I bought a Google Home Hub after the price went down because I was interested in all of the Google Assistant perks. There are so many things the Google Home Hub can assist you with throughout your day just by simply asking it to.

For example, you can get all of your news updates in one 5- or 10-minute session with videos. The Hub can be your new alarm clock, show you how to cook, give you the daily forecast, and remind you of your calendar events.

The following tips will ensure you know at least seventeen (17) things you can do with your Google Home Hub, but I assure you there are plenty more.

Tip 1: Plan Your Day/Review Your Day

Google Home Hub lets you easily set up daily routines (which we will get to in the next tip). However, once they are established each day you are reminded of what is on your daily calendar by saying “Hey Google, show my agenda for the day.” Google Assistant reviews the calendar that you have synced to the Google Hub and can let you know what meetings and other events you have planned so that you do not have to look at your phone.

You can also tell Google to remind you to do something. For example, “Hey Google, remind me to call Ted when I get to work” or “Remind me to email Catherine when I get to work”.

The goal is to navigate your morning and day with as much ease and convenience as possible.

Tip 2: Set Up Routines

Speaking of routines, routines are set up to help you stay informed, up-to-date, and prepared. Google Assistant will execute multiple actions to give weather updates, turn on or off lights/fans, play music to relax, or read your calendar events to prepare you for your day.

To set up new routine:

  1. Ensure you are connected to your WiFi, as is your Google Home Hub.
  2. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  3. In the bottom right-hand corner of the application, tap Account.
  4. Verify the account shown is the one linked to your Google Home.
  5. Tap More Settings.
  6. Tap Assistant.
    1. Tap Routines
    1. Select the Routine you would like to add by tapping the box next to the action
    1. Adjust the settings for your Routine by tapping the settings icon next to the action

You can also get to routines by selecting the routine icon on the home screen of the Google Home app.

An example routine would be setting up a routine for your commute to work which would tell you about traffic, weather, and calendar reminders for your day. Google Home Hub essentially performs multiple actions in one routine all by saying “Hey Google, let’s go to work.”

Tip 3: Provide a Daily Forecast

Your Google Home Hub can present daily forecasts from the home screen of your device in three-day increments. You can also set up a custom routine that will provide you with the forecast in the morning or at bedtime. However, you can also ask Google very specific questions such as:

  • If it is windy outside.
  • What the current weather forecast looks like.
  • What the weather is in Celsius.
  • If it is going to rain.
  • What the weather is in another town.

Google is smart enough to answer a wide variety of questions. So, if you are planning a business trip, a lake trip, or are just planning your week, Google Assistant is there to support you.

Tip 4: Plays Music

You have the option of customizing your Google Home Hub to play music on the music app that you want. Options include YouTube, Amazon, Google Play, Spotify, Pandora, etc. One of the first things you should do is set up Google Home Hub to play music on the default application you want.

Set up your default music application:

  1. Ensure you are connected to your WiFi, as is your Google Home Hub.
  2. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  3. In the bottom right-hand corner of the application, tap Account.
  4. Verify the account shown is the one linked to your Google Home.
  5. Tap Music.
  6. Select the default service you want to use.

One of the neat things you can do with your Google Home Hub is creating a group of media devices that will allow you to play music in multiple rooms just by grouping your audio devices. With that said, all you need to do is add all of your Google Home Speakers in one group by adding each device to your account and putting them in the same group. Now when you play music it will play in multiple rooms throughout your house.

More on linking speakers here.

Tip 5: Play and Control Speakers with Voice Commands

Moving forward with Tip No. 4, once you have your default music application set up all you have to do is ask Google to play music. You can ask Google Assistant to play an artist, a genre, or a specific song. You can even be as specific as to where in your home to play and how loud. For example:

  • “Hey Google, play Blake Shelton on all speakers”
  • “Hey Google, play Old Town Road on the living room group”
  • “Hey Google, set the volume to 2”
  • “Hey Group, play next song”

In Tip No. 2 we talked about setting up routines. In your routines, you have the ability to add music. You can add music to your alarm in the morning, when you come home from work in the evenings, etc. Use routines and music to enhance your experience.

Tip 6: Turn Off the Lights or Dim the Lights

If you have a Philips Hue light bulb you will be in some serious luck and if you do not, I highly encourage you to run out and grab a few. Your Google Home Hub has a Gentle Sleep and Wake feature that will slowly brighten or dim your lights over the course of 30 minutes. The intent is to imitate natural sunrise and sunsets.

