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Google Home: 5 things to ask on your smart speaker

Nest Audio

The new Nest Audio is Google Home’s flagship smart speaker, replacing the 2016 original.

Juan Garzon / CNET

Google Home Smart Speaker can’t help with everything, but it’s likely to do much more than you’d expect. Most people already know that you can ask him to play music, recite the weather forecast, or set a timer or alarm. But how about where you left your car keys? Or order at a nearby cafe? I bet you didn’t know Google Home could do that either. Keep reading because where it comes from is so much more.

Unlike Amazon’s Alexa, you don’t need to download or install anything to add features to Google Home. New features are constantly being added behind the scenes, and usually all you have to do to use them is just ask. (“Hey, Google, I need a cookie recipe,” for example.) Other tricks, including some of these tips, only require you to link an existing account to Google Home (which, as you’ll soon see, is pretty easy and fast) .

So, hold on to your questions until the end, because there’s a good chance Google Home is the one you need to ask these five things, which may come as a surprise.


If a tile tracking tool is attached to your keys, you can call it with your voice after connecting it to Google Home.


Ask where your lost car keys are

There are two ways to get Google Home to find your car keys, depending on whether you’re using a tile tracker. If you don’t, the next time you put your keys in a drawer or somewhere else, you usually don’t put them away, just say, “Hey, Google, don’t forget I put my keys under the kitchen sink.” [or wherever you put them]Then the next time you can’t find them, say, “Okay, Google, where did I put my keys,” and Google Home will tell you.

If you have a tile tracker on your keychain, even better. Google will be able to call you so you can find it.

1. Open it The Google Home app, then tap + sign in the upper left corner, then select Set up the device, then tap Works with Google.

2. Tap magnifying glass in the upper right corner, then type “Tile” and tap Tile logo which appears below the search bar.

3. Log in to Tile as you would from a browser, and follow all prompts on the screen.

You can now say “Hey” or “Okay, Google is calling my keychain.” [or whatever you’ve named the Tile attached to your keys]The next thing you know, your keys will start buzzing. This trick works for anything you’ve attached a tile tracker to, such as book bags, pets, as you call it.


Skip the queue and order your favorite Starbucks drink from Google Home after linking your accounts.

Angela Lang / CNET

Order your favorite Starbucks drink with your voice

The next time you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to wait for your coffee order to be placed, place your Starbucks order on Google Home and it will pick it up for you so you can pick it up when it’s ready. For this tip, you’ll want to link your Starbucks account, so you’ll need the Google Assistant app.

1. Open up Google Now app and tap compass icon in the lower right corner.

2. Type “Starbucks” in the search bar, then tap Starbucks logo , which appears below the search bar, then tap Connection, then tap Connecting accounts.

If you are not logged in to Starbucks on your phone, you will need to enter your username and password, but for most people everything else should happen automatically. From there, just say “Hey” or “Okay, Google, talk to Starbucks” and tell the virtual barista what you want to order.

google initial crossword

Google Home is a fiction of words and can even help you solve word puzzles.

Dale Smith / CNET

Google Home is a dictionary, dictionary, calculator and more

The next time you watch TV and a character says a word you’ve never heard before (such as “gasification” or “coruscant”), don’t reach for a dictionary – just ask Google Home what the word means. “Okay, Google, what’s the definition of ‘anomalous’?” Or “Hey, Google, what does ‘tightness’ mean?” Same thing if you need a thesaurus, translation, or wordplay help (see our full article for everyone nice things Google Home can do with the language here).

You’re a fiction in words, but not so much when it comes to math? Google Home took you there too. You can use Google Home much more than a calculator, but it can count days, weeks or years; conversion of units of measurement; deal with distances and many other calculations (see our full article for all the numbers that Google Home can crush here).

Let Google Home read your horoscope

You do not have to practice astrology to hear your horoscope. And if you don’t like the way Google Home reads the stars for you for the first time, it’s easy to try another service again. Just say, “Hey, Google, what’s my horoscope?” and will give you a list of horoscope providers from which you can download.


What is your sign? Tell Google Home and have your horoscope read.

Dale Smith / CNET

Arm yourself with dad jokes

You know what a pun is for fun, right? This is a parent. (Boooo.) As a dad who loves lavish ambulances, I’m always alert for the next great moan. You can ask “Hey” or “Okay, Google, tell me a dad’s joke” to get started, but for crema de la crema, say “Talk to the best dad jokes.”

Google Home is full of all sorts of surprising, hidden talents. On the one hand, it’s a great game console, especially if you like storytelling in a role-playing style. Or try planning a command for the future using the new scheduling feature. Of course, for most people not. Something they do is listen to music, so be sure to tune it in for the best experience.

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