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Home / Tips and Tricks / This Google Home feature that hides in plain sight is one of the best – here’s how to use it

This Google Home feature that hides in plain sight is one of the best – here’s how to use it



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Yes, it’s smart, but a Google Home Mini or Nest Mini can also work as a basic Bluetooth speaker.

Josh Miller / CNET

One of Google Home ($ 130 at QVC) features I use the most are also among the simplest. Yes, Google Home Devices is good at calculate mathematical problems, reports the weather and serves fun games. But they are also good Bluetooth speakers that let you stream whatever music, podcast or audiobook you want from your phone or tablet.

Why does it matter? Well, maybe you’re listening to a service that Google Home does not support, like Apple Music or Audible. (Complete information: I have both.) Or when friends come over and you want to DJ party. Sometimes I simply prefer to control what is played on my speakers with my phone and not my voice.

Whatever your reason, here you connect a phone, tablet or even a laptop or desktop to your Google home with Bluetooth.

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Bluetooth pairing a Google Home smart speaker with your phone is pretty simple.

Matt Elliott / CNET

First, you need to introduce your devices to each other

If you have never connected your phone, tablet or computer to your Google Home device with Bluetooth before, the first time is a little more complicated. Once they are paired, they remember each other and it becomes much easier to connect and disconnect. To pair with Bluetooth for the first time:

1. Say “OK, Google, go into pairing mode.” You can also say “pair Bluetooth” or “turn on Bluetooth.”

2. Google Assistant responds, “To connect, open Bluetooth settings and look for the named device [the name you gave your device]. “

3. Open settings app on your mobile device or computer, go to Bluetooth settings and look for the name of your Google Home device and click or tap on any of them Unit name or the word or button for Connect.

4. Google Home plays a sound indicating that your devices are now connected. Now all the sound you play on your phone, tablet or computer is played through your Google Home speaker.

5. To disconnect, say “Hello, Google, turn off Bluetooth.” Google Assistant says “Bluetooth is off” to confirm.

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Once you’ve paired your device with Google Home, you can connect and disconnect with just voice commands.

Josh Miller / CNET

How to connect after you have already paired once

From there and out, it’s pretty simple. When you want to connect, start with “Okay Google” or “Hello, Google” then say one of the following:

  • “Connect to my phone.”
  • “Connect to my device.”
  • “Connect Bluetooth.”

Google Assistant answers “Looking for paired devices” and then plays a sound when you are connected. Say, “Hello, Google, turn off Bluetooth” when you are done.

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Be careful – if Google Assistant asks if you want to “clear” Bluetooth devices, say no and try the command again, otherwise it will disconnect with everything.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Watch out for this glitch, though

While testing this process on a number of different Google Home devices – both speakers and monitors – I sometimes tried to disconnect my phone and Google Home asked, “You want to clear your list of paired Bluetooth devices, right?”

If your Google Assistant asks this, the final answer is “No”.

If you clear the list of paired devices, Google Home will forget the device you just paired (and any other devices you’ve ever paired with as well). Not only do you have to go back and redo the first pairing steps described above, you will probably need to go into your mobile device or your computer’s Bluetooth settings and “forget” the Google Home device from there as well. Otherwise, you may get the same error message as me that your device cannot connect to Google Home all of a sudden.

I think the more uses I can come up with, the more I love using Google Home. Most people listen to music on their smart speakers – To dial the exact song you just want with your voice. Another simple feature that I use every day: How to turn off timers and alarms when you are no longer in the same room (without shouting).


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