Alexa and Google Home - How To Use Your Voice Assistants Smartly
Such is the power of technology to bring about change; even the millennials are finding it hard to catch up. As cliché as it may sound, there’s no denying that technology has changed the way we live.
Voice assistants like Google (Google Home) and Alexa (Amazon Echo) have entered your homes and are teeming with ways to help you.
If you own any of these smart speakers and are wondering what’s all the fuss about, it’s probably because you haven’t found the time to understand them. Voice assistants are not only for the tech savvy who can program them and interface them with other smart devices. Alexa and Google have remarkable potential to make our everyday lives better; limited only by how smartly they are used.
Here are some ways to use these voice assistants smartly in your everyday life
Get a Grip on Your Day
Both Alexa (with Alexa Hunches) and Google Home can get your day started and night sorted too. “Hey Google, Good morning /Good night” or “Alexa, Good morning” can trigger appropriate responses like reminding to activate your coffee maker, your schedule for the day read out, weather updates for the day and even important days and event reminders for next day!
Drive Away the Blues
“Alexa, tell me a joke”, “Alexa, beam me up” or “Hey Google, tell me a joke” can set the ball rolling. “Hey Google, tell me something good” can bring you news of people and events with positive impact. You can use Alexa to control your Fire TV and play a movie or song of your choice. "Alexa, search for Avengers on Fire TV" or “Alexa, play music by Adele." If you would rather read a book, how about closing your eyes and saying, "Alexa, read me my Kindle book."
Increase Your Smartness Quotient and Efficiency
If you have other smart IoT devices in your home, connecting and integrating them with Alexa or Google is where the future is headed. Integrating your home security system with these smart speakers is another way to up your smartness quotient.
Alexa and Google home can also help to run your daily routines efficiently and free your time for more important things. In doing this they really do act as efficient assistants who only need to be instructed smartly. From giving Multiple commands, follow up commands or multiple timers to controlling other smart devices, hands-free calling, broadcasting to other Amazon or Google devices in your home or managing SMSs and notifications, the possibilities are endless.
Find Businesses and Shop Smartly
Alexa can look up local business listings (as per your location) and call those businesses too. With Alexa, you can add an item to your amazon cart or get recommendations too - "Alexa, find me a good laundry bag on Amazon". It’s as simple as that. Google Home integrates with Google Express and allows you to order from around 50 stores like Walgreens, Whole Foods, Costco, etc.
Set your smart speaker to play your favorite music or white noise for a specific time to help you sleep better. You can also set alarms with customized music so that you wake up with music in your ears. “Alexa, ask Fitbit how I slept last night” - Integrate Alexa with Fitbit and get your sleep statistics read out. You can also get assistance in meditation by integrating with Headspace in Google Home and Alexa.
Like most of us, if you need someone to nudge you to get out and exercise, Alexa and Google Home can both be your trusted trainers. From setting reminders and alarms to more specific instructions like, "Alexa, open Five Minute Workout". Alexa also integrates with WebMD and Virtual Nurse to give you specific health advices. You can ask both Alexa and Google Home about calorie information of a food item and keep an check on your intake. Integrate with Fitbit to know your statistics. Simply ask “Alexa, ask Fitbit how I'm doing today."
Be a better cook with Alexa and Google Home. "Alexa, how do you make apple pie?” will make Alexa Skills look through thousands of recipes at allrecipes and give you a step by step instruction to follow. Similarly "Alexa, ask Allrecipes what can I make with chicken and spinach," will give you some interesting options. Try your hand at not just dishes but cocktails too -- "Alexa, ask Easy Cocktail how I can make a Classic Margarita". Google Home is not far behind. Once you have found a recipe you like select “Send to Google Home” to make it available on Google Home. Whenever you are ready in the kitchen, simply say “Start cooking” or “Start recipe” and Google Home will issue step by step instructions. Alexa and Google Home can also help you with weight conversions. You can even integrate and control your smart Insta Pot and say out commands like “Pressure cook for 10 minutes on Insta pot”.
Stay Entertained - Never a Dull Moment
Both Alexa and Google Home boast of being kid friendly and can provide healthy entertainment for your whole family. “Hey Google, tell me a story” , “Hey Google, let’s play a game” or “OK Google, let me talk to Akinator” are several ways to engage with Google Home. Akinator, Memory match, WhereinTheWorld, The Magic Door, Hunt the Yeti are some of the games you can play at Alexa. Look up for the entire list of games that you can play and never have a dull moment.