I know many of you may be using Google Assistant, but wouldn’t it be even better to use the new Google Assistant tips in your life or work to make life easier? What if you’re looking for something new to say instead of “Hey Google!” or “Okay, Google” to start a Google Assistant command? There’s this cool little feature with Google Assistants called Quick Phrases that is one of my new favorite things. And when it comes to smart home automation, using quick phrases is going to help you inch closer and closer to optimal efficiency.
This relatively new Google Assistant tip will help you eliminate having to say that Google prompt phrase every time. You can speed up your interactions with Google Assistant by using pre-set commands through this feature as well. We cover everything you need to know about enabling quick phrases on Google Assistant. If you have a Pixel 6 or newer Pixel Phone then just go to your Google Assistant and Enable Quick Phrases on Google Assistant, which simplifies the interaction for things like incoming calls, alarms, and timers, instead of typing on keyboards. And makes your life a little more efficient without saying “Hey Google”.
Until now, whenever you wanted the help of Google Assistant, you had to say “Hey Google” or “OK Google” at the start. Like “Hey Google, Set an alarm for 8:00 am” or “Okay Google, shut down my smart home.” But now you don’t need to say “Hey Google” all the time because of this time-saving feature of Google Assistant. With quick phrases, asking Google for help just got easier than ever while also staying secure. Setting an alarm, turning lights off and on, adjusting the smart thermostat temperature, changing the mood lighting in your bedroom, or setting a timer all become a little bit easier.
Suppose, if you are washing your hands or doing some kitchen work and you have a phone call then you can simply say “Answer” or also “Decline”. It’s that easy. Or you can also say “Silence” to silence your ringer. You can thank quick phrases for such an efficient feature.
Enabling quick phrases on Google Assistant is super slick and super easy. Here’s how…
Simply open the Google Home App.
At the top right corner, here you’ll see your Account, tap it.
Go to Settings.
And then click on Assistant Settings and tap Quick Phrases.
Just scroll Quick Phrases and tap Add + the quick phrases which you want.
Quick Tip: I would start with adding 3-5 quick phrases just to get used to the process. From there once you feel comfortable, begin adding more quick phrases to your regimen. I’d also start with the ones you use the most. If there’s some obscure Google Assistant command that you hardly use, I wouldn’t add it yet.
Once you have the phrases you want set up, you don’t need to say “Ok Google”. Simply say the phrase to your Google Assistant to use a quick phrase you’ve added. For example, if you want to set a timer using quick phrases, then say: “Set a timer for 10 minutes”.
Or if you want to stop the alarm then you don’t need to tap the stop button. You can easily say: “Stop” or “Stop the Alarm”. That means you can say it naturally and can add specific details to it, these are acceptable phrases. You can turn on voice match so that these quick phrases are only accessible only to you.
In recent years, the smart home revolution has taken the world by storm. From thermostats to security systems to lights, there are countless ways to make your home smarter and more efficient. One of the most popular methods is using devices that are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.
What Is Amazon Alexa?
Amazon Alexa is a digital assistant developed by Amazon for use on compatible devices. With Alexa, you can control many aspects of your home through voice commands. This includes adjusting the thermostat, managing the lights, playing music from streaming services, and more. It even has integration with popular third-party services like Uber and Dominos Pizza. All you have to do is say “Alexa,” followed by your command or question, and she’ll respond accordingly.
Philips Hue lighting is an excellent way to bring some automation into your home lighting system. The bulbs connect directly to your Wi-Fi network and can be controlled via voice commands with Alexa or through the accompanying app. You can even set up routines so that your lights will turn on at a certain time each day or when you come home from work.
Why I Love Philips Hue Smart Lighting? I have had a smart home setup for a few years now and my favorite addition to it has been the Philips Hue smart lighting system. With custom timers, color-changing LEDs, remote access, away-from-home dimming and so much more, smart lighting makes my house feel luxurious and modern every time I switch it on. What I love most about this smart lighting system is how easily programmable it is. Whether I want the lights to turn off after a certain time or if I’m feeling creative with my lighting moods, I can customize all that quickly and easily through the app.
