Hey Google!

When it comes to voice-operated, personal assistants, more and more of us are adding them to our homes. There’s a number of options to choose from including Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home Nest and Apple’s Home Pod. If your home is like ours, you might have more than just one brand.

Over a number of posts, I’m going to talk about each of these assistants and today, I’m starting with the Google Home Nest. We have what is pictured above, the Google Home Mini. It sits on our kitchen counter and Joyce is the primary user. She uses it to set timers while she’s cooking or baking; and, because the kitchen is close to our laundry room, she uses it to set reminder timers for the washer and/or dryer. She might have it play music while she’s in the kitchen, too.

We also use the Google Mini to control some lights in our home and to tell us the weather and much more. If you have one of these devices, you probably know how to ask it about the time, about the weather, etc. But, in this post, I want to share some of the lesser-known commands. Remember, although I show “Hey, Google” in each of these commands, you can also say “Ok, Google” to start the command process.


“Hey Google, set the volume at 5.” Or, “Hey Google, set the volume at 50%.”

“Hey Google, turn the volume up.” Or, “Hey Google, turn the volume down.”


“Hey Google, set a timer for 15 minutes.” (Replace the 15 with whatever time you want.)

“Hey Google, how much time is left on my timer?”

“Hey Google, set a second timer for 1 hour.” (When you already have one time going. Replace the 1 hour with whatever time you want.)


“Hey Google, add Hersey’s Kisses to my shopping list.” (Replace Hershey’s kisses with whatever item you want on the list.)

“Hey Google, how many calories are in red grapes?” (Replace grapes with your own food selection.)

“Hey Google, what’s on my shopping list?”

“Hey Google, how do you make meatloaf?”

Language and Math

“Hey Google, how do you say I love you in Spanish?” (Choose your own word or phrase and choose the language.)

“Hey Google, define thimblerig.”

“Hey Google, how much is $20 in euros?” (Choose your own amount and your currency.)

“Hey Google, how much is 546 x 12?” (Choose your own amounts and your own type – plus, minus, divided by, times, etc.)

Traffic and Weather

“Hey Google, how far is it from home to Walt Disney World?” (By now, you know… from where to where – you choose.)

“Hey Google, how long will it take me to get from home to the Home Depot on Gatlin?”

“Hey Google, will I need an umbrella today?”

Just For Fun

“Hey Google, what’s the loneliest number?”

“Hey Google, where’s Waldo?”

“Hey Google, what’s your best pickup line?”

“Hey Google, how may roads must a man walk down?”

“Hey Google, do you know the muffin man?”

“Hey Google, flip a coin.”

2 thoughts on “Hey Google!

  1. Maria Beckwith

    I have always heard these were not good to have in the home as they know too much of your personal life & it stores all the info. Is that true?

    1. Maria…Whenever you do anything on the Internet, there is always concern about privacy. As I have told my seminar attendees many times, you can’t have the Internet and complete privacy, too. However, in the case of personal assistants, the three major providers have made it possible for you to delete what is recorded. They are AI (artificial intelligence) pieces of equipment and they learn by listening and recording. Without the ability to record what you ask or say, they could never learn. For instance, early on, if I asked Siri (Apple) “Do I need an umbrella today?” she would reply that she didn’t understand the question. Now, however, she will answer something like “You won’t need an umbrella today as it won’t rain today.” Siri learned to associate umbrellas with rain because people asked the question and the program was then updated to provide a correct answer. For myself, we have all three devices in our home and I simply don’t worry about it. I do understand, though, that for some people, it’s just too “eerie” and they prefer to not have them.

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