Wi-Fi, fibre and cable networking for home, office and industrial users.

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