The Ecobee thermostat is one of the best available smart thermostats on the market today. It connects directly to your Wi-Fi network and allows you to adjust temperatures in your home via voice commands with Alexa or through the accompanying app. It also features motion sensors that detect when someone is in a room and adjusts temperatures accordingly for maximum energy efficiency.
I love the smart thermostats are the perfect way to smarten up your home! If you program it right, you’ll never have to come home to a cold house again, since you can operate and manage it right from your smart device. And with its sophisticated smart sensors, Ecobee can automatically adjust the temperature so you always stay comfortable without wasting energy. What’s more, is adding an Ecobee smart thermostat is easier than ever before!
The Wyze security system is an affordable yet powerful way to protect your home from intruders or other threats. The system comes equipped with motion detectors, window/door sensors, and much more which can all be monitored remotely via voice commands with Alexa or through the app on your smartphone device. You can also receive notifications whenever motion is detected in any part of your home for added peace of mind.
If you are looking for a reliable, economic, and easy-to-install home security system, then Wyze fits all of these needs. Not only is Wyze dependable, but it has a wide range of features that make it stand out from others in its category. It gives users the peace of mind that their homes and family are protected. Wyze also provides excellent customer service, responding quickly to any inquiries. With Wyze Security System, you can now sleep without as much worry knowing your home is safer and more secure.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is another great option if you’re looking for a smart thermostat that works with Alexa-compatible devices. This thermostat learns from your behaviors over time so it can automatically adjust temperatures based on when people are in different parts of the house or away from home altogether. Plus, it offers remote access so you can adjust temperatures even when you’re away from home using just your phone or tablet device.
Nest Learning Thermostat has been a game changer for the heating and cooling industry. Not only has it made life so much easier (and smarter), but we don’t have to worry about manual adjustments to heating and cooling. Don’t like the family messing with the temperature? You can lock the thermostat! What I love most about Nest (and smart thermostats in general) is that Nest makes it incredibly effortless to save energy and save money. Nest also brings extra style to my home, with its sleek tech design taking center stage against our living room wall. In short, the Nest Thermostat is an absolute must-have for anyone looking to add some tech convenience and style to their living space!
Your Smart Home With Alexa Awaits
Smart technology has completely revolutionized how we interact with our homes today and Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant is no exception! By connecting compatible devices like Philips Hue lighting or Nest learning thermostats directly to your Wi-Fi network, you can use voice commands to control various aspects of your living space from anywhere in the world! Regardless of what type of smart device you choose for use with Amazon’s digital assistant platform, there are endless possibilities waiting for you just around the corner!
They say technology has made our lives easier and I certainly agree. Most of those reading this right now have a pretty good idea of what Alexa is and does. For the rest of you who are reading this out of curiosity, then I want to assure you that these easy-to-do hacks will turn you into an ultimate Alexa fan!
Alexa Account Hacks Everyone Should Know
Few people know that their virtual assistant Alexa can provide individualized experiences to people in the home. In fact, most people I know who have an Alexa assistant are unaware of these little tricks to help enhance their smart home experience. Amazon is always creating new capabilities to expand on these themes. It’s one of the innovative traits I love about the company. Here are some of my favorite, easy-to-do Alexa hacks that will improve your user experience!
Did you know you can set up multiple accounts using a feature available with Alexa? Okay, okay. I think most people know this feature exists, but it would shock you how many just have one account set up. Using the built-in “Household Profiles” feature, you may effectively have many users, each with their own profiles, whom you can switch between as necessary on your Amazon Echo device.
The Alexa app allows the device’s registered owner to add numerous profiles of other family members to the household profile. However, you must first enter your password before anybody else may sign in or change profiles. Each profile owner can access customized content libraries, including playlists and shopping.
It’s crucial to remember that only the device’s registered owner may make new profiles. You may do this if it applies to you by selecting Household Profile under Settings in the Alexa app and inputting your password. After completing this step, you may link the accounts by having the other users log in on the same computer.
As a parent, you are responsible for monitoring what your child is watching. Let’s be honest, you cannot supervise them 24/7 and so Amazon has a solution for you. You can always use parental control to see what kind of videos and shows are being watched by your children.
