6 awesome Google Home commands you may not know

Google Home has tons of great features that allow you to keep better track of things. If you aren't sure what it's really capable of, or how to use it, then it can be hard to get started. That's why we collected the six great commands you may not know about. These includes listening to music, checking your schedule, controlling your home, and more. We've got all the details for you here!

Look up travel times

Google Home

Google Home is able to access local traffic patterns in order to give you an idea of what your daily commute looks like. It goes much further than that, though. You can specify the route you want to take, which means you can avoid taking the highway if you prefer the scenic route. While you can program in your work address and get info about your commute, you can also ask Google Home how long it will take to get to a specific location.

There are several commands connected to looking up travel times that you can use.

  • "How long is my commute?"
  • "How long will it take to walk/bike/take a bus to target location?"
  • "How long will it take to get to target location?"
  • "How long with it take to get from work to target location?".

Get recommendations

If you're planning a trip, or you have friends coming in from out of town, you may want to find somewhere new to grab drinks or go out to dinner. Thankfully this is another thing you can ask Google Home to help you with. You can get tips from Google on restaurants that have been rated by users on Google Maps,

  • "What are the best restaurants in target location?"
  • "What restaurants are nearby?"

Listen to music

Google Home

Being able to fill your home with the music without having to do anything but tell Google Home is fantastic. Google Home syncs up with Pandora, Spotify, and Google Play Music. In order to take advantage of a specific music service, you'll need to set up your defaults.

  • "Play music from a specific genre, artist, playlist, or album."
  • "Play a specific song, play music."
  • "Turn up and down the volume."
  • "Pause or skip tracks."

Check your schedule

Most of us have lives absolutely filled to the brim with different events. From weddings, birthday parties and dinner dates to conference calls and work trips, keeping track of everything can be a bit overwhelming at times. Thankfully, Google can help you to keep track of everything you have scheduled from within the Google Calendar linked to your account.

  • "What does my day look like?"
  • "What/when/where is my next event?"
  • "What/when/where is my first event?"
  • "List all events for specific date."
  • "What's on my calendar for day of the week?"

Control your home

Google Home

With connected accessories like Hue bulbs or a Nest thermostat, you can actually control them using Google Home. You can turn lights on and off or dim them, once you have connected them to your Google Home, and you can also adjust your thermostat or turn switches on and off. Since all connected accessories need to be named when connecting them to Google Home, it's easy to specify which accessory you asking Google Home to adjust. With thermostats, in particular, you can also ask, and get the ambient temperature in a room, or find out what the thermostat is set to.

When using lights you can turn them on, turn them off, brighten them, dim them, set them to a specific color or brightness percentage, or turn off all lights in a room. Switches can be turned on or off. When using a connected thermostat you can adjust the temperature, change heating or cooling modes, and turn off the thermostat.

Set Alarms and timers

It's easy for time to slip through your fingers during a busy day, and we've all forgotten that dinner is cooking in the oven once or twice. Thankfully, Google can easily set timers or alarms, which can help to remind you when to take the lasagna out of the oven or remember that it's time to head to the airport to pick up your roommates. You can even ask Google how much time is left on a specific timer so that you can plan out your time accordingly.

  • "Set an alarm for preferred time."
  • "Set a timer for specified amount of time."
  • "How much time is left on the timer?"
  • "How long until my alarm goes off?"


Do you have a favorite command for Google Home? Is there a great command that we should have included here? Let us know about it in the comments below.

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

  • I is the travel times every day almost, it is awesome.
  • I see a bottle that absolutely needs to be opened.
  • Ok Google, where can I get an awesome black and green Android Authority Mug?
  • Android Authority?
  • Ok Google, where specifically on the site as I couldn't find the merchandise section.
  • That Android Central mug is not in their merchandise section, but you can find general Android mugs on Amazon.
  • Ask Google home what baby seal is in French not when kids are close by
  • Lol
  • Why can't it set reminders yet? 🙁
  • Who the hell owns one of these things? Ugh
  • I do and use it several times everyday.
  • I'm trying to convince my wife that GH is awesome with news about upcoming calling capability, and now the ability to play individual songs from our own personal Google's Play music library (no, we're not subscribed to any paying music subscription but we have uploaded thousands of personally owned songs to Google Play Music library). Sadly, here's how that conversation goes... ME: "Hey honey, you can now request to play individual songs finally on Google Home just by saying 'from my music library' at the end" THE WIFE: "About time! Here let me try. Hey Google! Play Can't Stop the Feeling from my music library" (one of many songs we own and have uploaded to Play Music Library) GH: "Sorry, that song isn't available but enjoy this similar mix from a station called Can't Stop the Feeling" (a different JT plays, my wife looks at me) ME: "They're still rolling it out I guess" (She walks away and I'm left looking at the GH like a disappointed parent. It works for a handful of songs so I know it HAS rolled out already, but for the vast majority of songs, it just shoots us to a streamed music mix of similar songs. Ugh.)
  • I'm l still looking for the "6 awesome Google Home commands you may not know". The 6 talked about the article are on the Google Home box.
    I need stop wasting my time with Android Central. Everytime I think I'm going to learn something new. I don't.
  • Ouch
  • I got Google Home this weekend (in the UK), and I'm loving it. I've just created an IFTTT Applet to set scenes for my LIFX bulbs. It's great. The only thing is that it's still not quite playing nice with my Google Play Music Library - probably because I haven't subscribed to their premium service.
  • "hey Google, what time does XXXXX store close"
  • Anxiously awaiting the commands that allow me to set reminders and use as speakerphone...