Quick Tip: Google Routines Make Life Easier in Your Smart Home

Google Home smart mini speaker with built-in Google AssistantCoinUp / Shutterstock.com

If you have a device compatible with the Google Assistant, such as a brand new Pixel 4a or one Nest Hub, and one of the most 50,000 smart home devices with which it is compatible, you have access to a powerful feature that can make your life easier: Google routines.

Routines trigger helpful actions like turning on lights automatically when you get home from work, playing your favorite music or podcasts every time you work out, or communicating relevant information for the day when you wake up. Routines even have integration with popular apps (like Netflix or YouTube) and smart devices (like smart lights).

What types of Google routines are there?

you have two options here: ready-made routines and custom routines. The out-of-the-box routines cover common scenarios and are great when you first wake up, when you go to bed, and when you leave for work (or vice versa). If you need a routine for a different situation, or if the out-of-the-box options don’t offer all the exact actions you need, choose a custom routine. In any case, you will need to install the Google Home app on your Android or ios device to access and manage the feature.

Depending on which out-of-the-box routine you choose, the Assistant can perform actions like turning your phone off silent, turning the lights on or off, giving you location-based reminders, setting your smart thermostat and resume playing an audiobook or playlist you were listening to earlier. Once your routine is set up, all you have to do to trigger it is say its command phrase, such as “Hey Google, hello”.

Google Home app showing Google routine optionsSuzanne Humphries

How to set up a Google routine

Setting up a ready-made routine is easy. Just open the Google Home app, tap “Routines”, then tap “Manage Routines”. Under the “Ready to use” option, select the routine you want and the corresponding actions you want to configure.

Setting up a custom routine isn’t much more difficult, but it does require a few more steps. Open the Google Home app, tap on “Routines”, then “Add a routine”. From there, it’s up to you to fill in the details about when your routine should run, what the command phrase will be, and what will happen when you trigger it.

Planning a custom routine is also possible and only requires one additional step. When you first set it up, just specify the day and time you want the routine to run and the days it should repeat.

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