Amazon’s FreeTime program is also accessible via Alexa. It allows you to establish parental controls, such as restrictions on certain materials, shopping features, and use hours. To activate this service, you must choose which device to limit.
Alexa Voice Profiles
Alexa Voice Profiles are a fantastic feature. It’s another one of those often overlooked things that can impact user experience. Your Alexa can be trained to identify your voice through a simple exercise involving the repetition of words. In my opinion, I think the best sound engineers are working for Amazon.
To get Alexa to recognize your voice, the first phrase is displayed on the screen for you to pronounce. When you say the word, Alexa will automatically display the next word.
Continue speaking until you’ve used every term Alexa has to offer. You’ll be asked to repeat a phrase if Alexa doesn’t comprehend it the first time. Alexa notifies you that your Voice ID has been created once you have completed the process.
While Amazon Music and Spotify are treated similarly in the Alexa experience, Amazon’s own service benefits from voice match. I really like Spotify as a music service, but we’ve talked about issues with Spotify when it comes to your family having access to it.
Furthermore, shopping becomes easier with the help of the voice match feature. If you’ve never bought anything via Alexa using your voice, you should try it. It’s kinda cool. And don’t worry…if you buy something accidentally, you can go into your Amazon account and get a refund. Training your voice will enable you to confirm purchases using only your voice and prevent children from adding one hundred unicorns to your shopping cart.
Find your iPhone
Have you ever misplaced your iPhone or Android and absolutely panicked because of what that would mean? Your personal info, maybe financial data, and other privacy-related data could all be on there (and your personal photos). What would happen if it had actually gotten lost? With Alexa and the Find Your Phone features, there’s no reason to worry about this issue.
Alexa can assist you in resolving this all-too-common problem. Once you save/confirm your number in the app, it gives you the option to have Alexa contact it when you ask her to “find my phone.” You’ll have to connect the Find My Phone Alexa Skill to your account, but it’s well worth it.
The 7-Minute Workout
This is one of my favorite Alexa tips. It’s one thing to say you’re going to work out, but quite another to really do it when you’re working from home or spending the weekend relaxing.
7 minutes of bodyweight high-intensity exercise can reportedly improve your muscular strength, V02 max, and insulin sensitivity, which is why many people prefer to do it.
Even if the 7-Minute Workout won’t completely undo the damage your weekend of eating burgers and fries did to your waistline, it’s still preferable to doing nothing at all. This is another feature that you’ll have to connect as an Alexa Skill.
Your favorite AI will initiate the 7-Minute Workout when you tell her what music you want to listen to. You can then have a satisfying workout while your preferred workout music plays in the background.
Create a Routine
If you routinely give Alexa the same set of instructions (for example, “turn on the lights,” “turn on the TV,” and “read the news”), you may build up a “morning” routine to have her carry out the instructions automatically. They work very similarly to Google Routines
To create a routine with Alexa, here are some steps you need to follow:
Open the app and select Settings.
Go to the Routines section, followed by the plus (“+”) symbol.
Enter the trigger phrase.
Click “When this happens,” then “When you say something.”
You can create a routine for basically any smart home device connected to your Alexa.
If you have an Alexa account and are looking for some hacks to improve your experience, what I mentioned above is a great start. Your homework assignment: Go and try at least one of these Alexa account hacks right now. Oftentimes, I find that if I start small with just one and then build on it, get comfortable with it, then adding more and more are a breeze.
Philips Hue is a smart lighting system that uses your existing wireless network. It has WiFi light bulbs, LED lights, and a bridge that connects them to the network. It’s innovative, but the setup can be complicated especially for newbies to the smart home ecosystem.
We wanted to dive a little bit into the process to set up Philips Hue without Bridge; to simplify it because we’ve seen a handful of users complain about the difficulty of using Philips smart bulbs without the bridge. Certain options (if you know what you’re looking for), such as Bluetooth or Dimmer Switch, can help you complete the Philips Hue Smart lighting setup without a bridge.
