How the Google Home can act as your own personal assistant 

Anna Hecht
Updated 17th January 2018

Story highlights

  • The Google Home will act as your assistant by setting your alarm, telling you the weather, updating you on the news and more.

As someone who is fascinated by new technology — but doesn't always have the time or patience to bother with it — I felt a mixture of apprehension and excitement as I unboxed my new Google Home ($129.99; target.com) . When I saw its small size, I was curious as to how this gadget could live up to its reputation as a "24/7 assistant" for your daily life. But given its stylish, modern design (and the hype already surrounding this product), I was curious to give this thing a test drive. 

I started by installing the Google Home app on my iPhone 7 Plus. Immediately, I was prompted to say aloud a few basic commands, such as "Hey Google" and "OK Google," for voice recognition purposes. After that, I began giving the device commands and asking it questions — and that's when things really got interesting. 

First, the app tutorial instructed me to say "Hey Google, tell me about my day." In response, my Google Home instantly lit up and greeted me with "Hello Anna" before reading off the time, temperature and forecast for that day in New York City. After that, the news came on, giving me the latest headlines from that morning.  

Sitting at my desk with the device in front of me, I was both amazed and slightly creeped out by my new gadget. Of course, I understand how the Google Home knew my name based on my user profile. But still, the conversational way in which this tiny piece of tech answered my questions was nothing short of impressive. And, to be honest, testing the device took me back to the days of watching "Smart House" on Disney Channel in 1999, where a computerized home traps its owners inside. I'm kidding here, but you get the picture. This device was smart — almost too smart — and when phrased properly, my questions were intelligently answered in seconds. 

Next, I wanted to see what else this device was capable of and how it could help me to be more efficient on a daily basis. At the top of my list of priorities: music. I am a huge music fanatic and am constantly listening to different songs as I go about my day. With the Google Home, I can call out song requests without interrupting whatever I'm doing and play music instantly.  

Then we get to the big questions. And I mean big. If you want to know why the sky is blue or which ingredients to put in your smoothie, your Google Home will scour the Internet for a detailed answer on the spot. Or, if you'd like to nap for a certain length of time, simply say, "Hey Google, can you wake me in 30 minutes?" and an alarm will be set for half an hour later. Or, if you're a student and need help with homework, ask it to translate a word from your foreign language course or for the answers to basic math problems, such as "What is 15% of 80?" It'll fire back the answer (12!) like a pro.   

The list goes on when it comes to the number of ways Google Home can help you with your day-to-day activities. To get started, all you need is a Wi-Fi source and another device where you can download the Google Home app. Once you've paired the Google Home with your device, you'll be all set and ready to get started.