Google's voice-activated AI tool - AKA Google Assistant - is getting smarter and more useful with every new update. If it's been a while since you used it last, you might be surprised by the huge number of tasks it can now help with. Here are 66 useful questions and commands to try today.
Over the past few years, Google Assistant has gone from a mediocre Siri clone to the most sophisticated digital assistant on the market. It now powers thousands of speaker-equipped products, from soundbars and TVs, to smart fridges and even cars. Then there's the extensive range of Google Home smart speakers.
But for the majority of people, the most useful iteration of Google Assistant remains the one in your pocket. (Assuming you have an Android-powered smartphone, that is.)
As previously reported, there's a handy site that keeps tabs of all the things you can ask Google Assistant - but finding the good stuff can take ages. With that in mind, we asked Google's local media team to share some of the questions and phrases that they consider to be the most useful. Here are their responses, divided into various catrgories: from commuting to entertainment.
If you picked up a Google Home recently, you may be wondering what it's good for besides checking the weather and playing music. Google's smart speakers may not boast as many third-party skills as Amazon's Alexa, but there's still a ton you can do.
If you’re new to the Google Assistant:
Ask “What can you do?” to get started.
“Good morning” for a personalised briefing of your Google Calendar, your commute from Google Maps, reminders, the weather forecast, local news updates and more.
“What’s on my agenda for today?”
“Remind me to call the bank.”
“Remember I left my passport on the nightstand.”
“Remember Peter’s birthday is March 5th.”
On your phone, you can make emailing easier by saying “Send an email to Mum.”
When you’re ready for bed, just say, “Hey Google, good night” to commence your evening Routine. This could include setting an alarm, turn off compatible lights and TVs and fall asleep to soothing music.
“How’s the commute to work?”
“Servos near me.”
“What’s the address for [insert location]?”
“What are the hours for [insert place]?”
“Where is the nearest florist?”
“What time will [insert flight number} arrive in Sydney?"
With the Google Play store boasting over 2.5 million apps, there are more options than it's physically possible to browse through (much less install and test!) Every now and then, we encounter an app that's great but misses out on being featured or recognised for whatever reason. Here are five underappreciated Android apps that warrant your attention.
In the kitchen/eating out
“How do you make cold-brew coffee?”
“Add popcorn to the shopping list.”
“Broadcast: come downstairs for dinner in 5 minutes” (to broadcast the message across other devices around the home).
“What are some nearby restaurants?”
“Let’s make ANZAC biscuits.”
“Ask Headspace to play today’s meditation.”
“Ask Headspace to help me fall asleep.”
“Show me how to do yoga on YouTube.”
"Set a 30-minute app timer for [app].”
"Start Wind Down at [time].”
On your phone, ask these helpful questions to understand your habits:
"How much time did I spend on my phone on Wednesday?"
"How much time did I spend on [app] today?"
"How much time did I spend on [app] on Saturday?"
Google Photos (for your phone and on Google Nest Hub)
When you use Google Photos on your mobile phone or Google Nest Hub device, simply ask Google to help find the photos you’re looking for:
“Show me my pictures from [location].”
“Show me my photos of dogs.”
“Search for hug.”
“Show me my photos from Christmas last year.”
No matter how clean or secure your phone is, we all experience some anxiety when someone borrows it - even if only for a few minutes. For better or worse, we use our smartphones to manage critical parts of our lives, and one errant text or accidental “I left that photo up in my list of recently used apps” can cause a tremendous amount of grief.
“Read me my book”
“Who is the author?”
“Play Stranger Things.”
"I'm feeling lucky."
“Can you rap?”
“Who is the fairest of them all?”
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall.”
“Tell me what you want, what you really, really want.”
“Are you ticklish?”
“Do you want to build a snowman?
“Do you speak morse code?”
“See ya later, alligator.”
Family Friendly Content
“Talk to The Wiggles.”
“Tell me a story” or “Tell me a story about a kangaroo.”
“Talk to Moshi Twilight.”
“Talk to Little Baby Bum.”
"Play Lucky Trivia for Families.”
“Play Musical Chairs.”
“Play Musical Statues.”
“Let’s play a game.”
“Play ABC Behind the News.”
“Help me with my homework.”
“Tell me a fun fact.”
“How do you say ‘Let’s have crêpes for breakfast’ in French?”
“Play funny cat videos on YouTube.”
“Play Kinderling Radio.”
“Read The Complete Adventures of Blinky Bill.”
“Tell me a joke.”
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie
“Help me sound like a cricket fan.”
“Give me a footy cliché.”
“Who’s going to win the flag?”
“Talk like a footballer.”
“When are the [insert team] playing next?”
“Play the Sydney Swans [or other football team] news.”
Want to learn more about Google Assistant? You can find more tips and tricks on Lifehacker's Google Assistant product page.
This story has been updated since its previous publication.