Philips Hue Bluetooth bulbs are a great addition to any room. With these bulbs, you can forgo the option of not needing to use the Hub at all and just use the Bluetooth connection to sync the bulbs. I’m not the biggest fans of hubs. I’ll use them where I absolutely have to, but leveraging Bluetooth for connectivity is simple and effective. Previously, the Philips BT App used this feature, but now the Bluetooth feature is also included in the Hue app.
Although Philips Bluetooth is a great feature, it has a few limitations. For example, you’re limited to using only 10 bulbs without any provided remote control by the company. Not a deal-breaker, but if you want to go nuts and really light your smart home this might cause some frustration. Third-party app integrations are not supported for integration. Also, the connection is a bit weak for creating large groups of bulbs at the farthest ends of a house. With this option, the grouping wouldn’t be available with these bulbs either. However, technically, one can create groups within a room, so there is a slight workaround in that regard. This can give you free rein over the aesthetics and dynamics of the room. Overall, the Philips Hue bulb is a great addition to any house and the Google Seamless setup can be integrated to make them work without using a Hue bridge.
The Hue Dimmer Switch controls the Hue Bulb when you buy the two together. What’s nice is you don’t have to go through the hustle of connecting the two because they are linked together. The dimmer switch operates via a battery.
You can put the bulb in the socket and turn it on with the dimmer switch. Super easy. The switch allows turning the bulb on or off and controlling the intensity of light. It does not control the change of the light color in the bulb. For that, you’ll have to use the hue bridge. I wish (if you make dimmer switches here’s one of my free tips for innovation) these switches were multi-dimensional, which would give you the option of controlling the intensity of light along with the color (at least warm vs soft light which shouldn’t be that difficult to program).
A dimmer switch works like the switch of a light bulb and it supports up to 10 bulbs. It comes with a connected LED light which is synced with the bulb to confirm the establishment of a connection between the two. It is one of the easiest ways to set up Philips hue lights without a bridge. For the extreme novice user of these smart bulbs, it’s the route I’d recommend.
Philip Setup With Amazon Echo Hub
Philips Hue Bulbs are supported by a feature that allows one to use Zigbee smart home hubs supported by Zigbee standards. You can use Hue bulbs after completing the setup of Amazon’s Echo speaker models.
Echo speakers, such as the Amazon Echo Plus, Amazon Echo Show 10 (not first-gen), (4th-gen) Echo, and Echo Studio can be used as Zigbee hubs to support the Philip setup without a bridge. After using Echo speakers, use the Alexa app to search for the hue bulb. Once the device is detected, the next part is adding the hue bulb by using the plus button on the interface of your screen.
Custom scenes cannot be created (as of the date this was published), but you can group smart lights of different brands with the Amazon Echo hub option. For controlling the light, Alexa can be used to control all the features of light by using your voice or entering the instructions on Alexa.
The Ikea Tradfri gateway plugs directly into an outlet and controls the communication between your phone and the bulbs. The smart bulbs are already installed by you, and you have to connect the Ikea Tradfri gateway directly to the router.
After this, it starts working. The semi-simple process is to hold and press the button for ten seconds within approximately two centimeters of the router. After releasing the button, the light will blink, confirming that the hue light has been added. The Ikea Tradfri system is great because it saves the person from the hustle of plugging two hubs into the router.
However, there are certain limitations, such as you can’t enjoy scheduling, geolocating, and color cycling options that otherwise you could enjoy with a hue bridge. But, the Ikea Tradfri gateway is a great option to be used as an alternative to Philip’s set-up with a hue bridge.
To Bridge Or Not To Bridge
There are a lot of reasons why I like the option to use the bridge and there are some reasons I’d opt out. Chief among them, the Philips Hue bridge makes it easy to control all of your Philips smart bulbs from one central location. Whether that’s your smartphone, tablet, or computer…it doesn’t matter. With the bridge, you can easily turn lights on or off, dim or brighten them, and even change their color. You can also create custom lighting scenes for different occasions, so your home always has the perfect ambiance. You truly unlock the technology’s potential by using it. On the flip side, setting up your Philips smart bulbs with Amazon Alexa is really easy and if you have your smart home ecosystem integrated already with Alexa, it’s a no-brainer.
