Imagine having your very own F.R.I.D.A.Y. or Star Trek computer or Knight Industries Two Thousand - an interactive operating system that acts as a virtual assistant or more. With smart technology and artificial intelligence rapidly developing, we are not too far from that reality.
There are a lot of incredible devices embedded with virtual assistants on the market now all serving to make life a little more convenient for consumers. Google Assistant sets itself apart from the rest with its versatility and growing number of useful features. With Google Assistant embedded in your smartphone, smart speaker, television, smart display, wearables, or other smart devices, you might find yourself using your Google Assistant for a few everyday tasks but missing out on some nifty things it could do for you.
Your very own Google Assistant could become your best friend in terms of productivity and can even alleviate stress when you take advantage of its multitude of features called actions. Read on to ensure you’re making the most of your Google Assistant and not missing out on any of these cool and useful actions Google can do for you anytime and anywhere.
Talk Like a Legend
If you’re a big John Legend fan or just want someone famous to talk to, then this is the action for you. Just say, “Hey Google, talk like a Legend,” and Google Assistant will use John Legend’s voice to respond to the following voice commands:
“What’s your favorite type of music?”
“Who is Chrissy Teigen?”
“Tell me a joke.”
Ask Google Assistant to sing you a song and John Legend wqill sing you a little something. Google expects to have more cameo voices in the future, so stay tuned to the Google announcements.
Create Virtual Task or To-do Lists
Do you find yourself going about your day and thinking of items you need to add to your grocery list? If you don’t have a pen and a piece of paper on you, these items can easily slip your mind. If you realize you’ve run out of something or need to pick up something from the store later, simply ask your Google Assistant to add the items to your shopping list. You can later access this list by simply stating, “Hey Google, what’s on my shopping list?”
This can be useful not just for remembering shopping lists, but for to-do lists as well. While physical planners can be a great resource, chances are you’re not going to have them with you 24/7. If you think of a task you need to accomplish, simply ask your Google Assistant to add it to your to-do list. This can be a more efficient way to keep track of to-do list items because your list can be easily accessed at any time and can’t be lost or accidentally thrown away.
Start your day off right by asking your Google Assistant what’s on your to-do list for the day ahead. There is also a routine already set where Google Assistant can brief you on your day (and more) after you say, “Ok Google, good morning!” You can even ask your device to remind you of specific tasks throughout the day so nothing important slips your mind.
Get Reminders Right When You Need Them
Just announced last year, a little-known function of the Google Assistant is its handy location-based reminder feature. You can ask your device to remind you of a task to complete once you reach your designated destination. If you’re someone who easily forgets things, reminders won’t do you much good hours in advance or if you’re receiving them while you’re in the car on the way to your destination. This is where location-based reminders may come in handy. As long as you have Location Services turn on for your smartphone, Google Assistant can remind you of upcoming events, meetings, or tasks to complete when you reach a particular location. For example, you might say “Hey Google, remind me to purchase eggs when I get to the store.” Or you could simply say, “Hey Google, remind me to do laundry when I get home.” This way, you’re not getting overwhelmed with constant reminders of future tasks when you’re in the midst of working on something else.
Google Assistant could also remember where you parked by saying, "Ok Google, remember where I parked." When you need to get back to your car just say, “Hey Google, where did I park?"
Get Good News to Brighten Your Day
Today, we’re often bombarded by negative news everywhere we turn. With too much consumption of negative news, you may find yourself becoming down or lacking inspiration. Google Assistant’s incredible “Good News” feature can be a bright spot in your day by providing you with some feel-good news right when you need it the most. Just say, “Hey Google, tell me something good.” You’ll then receive a series of curated stories from the Solutions Journalism Network.
Take Control of your Smart Home
Smart home technology is becoming increasingly popular because of its convenience and ability to limit unnecessary energy use, securing your home, and automating simple tasks. If you utilize smart home devices within your home, you can access, and modify them without even lifting a finger. This can be particularly helpful when you’re trying to keep your electricity bill down. No matter what room of the house you’re in, you can turn lights on or off as needed or dim a set lights. If have the right LED light bulb, you even change colors to set the right mood for a room. You can setup your device to recognize your lights based on location so you can request things such as, “Okay Google, turn off the porch light,” or “Hey Google, turn on the lights in the entryway.”
With your Chromecast and Android TV, Google Assistant can turn your television on or off without requiring a remote. You can even make more specific commands by instructing your device to play a particular show or movie. For example, you may ask “Hey Google, watch The Office on Netflix.” It can get a little complicated when you have multiple smart televisions or Chromecasts. You’ll just need to add in your command where you want Google Assistant to play.
Don’t want to miss your favorite scene when you get up to get a snack? Simply ask say, “Okay Google, pause,” so Google Assistant can pause the film for you.
Figure Out What Song is Playing
Have you ever been out and about and heard a song you love but don’t know the name of? It can be frustrating when you try to find the tune later on but don’t know enough of the lyrics to locate it online. Google Assistant can tell you exactly what song is playing with a simple vocal command. All you have to do is say, “Ok Google, what’s this song?” Not only will your device tell you the musical artist and title, but it will give you the option of adding the song to your playlist automatically, if you have a YouTube Music playlist. For what it’s worth, YouTube Music now has a free with ads version for Google Home.
Find out when your Favorite Team is Playing
Your Google Assistant can help you make sure you’re always keep up to date with what’s going on in the sports world. You can ask when a particular team is playing and find out on what channels it will be available for viewing. Keep up to date with scores, rankings, and schedules of all your sports.
“Hey Google, do the Dodgers playing next?”
“Ok Google, when are the Stanley Cup playoffs?”
After the completion of a game or match, you can the check scores and access the current statistics for your favorite team or play.
With so many devices embedded with Google Assistant and the number of cool actions being added daily, there is no telling the limits of this virtual assistant and how it can impact our lives. Now, we just need to get one of those Iron Man suits to go along with our very own F.R.I.D.A.Y. and away we go.