To link your Philips Hue Lights:

  1. Set up your lights
    1. Power the light(s)
    1. Plug them in
    1. Download the Philips Hues app and connect the lights
  2. Ensure you are connected to your WiFi, as is your Google Home Hub.
  3. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  4. Tap Add.
  5. Tap Set up Device.
  6. Tap Have something already set up?
  7. Select Philips Hues.
  8. Sign in and follow the steps in the app.

Once the lights are added then you have control. The voice commands available are shown in the below table.

Voice Commands
If you are in the room where the lights are located say: “Hey Google, sleep my lights” “Hey Google, wake my lights”
If you are in a different room than where the lights are located say: “Hey Google, sleep <name of lights>?” “Hey Google, wake <name of lights>”
To schedule a time to wake the lights up say: “Hey Google, wake my lights at 8 am” “Hey Google, wake my lights in the living room at 8 am” – if in a different room “Hey Google, sleep my lights at 10 pm” “Hey Google, sleep my lights in master bedroom at 10 pm” – if in a different room

Tip 7: Control Other Smart Devices

You have the ability to control numerous devices with your Google Home Hub from your entertainment devices, thermostats, lights, to your home security system. Using a smart plug you can even control appliance such as vacuums with your voice. Talk about next generation!

To set up devices:

  1. Set up each of you smart home devices as required by the device itself
  2. Ensure you are connected to your WiFi, as is your Google Home Hub.
  3. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  4. Tap Add.
  5. Tap Set up Device.
  6. Tap Have something already set up?
  7. Select the specific manufacturer in question.
  8. Sign in and follow the steps in the app.

Also, note that you can set up nicknames for each of your devices and assign them to a particular room in your home.

Tip 8: Filter Content

Google has allowed us the ability to filter content such as explicit music or specific video content from YouTube or Google Play. This is extremely important for young kids in the house. Digital Wellbeing can be applied to everyone using the account or just Supervised Accounts and guests.

Google Home Hub also has a downtime feature that functions in such a way that most commands and questions will not be responded to during a certain time period. Alarms, timers, schedules will continue to functions per usual.

To set up a filter:

  1. Ensure you are connected to your WiFi, as is your Google Home Hub.
  2. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Digital Wellbeing.
  5. Tap Set Up
  6. Tap Next
  7. Choose who you want filters to be applied to
    1. Everyone
    1. Only Supervised Accounts and guests
  8. Choose devices to filter and tap Next
  9. Video: Filters out mature content or blocks all videos
  10. Music: Filters out songs with potentially mature content that have been identified as explicit by music providers.
  11. Additional controls:
    1. Decided whether to allow calls on your devices,
    1. Limit answers that your Assistant providers to basic subjects like weather or calculations, and
    1. Choose whether to block third-party Assistant actions that aren’t designated as family-friendly.
  12. Tap Done

Tip 9: Add a Screensaver

Give your Google Home Hub more personality by setting up your display so that the home screen sorts through some of your favorite pictures. You may select pictures from the following options:

  • Google Photos: slideshow of selected memories from your Google photos (randomly selected)
  • Art Gallery: curated art images (4 different selections)
  • Fullscreen Clock: your choice of clocks
  • Experimental: Selected Facebook or Flickr content

To set up a filter:

  1. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  2. Tap Your Google Home Hub Display.
  3. Tap Settings in the top right-hand corner.
  4. Tap Photo Frame.
  5. Choose:
    1. Google Photos
    1. Art Gallery
    1. Fullscreen clock
    1. Experiment

After your selection you will be able to choose specific phots in some cases.

Tip 10:  Cooking Assistant

If you are anything like me, you need a few extra tips and steps to get through a dinner recipe. Your Google Home Hub is a perfect companion in the kitchen. She can tell you exactly how long a recipe will take to prepare, cook, and the included nutritional value.

If you are in the mood for Italian just ask Google Assistant to look for something, sort through the recipes and select the one you want. You can see all the included ingredients, just in case you need to make a run the store up front.

Google will then walk you through the steps of the recipe by voice commands. You can talk back and forth for example:

  • “Hey Google, what’s the next ingredient?”
  • “Hey Google, skip to the instructions”
  • “Hey Google, what’s the next step?
  • “Hey Google, repeat the last step”

Cooking has never been so easy, even for those that claim to be terrible in the kitchen like myself.