What I love about the innovation and evolution of technology (smart home technology included) is the improvements being made to fit the end user. Gone are the days when a person would have to stick to one process of setting up a lighting system. Nowadays, there are alternatives and options, which I’m a big fan of.
Nowadays, streaming content on the go has become a standard norm, and because of this, TVs and speakers that allow users to do this are rapidly growing in popularity. One of the similarities among devices that support on-the-go content consumption is that they allow casting with Chromecast. I’ll admit, one of the things I find myself doing regularly is sharing video or content with family and friends via my phone. Having that ability to cast it to my TV is an awesome feature.
Using Google’s Chromecast, you can stream music and videos to compatible devices. In addition to this, you can use many mobile apps for accessing your favorite TV shows and playlists without any additional login requirements.
To keep it simple, Chromecast uses Wifi to allow you to cast media from your smartphone, tablet, or computer to other compatible devices. The Google casting technology is a built-in feature for certain selected television sets and allows you to cast your favorite seasons, sports, games, and much more onto a big screen. Additionally, you can use Chromecast to stream podcasts, music, and even the radio to compatible speakers.
One thing that stands out about Chromecast is that it allows you to cast content without any disruption. Using its multi-task features, you can send texts and accept calls without interrupting what’s being streamed to the big screen.
Chromecast uses Wi-Fi to connect to compatible devices and allows you to stream content from anywhere in your house. You can also connect a Chromecast dongle to your TV’s HDMI port and stream your favorite content. It allows you to use your smartphone or tablet as the cast controller for browsing, queueing, and controlling the content.
Chromecast works by using over 1000 Chromecast-enabled apps and allows you to stream over 200,000 tv shows and more than 30 million songs. Simply open a supported app, find something to watch or listen to, and simply tap on the cast button.
In addition to this, you can also use a Google Assistant device or app to control the cast with voice commands. It works wonders with Chromecast built-in devices, but some older models may not function as you’d expect them to.
Devices For Chromecast Built-in
Although many television sets support built-in Chromecast, Google’s own Chromecast dongle is a great entry point for those looking to start with Google’s smart home tech.
Other options, in addition to the Chromecast dongle, are also available. Casting with Chromecast is a built-in feature that comes with the Google Nest Hub Max and the Google Nest Hub. These smart display devices will appear as Chromecasts on your network and allow you to cast video and audio content to them from anywhere in the house. Although many video apps recognize Nest Hubs as a display option, it’s possible that some of the apps may not be compatible. In this regard, it’s an app-by-app basis on compatibility.
As for audio, Google Home speakers are a reliable option because they seamlessly integrate with Chromecast and allow you to enjoy the audio content without any interruptions. You can have your friends and family connect to these speakers as well.
Best Chromecast Built-in Speakers
Google’s own kit is the best go-to option for Chromecast built-in speakers, but other more premium options are also available. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind spending some money, consider the Naim Audio Mu-so Qb. It has the great audio quality and gives control over style and substance.
However, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice can also be a great option if you’re on a budget. It’s compatible with wireless streaming and allows you to cast audio from your smartphone or tablet. Along with these, there’s a wide array of Chromecast built-in speakers, each one with unique functionalities, that you can choose from.
Best Chromecast Built-in TVs
Generally, any television set that comes with Android TV supports Chromecast standard built-in, and you don’t need to buy any additional devices to cast your content.
Sony has been committed to launching Android TVs that support Chromecast capabilities. Some of these TV sets include the Bravia XR Z9K, Bravia XR A95K, and the Bravia XR A90K. In addition to Sony, other manufacturers that provide Chromecast built-in TVs and displays include Philips, Skyworth, and Vizio. You can also connect the Nvidia TV Shield or the Nvidia TV Shield Pro to your existing TV’s HDMI port to enable Chromecast capabilities.
Setting Up Google Chromecast
You’ll have to set up Chromecast with your TV or speakers to cast your media. You must plug a Chromecast device into your TV and download the Google Home App.
Then simply search and select the devices you want to connect, and enjoy casting your favorite movies, shows, or music to any TV or speaker in your house.
