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Google Home: 5 Surprising Things Your Smart Speaker Can Do


New Nest Audio is the latest addition to the Google Home family.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Almost any thought that pops into your head can turn into a trick for Google Home, Nest Audio, Nest Mini and so on. Do you need to crack some numbers and be too lazy to find your phone? Google Home can calculate that far faster. Not sure how to spell a word? Google Home knows how. The list of issues you can solve with Google Home is as endless as Google’s search results.

Once you have mastered the basics – play music, check the weather, play games – it’s time to expand your repertoire. Here are some of the best not-so-obvious questions and commands you can (and should) ask Google Home:

Google Home can make your restaurant booking

Just say, “OK, Google, book a table for two at Spago at 7 tonight.” Google Home then guides you through booking a booking. It is not completely glitchless. You may be asked to provide information that you have already provided (“How many in your party?”) But it is still remarkably – surprisingly – easy to do. It’s at least a lot easier than navigating the Open Table Booking Services website, filling out web forms and clicking the drop-down menus.


Do not worry about the physical volume button – adjust in steps of 100 with your voice.

Chris Monroe / CNET

The volume controls are much more flexible than you might think

This is not an exact question, but it’s a solution to a problem you may not even know you had. You can adjust the volume by saying a number from 1 to 10: “Hello, Google, set the volume to 5” for example.

But the volume of Google Home speakers actually has a lot more settings than 10. Hundred, actually. This means that if 5 is too high but 4 is too quiet, you can tell Google Home that “set volume to 4.5” or “turn the volume to 45%” (either you get the same result). You will never listen to a volume again.


You can get the weather report for the next ten days, right up to the hour, just by asking.

Dale Smith / CNET

Tell detailed weather forecasts

Sure, it’s nice to find out if you need a jacket before you leave the house, but “Hey, Google, what’s the weather like today?” just saying what’s happening now. What happens if you are planning a weekend trip or outdoor meeting? You can ask Google Home for the weather forecast not only on a certain day but even a certain hour of the day. Try questions like these (starting with “Hello,” or “OK, Google …”)

  • “How will the temperature be at 11 pm?”
  • “How windy will it be at 7 o’clock tonight?”
  • “Will it rain on Friday at 5pm?”

Google Home knows celebrities better than TMZ

Suppose you are watching the 1998 outbreak with Matt Damon in the lead role. You know he was practically a child then, but you do not remember how young he was. Question, “Hi Google, how old was Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting?” (He was 26, but his character was 20.)

And anytime you catch one of the latest big ones on YouTube, ask, “Hi, Google, how old was Johnny Carson when he died?” (He was 79).


Find out if you have time to get to the store before they close by asking Google Home for opening hours.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Google Home knows opening hours, phone numbers, travel times

This one is pretty simple. Everything you want to know about a store you are considering visiting, from opening hours (including usually updated pandemic hours) to phone numbers (but you have to set up Google Home as a speakerphone if you want to call from the device itself) to directions to the nearest location, just ask (“Hello,” or “OK, Google …”)

  • “Where is the nearest best buy?”
  • “What’s closing Walmart?”
  • “What is the number for / call the nearest Walgreens.”

Of course, in order for all these tips to work properly, you want to make sure your Google home is set up correctly. How to use fix problems with Voice Match, the technology that identifies who’s talking to Google Home. Bump your security settings with these two privacy tips. And make sure that turn off these five settings for the best Google Home experience.

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