10 Google Assistant Features You Should Be Using

Google Assistant prompts you to open Gmail
Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek

Google Assistant is absolutely feature-packed, and it integrates with many other apps and services. If you use Google Assistant on your phone or Nest smart speakers, you’re probably not aware of all the things it can do.

Change the Google Assistant voice

select a frame to hear the sound

First, you don’t have to use the default Google Assistant voice. There are actually a number of voices to choose from, including different accents, and sometimes celebrity “cameos”. If you’re going to listen to Google Assistant often, it can be a nice sound too.

CONNECTED. How to change Google Assistant voice

Schedule of announcements “Family call”

turn announcements on or off

One of my favorite Google Assistant features is Family Bell. It allows you to schedule special announcements that can be made through smart speakers or displayed on phones. It’s really handy for keeping your household (and the people in it) running smoothly.

CONNECTED. Why should you use Google Assistant Family Call?

Start your day with Good Morning

select the actions and tap the gear to configure them

Actions play a big role in making Google Assistant work for you. The Good Morning mode is especially useful when you’re in an early morning grouch. Just say “Ok Google, good morning” and you can read everything you need for the day.

CONNECTED. How to set up and use Google Assistant’s Good Morning mode

Get a checklist for your morning and night routine

Check the items on the smart screen.
Joe Fedeva / How-To Geek

Google Assistant can help you start and end your day with a to-do checklist. You can make a list of tasks and then have Google guide you through them at designated times and days of the week. This feature only works with Assistant-enabled speakers and displays.

CONNECTED. How to Create a Google Assistant Checklist (Morning or Bedtime)

Use Google Assistant on a Chromebook

Google Assistant isn’t just for iPhones and Android devices. If you have a Chromebook, you can also use Google Assistant. It can be launched with the “OK Google” command, the launcher’s search bar, or a keyboard shortcut. It’s essentially the same experience as with phones.

Send text messages with Google Assistant

send a message with an assistant

Don’t want to open your text app and type a message? Google Assistant can do this for you. Just launch Assistant and say “Send a message [contact name]”, then Google will ask what you’d like the message to say and send it for you. Easy peasy.

CONNECTED. How to send text messages with Google Assistant

Take action within apps

example of shortcuts

Google Assistant isn’t limited to Google-y things. It can also perform actions inside some of your favorite apps, like Instagram, Venmo, Strava, Discord, and many of Google’s own apps. For example, you can create a command that opens Spotify in the Made For You tab. That’s pretty powerful.

Translate conversations in real time

how to start translator mode

Google Assistant can translate words and phrases for you, but it can be much more useful than that. The Translator Mode feature aims to make it easier to chat with someone who speaks a language you don’t know. Once started, Assistant will automatically translate the conversation as it happens.

CONNECTED. How to use Google Assistant’s translator mode

Set up parental controls for Google Assistant speakers

Select people to include.

Google Assistant-enabled speakers and displays are fine for use around the house, but you might not want everyone in the house to have free reign over them — *cough* kids *cough*. Fortunately, Google offers several ways to limit who can use speakers, when they can use them, and what access they can have.

CONNECTED. How to use parental controls on Google Assistant speakers

Delete Google Assistant recordings

delete everything in one day

There’s no getting around the fact that Google records a lot of information about you. The good news is that the company allows you to delete that information or prevent it from being recorded in the first place. When you use Google Assistant, your voice commands and instructions are saved to your account. You can delete them manually, delete them automatically, or opt out entirely.

CONNECTED. How to delete Google Assistant recordings

Google Assistant is an incredibly powerful product with many features. There are many useful commands at your disposal. Hopefully, these tips will help you get the most out of Google’s virtual assistant. It’s still much more useful than AI chatbots like Google Bard.

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