Using Google Assistant Routines to Automate Your Morning, Noon, and Night

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Google Assistant is fast becoming one of the most valuable and useful personal assistant services available to Android users today. The recent addition of Google Assistant Routines only adds to that usefulness.

The following new routines are now available in your Google Assistant mobile app:

  • Good morning
  • Bedtime
  • Leaving home
  • I’m home
  • Commuting to work
  • Commuting home

These are fixed routines. You can’t add or remove them, but you can customize each so that they perform multiple actions at once when you say the trigger phrase (also customizable).

In this article, we’ll look at how to set up Google Assistant Routines and how four easy routines can automate your daily life.

How to Configure Google Assistant Routines

Accessing Google Assistant Routines is easy. Just click on the blue icon in the upper right corner of Google Assistant.

Then, click on Settings.

google assistant routines automate daily life

In the Settings menu, click on Routines.

Here, you’ll see all available routines. Only one routine was available when Google first launched this feature, so it seems they’re slowly expanding the list. Or hopefully, users will be able to add their own routines to the list at some point.

google assistant routines automate daily life

You can open each routine to customize them.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these four key routines.

1. Good Morning

Think about all the things you do in the morning. Maybe you grab your phone and turn off silent mode. Then you scroll through the weather forecast. You probably review your schedule for the morning.

It’s a known fact that productive people have a good morning routine.

With Google Assistant, all you have to do is say “OK Google, Good morning” and you can have the Assistant do any (or all) of those actions.

google assistant routines automate daily life

Available actions under the Good Morning routine include:

  • Take the phone off silent
  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Hear the weather
  • Learn traffic conditions and estimated time of your commute
  • Hear upcoming calendar events and reminders
  • Adjust phone volume (to your preset morning setting)
  • Play music, news, radio, or a podcast

The audio services like music and radio will access the default services you have installed on your phone. You can change these by clicking on the gear icon next to each action.

2. Commuting To and From Work

Part of your morning routine might be things you normally do on your way to work, like listen to the weather report or play your favorite podcast.

If you say “OK Google, Let’s go to work”, all actions you configured to happen under this routine will trigger one after the other.

google assistant routines automate daily life

Available actions under the Commuting to work routine include:

  • Hear commute conditions
  • Listen to the weather
  • Listen to your calendar agenda or reminders
  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Adjust phone volume (to your preset commute setting)
  • In the end, play music, news, radio, or a podcast

Available actions under the Commuting from work routine include:

  • Hear commute conditions
  • Send or listen to texts
  • Broadcast you’re on your way home to Google Home devices
  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Adjust phone volume (to your preset commute setting)
  • In the end, play music, news, radio, or a podcast

Just think of all the fiddling with your phone you currently do in the morning or when leaving work. You might sit and check the weather, then launch your favorite Spotify channel and adjust the volume. This prevents you from leaving right away. Save a few minutes and let Google Assistant perform all those tasks for you as you’re backing out of the driveway.

If you need some podcasts for your commute, make sure to read Kayla’s list of podcasts for commuters.

3. Leaving or Arriving Home

There’s another time of day when you waste a lot of time adjusting things to your liking. That’s when you leave the house, or when you arrive home.

You adjust the thermostat to save energy, turn down your phone volume so it doesn’t interfere with family time, or maybe you have a habit of shouting out “I’m home!”

google assistant routines automate daily life

When you tell Google Assistant “I’m leaving” or “I’m heading out”, you can automatically control Smart Home devices or adjust the thermostat. Available actions under the I’m home routine (when you say “I’m home” or “I’m back”) include:

  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Adjust phone volume (to your preset commute setting)
  • Broadcast that you’re home via Google Home
  • Hear your “home reminders”
  • In the end, play music, news, radio, or a podcast

Yes, Google Assistant can even announce that you’re home via all of your Google Home devices!

Should you buy Google Home? We reviewed Google Home and recommended that you should. If you do decide to buy one, be sure to use our Google Home setup guide to get it working just right.

4. Going to Bed

When you go to bed, there are many things you probably do and you don’t even think about it. Maybe you listen to some music or soothing sounds for a while. You probably set your phone alarm. Many people turn down the thermostat so cut down on heating costs.

Google Assistant has you covered at bedtime as well.

google assistant routines automate daily life

Available actions under the Bedtime routine include:

  • Trigger smart home devices
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Put the phone on silent
  • Hear tomorrow’s weather
  • Hear tomorrow’s first calendar event
  • Set your alarm
  • Adjust your phone’s volume
  • In the end, play music or your default “sleep sounds”

When you’re exhausted at night, it’s wonderful to just say “OK Google, good night” and have everything taken care of for you. You just have to close your eyes and get some much-needed sleep.

Smart gadgets can help you sleep better, and now Google Assistant joins the list of technology to improve your rest.