Tip 11: Make Calls

Your Google Home Hub lets you make and receive calls for free over Wi-Fi, but you can also use video calling by utilizing Google’s Duo video application. You have the ability to set up and dictate who is allowed to make calls in your household, which is extremely important. The great thing is the device is smart enough to know who is making a call by voice recognition and use their contact list only. This is perfect which you have conflicting contact names.

–Please note that emergency calls cannot be made using the Google Home Hub.–

To set up mobile calling and download contacts:

  1. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  2. Tap Your Google Home Hub Display.
  3. Tap Settings in the top right-hand corner.
  4. Tap More Setting.
  5. Tap Services.
  6. Tap Video & video calls. Choose:
    1. Add or Change Phone Number
    1. Use Unlisted Number
  7. Under Contacts Upload, tap Upload Now to upload all of your mobile contacts.

Now you have the ability to use voice commands to call the contacts on your phone. For example, “Hey Google, Call John Doe” and “Hey Google, hang up.”

Tip 12: Google Home Hub Can Speak in Several Different Language

Google has invested in a wide range of customers by making the Google Home Hub smart display functional in English (Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States), Francais (Canada and France), and Deutsh (Deutschland).

However, there are 34 different Google Assistant speaking languages available as well as 11 voices to select from.

To select a different language or Assistant Voice:

  1. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  2. Tap Your Google Home Hub Display.
  3. Tap Settings in the top right-hand corner.
  4. Tap More Setting.
  5. Tap Assistant in the menu.
  6. Tap Languages or Assistant voice.

Tip 13: Shop with your Voice

Google has roughly fifty (50) stores set up to purchase through on Google Home Hub such as Ace Hardware, Moosejaw, Gymboree, Buy Buy Baby, Staples, etc.

To ensure you can add items to your shopping cart:

  1. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  2. Tap Your Google Home Hub Display.
  3. Tap Settings in the top right-hand corner.
  4. Tap More Setting.
  5. Tap Assistant in the menu.
  6. Tap on your Google Home Hub device under Assistant Devices.
  7. Ensure Personal Results is enabled.

Make sure that you have a payment set up so that you can start adding items to your cart. To add products to your cart:

  • “Hey Google, add staples to my shopping cart.”
  • “Hey Google, add staples to my shopping cart from Staples.”

Tip 14: Volume Control/Microphone Muting

Although you can tell Google Assistant to lower the volume there is a physical volume control button on the back right of the display for quick easy adjustment. You can adjust the volume up or down.

There is also a physical microphone mute button on the back center of the display that allows you to mute the microphone by toggling it to the right. There are a few occasions where muting your microphone is beneficial and needed.

Tip 15: It Is an Alarm Clock

It is very simple to set up your Google Home Hub as an everyday alarm. You can do this in one of two ways: voice command or by swiping up from the bottom of the display. Now, you can use in a simple manner by setting it to go off every day at the same time for a morning wake up call. You can set additional alarms to remind you to take evening medication as well, by naming your alarms different names.

You can also snooze your alarm by simply saying “Hey Google, snooze alarm”. Other features include canceling your alarm by saying, “Hey Google, cancel alarm for 7:30 am”. You can also ask what alarms are set, set the length of time your snooze is, and even have characters from movies remind you of alarms. Alarms can be fun by customizing them to your liking.

Tip 16: Find a Great Restaurant to Eat At

If it is Friday night and the family wants to go out to eat instead of cooking a meal, all you have to do is ask Google for nearby restaurants. For example, “Hey Google, what restaurants are nearby”. Google will produce a list of nearby restaurants for you to look through then provides directions to the one you want you want to eat at.

Tip 17: Nest Hello Doorbell Live Feed

If you have a Nest Hello Doorbell you will be able to activate announcements and live feed view on your Google Home Hub. First, make sure you have Visitor Announcements enabled in your Nest application. This will ensure that when a visitor approaches your door the feed will automatically pop up on your Google Home Hub allowing you to see who is at your door. You will also get a speaker notification telling you that a visitor as at your door.

To set up your Nest Hello Doorbell:

  1. Set up the Nest device first in the Nest application
  2. Ensure you are connected to your WiFi, as is your Google Home Hub.
  3. On your mobile device, open the Google Home application.
  4. Tap Add.
  5. Tap Set up Device.
  6. Select Nest.
  7. Sign in and follow the steps in the app.