Chromecast: A Solid Casting Option For Families
Google Chromecast is the best option for those who want to consume content on the go. Numerous devices support Chromecast built-in, and additional devices can be connected to an existing TV’s HDMI port for casting as well. Once connected, casting with Chromecast will allow you to cast your favorite movies or tv seasons to the big screen or listen to music or podcasts from anywhere in the house.
Google Assistant is a powerful tool that can help you with everything from setting alarms to checking the score of your favorite team. But what if you want Google Assistant to help you out with more than just regular tasks? Google Assistant can do a lot of incredible things when it comes to smart home automation. We wanted to show you how to add devices like smart lights, thermostats, and even microwaves to Google Assistant so that you can control them with your voice and really leverage the power of smart home automation. Google Assistant is useful in our daily tasks, and it really can make your life easier. Adding devices to Google Assistant is actually quite easy. Getting your devices connected with your assistant will allow you to control your own home from basically anywhere.
Why Add a Device to Google Assistant
If you haven’t already, you should definitely add any and all compatible smart devices to your Google Assistant. Here are a few reasons why. First of all, it’s really about convenience. You can use your voice to do things like set timers, add items to your shopping list, or play music. And since Google Assistant is always getting smarter, new features and capabilities are always added. There are a TON of cool things you can do with your Google Assistant. Secondly, it’s a great way to stay connected with your family and friends. With Google Assistant, you can make hands-free calls or send messages without ever having to pick up your phone.
Another reason, it’s just plain fun! With Google Assistant, you can ask it anything you want and get a response. Finally, adding a device to your Google Assistant making it part of your smart home ecosystem will unlock your smart device’s true potential. I love being able to tell my smart home to shut down at night. This triggers smart locks to lock, Wifi to shut down on my kids’ devices, shut my garage door, and a list of other clever smart home features. Whether you’re curious about the weather forecast or just want to hear a joke, Google Assistant is a great assistant for your smart devices.
One thing you need to know before buying a smart device (if you want to connect it through Google Assistant) is to make sure it is compatible with Google Assistant. Most newer smart devices are compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so it shouldn’t be an issue for more. But you’re going to want to double-check. Adding a device to your Google Assistant is rather easy.
First, download the Google Home App and sign up for a new Google Account or Sign In to a preexisting account. And then, “Get Started”. To get started, you’ll need a Google assistant-enabled speaker (Google Nest Speaker, for example) and a secure Wi-Fi network. If you’re using an iPhone, turn your Bluetooth on. Now, open the app and tap setup. If you don’t see the setup, tap the device icon in the right corner of the app’s home screen to add your new device, and also you can choose multiple devices.
After the app connects to your Google Home, you will hear a chime. Then select “Yes”. If will not hear any chime then tap “Try Again”. It really is too easy to mess up. I love Google’s installation and device integration processes. Your Google Home is now ready to use. Just follow the steps on your screen and you’ll be ready to go. Now, you’ll be able to control the added devices to Google Assistant with your voice commands. If you want to connect multiple devices then go to device settings and tap “Multipoint” and now you’ll be able to connect more devices.
You can rename devices in the Google home app. Doing so gives a much clearer overview of your smart home as it’s easier to control devices by conversational voice commands rather than irritating names. You can proceed with setting up Google Assistant once you are connected to Wi-fi. The activation of voice match is the first option. If multiple people are using this Google Home and you want personalized results, this might be helpful. Additionally, you can set Google Home to only respond to your voice. So, with Google Assistant just utilize your favorite smart home devices and add devices to Google Home to create useful routines with how your daily life works.
Adding devices to your Google Assistant is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps. Here’s how:
1. First, open the Google Assistant app on your mobile device.
2. Tap the menu icon in the top left corner of the screen.
3. Select “Add Devices.”
4. You’ll be prompted to choose what kind of device you’d like to add. Choose from options like “Smart Displays,” “Speakers,” and “Chromecast.”
5. Follow the instructions for each type of device to complete the process.
That’s it! As a side note, not every device will communicate as seamlessly as what is described above. If you run into that, one of the most helpful tricks (and I know this will sound cliche) is to perform a search in Google. Simply query, “connect (your device name) to Google Assistant”. I’ve had to do this with a few devices and every time I’ve found a forum thread through Google Support to help.