Configuring Defaults for Google Assistant

If you haven’t used Google Assistant before, don’t forget to go into Settings and configure all your defaults. This way when you tell Google Assistant to “play music”, it’ll know what kind of music you like.

Also for “send a text” to work under the Commuting From Work routine, you’ll need to type in the number to text and the message to send.

google assistant routines automate daily life

You’ll also need to make sure all of your smart home devices are integrated with Google Assistant. You can access this under Settings, and then go to Home Control.

In the Home Control screen, just click on the blue plus icon to add a new device. Select your device from the list of compatible smart home hardware, and go through the authentication procedure.

google assistant routines automate daily life

You’ll only have to do this once. Once all your smart home devices are integrated with Google Assistant, you can start controlling them with your voice as often as you like.

Is Google Assistant Right for You?

Many people think that they wouldn’t be able to find any practical use for voice control. It does take a while to get used to talking to your phone. But after just a few days of using Google Assistant routines, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

Once you become familiar with its basic features, you can always return and use Routines to automate your daily life in ways you never imagined possible.

Google Assistant is also available for iPhone users, and there are plenty of reasons iPhone users should start using it too. If you’re just getting started with Google Assistant, I highly recommend reading Ben’s complete guide to using Google Assistant.

iPhone and iPad – MakeUseOf

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To get your Secure attached to Google Assistant, you have to open your Nest app and check the messages.

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After an unusually busy week of updates, Google capped it off with a late-Friday rollout of its central app. As we should expect, there aren’t any immediately obvious changes to the interface from installing this update – those will appear in the coming weeks as Google switches them on remotely. However, we’ve got a teardown of the APK that covers some of what we’ll be seeing in the future.

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About a month ago, Google announced that 30 more languages would be coming to Google Assistant ”over the next few months.” The languages mentioned there included Hindi, Indonesian, Norwegian, Swedish, among others. Of those, the only one that has arrived thus far is Hindi, but Indonesian is now taking second place.

Language support is pretty confusing in Google-land. Allo is the only Google voice service that already supported Indonesian, but the newly-added Assistant is the most important one since it’s what people will be using from their phones and tablets.

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Google Play audiobooks get Smart Resume, bookmarks and Assistant routines support

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Google Play Audiobooks is getting a major update today that adds a number of new features to the service that were sorely missing when it launched earlier this year. None of these are groundbreaking, but they’ll help Google reach feature parity with some of its competitors while injecting a bit of its proprietary smarts into the process, too.

Maybe the most useful new feature in today’s release is Smart Resume. Instead of picking up in the middle of a sentence or even word when your audiobook playback gets interrupted (maybe by Google Maps giving you directions or a friendly passerby who is asking for directions while you are clearly listening to an audiobook). Depending on the length of the interruption, this new feature will smartly rewind to the beginning of the word or sentence to help you stay in the flow.

Also new in this update are the ability to set bookmarks so you can easily go back to your favorite part of a book and the ability to speed up the audio — or slow it down so you can really savor your favorite passage in Ulysses. Both of these features were definitely missing in the first release.

If you’re a regular Google Assistant user and are already making use of the recently launched Routines feature, you’ll be happy to hear that you can now choose to continue your audiobooks when you wake up or start your commute.

And if you have family that’s spread around the world, you’ll be happy to hear that support for Google’s Family Library, which allows you to share Google Play purchases like apps, games, movies, e-books and audiobooks, is now rolling out in 13 new countries: Belgium, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Mexico, Japan (audiobooks only) and South Africa.

All of these new features are now available on iOS and Android.

 

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Google Assistant can now send or request money

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Google Assistant send or request money

Google Assistant continues to become more like a real assistant, learning abilities to make your life easier.

Google Assistant can now send or request money from your friends. Just say something like “Send $ 10 to Jill Smith for dinner” and Google Assistant will prepare to send money to your friend. You’ll then authenticate the Google Pay payment and off it’ll go.

It’s free to send and receive money, and your friend can get their money even if they don’t have the Google Pay app installed. They’ll receive an email, text, or notification if they do have Google Pay.

The ability to send or request money via Google Assistant is now live on Android and iOS in the U.S. Google says that you’ll be able to send money using smart speakers like Google Home “in the coming months.”

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Every week, I examine somewhere in the neighborhood of a hundred app updates while looking for changes. The most interesting things turn into APK Teardowns or Download posts. Many of the remaining updates are unremarkable, amounting to a few bug fixes, routine updates to libraries, or even just pixel-level adjustments to layouts and images. However, there are usually a few updates that land somewhere in between. I don’t want to spam readers with dozens of short posts, but I hate to ignore things that people might want to know about, so I’m going to wrap up the leftovers for a little weekend reading and call it Update Notes.

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