Google Voice recruiting testers for new Wi-Fi (or mobile data) calling feature

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For mobile users juggling a bunch of different devices, Google Voice can be something of a godsend. Not only does it let you share a single point of contact through which people can reach you no matter which phone or tablet you’re carrying at the moment, but it does so without requiring the party on the other end to install a specific app — everything travels over regular voice calls and text messages.

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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.

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Google removes GApps 100 device limit for uncertified devices, fixes device registration page

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Late last month, Google announced it would block the Play Store and Google Play Services from running on ‘uncertified’ devices. This was meant to keep OEMs from sideloading the Play Store on devices not approved by Google. The company offered a way for custom ROM users to register their devices, but it was a complicated process, because the registration page didn’t actually provide instructions.

Since then, Google has been making tweaks to the process, and now two annoying requirements have been removed.

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Google now purchases more renewable energy than it consumes as a company

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google announced in a blog post that it now purchases more renewable energy than it consumes as a company. Google began these efforts in 2017, with the goal of purchasing as much renewable energy as it uses across its 13 data centers and all of its office complexes.

To be clear, Google is not powering all of its energy consumption with renewable energy. It’s matching what it consumes with equal amounts of purchased renewable energy. For every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed, it buys a kilowatt-hour from a wind or solar farm built specifically for Google. The company says that its total purchase of energy from sources like wind and solar now exceeds the amount of electricity used by its operations.

Google says it currently has…

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Google hits 100% renewable energy goal

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Google announced plans in late 2016 to increase its spending on renewable energy. In fact, Google intended to go 100% renewable. Today, Google announced it met the goal last year of matching all of its global energy usage with purchases of renewable energy.

This does not mean Google’s facilities all run on 100% renewable energy. It’s logistically difficult to get enough power from wind or solar in all locations to only use renewables.

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Google uses wind and solar to offset all of its operational energy use

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In late 2016, Google announced that it expected to offset all of its office and data center electricity use with 100 percent renewable energy in 2017. Today, the company says it achieved that goal. Google has been working on reducing its carbon footp…
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Google will no longer accept Chrome extensions that mine cryptocurrency

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Starting today, Google’s Chrome Web Store will no longer accept extensions that mine cryptocurrency. The company says there had been a rise in “malicious extensions” over the past few months which appear to be useful, but are actually embedding hidden cryptocurrency mining scripts that run in the background without consent, consuming valuable computing resources. Google says existing extensions will be delisted from the Chrome Web Store in late June, though extensions with blockchain-related purposes “other than mining” will still be permitted.

Google had previously allowed cryptocurrency mining in extensions as long as it was the extension’s single purpose and the user was informed about the process. However, Google said that around 90…

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Apple hires John Giannandrea, who previously worked on search and AI on Google

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Apple Siri iPhone 6 Plus

Apple’s Siri assistant has caught a lot of flak lately for not performing nearly as well as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, but the company may have just made a huge move to change that.

Apple has hired John Giannandrea to run its “machine learning and AI strategy,” according to a report from The New York Times. Giannandrea previously spent 10 years at Google working on search and AI, and news that he was leaving Google came out just yesterday.

“Our technology must be infused with the values we all hold dear,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an internal email about this hiring. “John shares our commitment to privacy and our thoughtful approach as we make computers even smarter and more personal.” Giannandrea will report directly to Cook.

Apple has offered Siri in iOS for years now, but it hasn’t been improving at nearly the same rate as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. While Siri can handle functions like answering questions, setting timers and reminders, and telling you sports scores and the weather, it’s considered by many to be quite a bit less accurate and powerful than its digital assistant counterparts.

We’ll have to wait and see if Giannandrea can help make Siri better so that it’s more competitive with Google and Amazon’s assistants, but his hiring is certainly exciting news for iOS users.

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New Google Search update makes it easier to compare movies by ratings, timings, and location

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Google has pushed out a new update to its Search app. The update is aimed at making your movie planning experience smoother as it brings along the ability to compare movies using filters like ratings, show times, and theater location. “If you have a favorite theater, you can check out what’s playing by location, and narrow your search with filters,” the company explains in a blog post. The new feature is available on both Google Search Android app as well as mobile browsers in India and the US, with English and Hindi as currently supported languages. The Search for iOS app will…

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Google Maps doubles points for Local Guides reviews

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The number of points awarded to Google Maps Local Guides for submitting reviews is doubling from five to 10, Google announced in a blog post today. Google says the change is rolling out “over a few weeks.”

This is the latest development in an ongoing campaign to increase user-submitted content. Back in October, the Local Guides program added badges for different types of contributions, and Maps increased the amount of points awarded for “detailed reviews”—those longer than 200 characters—from the base five up to 10 in November.

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