This story is part of 12 days of tipshelping you make the most of your technology, home and health during the holiday season.
Got a new Google Home smart speaker as a gift this holiday season? If so, there are a few settings you’ll probably want to change as soon as you take it out of the box. Your Google Home speaker is only as useful as you make it, and certain settings can really make or break your experience.
For example, Google Home speakers try to get you to sign in to a google duo phone number when you add a device, but did you know you can turn your Google Home into a speakerphone using your primary phone number, even if you’re using an iPhone?
This is just one of the many cool features you can set up on your Google Home device. We’ll show you how to set this up, plus four other settings you should update today. For more information on smart devices, see How much would a Google smart home cost you? and the the best technology to pair with your new Google Home speaker.
1. Get notified when someone joins your Google Home group
“I’m the only person in my house,” you say. “Why would I want to be notified if someone joins my Google Home group?” Precisely because you are the only one who should be authorized to use it, that’s why.
This setup isn’t just about keeping you informed of changes, it’s about security. If your Google account were to be hacked or otherwise compromised, an early warning sign could be an unauthorized user or device being added to your Google Home group.
To receive these notifications:
1. Open the Google Home app and touch settingsthen under General tap notifications.
2. If your phone is not set to allow notifications from Google Home, follow the instructions where it says Tap here to turn them on in Settings.
3. Tap on General notifications and turn on the first option, people and devices. If you want to receive push notification announcements, turn on Product Updates also.
2. Adjust Google Home privacy settings
It’s also important to adjust the privacy settings in your Google Home app. we have a thorough Google Home security features guide here. If you’re pretty familiar with those security settings but just want to refresh things a bit, here’s how to get to the personal data portal:
1. Open the Google Home app and touch your personal icon (can be your photo or a silhouette) in the upper right corner.
2. select You in the menu bar at the top and touch Your data in the Assistant.
3. Make calls using your Google Home device
Hands-free calling is one of the best features of Google Home, but it won’t work the way you want it to unless you’ve set it up correctly. To make sure Google Home displays your primary phone number when you use it to call, follow these steps:
1. Open the Google Home app and touch settings.
2. Scroll down until you see Google Assistant Services then tap voice and video calls.
3. Tap mobile calls. If you haven’t set it up yet, tap your own number then touch Add or change phone number.
Four. Google will send a Verification code to your phone, which you will need to enter on the next screen.
5. Once your phone number is linked, make sure to You select your own number low Your linked services.
6. Low Contactstap load now to sync contacts from your phone.
Now all you have to do to make calls with Google Home is invoke the Google Assistant (“OK, Google” or “Hey, Google”) and say “Call.” [contact name].”
4. Change your nickname on Google Home
Currently, my Google Home is set to call me Sergeant Pepper for no other reason than my digital assistant referring to me as a Beatles album. You can make yours call you whatever you want. Note, however, that you may have to spell it phonetically. To teach Google Home your nickname:
1. Open the Google Home app and touch settingsthen scroll down and tap more settings.
2. Low Youtap Nickname then under What should the Assistant call you? type the nickname you want it to use.
3. Touch Play to hear how the Google Assistant will say your name. If you don’t pronounce it correctly, change the spelling until you do.
And yes, you can make him curse.
5. Create a group of speakers to maximize your musical enjoyment
Google Home speakers not only sound great on their own, but they get even better when you double, triple, or even quadruple them. In fact, you can add as many speakers as you have in your house to a speaker group. We have detailed instructions on how to use Google Home to create a whole house audio system herebut here is the simplified version:
1. Open the Google Home app and touch the + (plus sign) in the upper left corner.
2. Tap Create speaker group, select the speakers you want to include, then tap Next.
3. Low Name this group of speakerstype a name (“Whole House” or “Living Room”, etc.) and touch Save.
Another way to improve the sound level of your speakers is to use one as the left channel and one as the right channel. Here’s how to create a pair of speakers. from two (of the same) Google Home speakers. You want to make sure you have your music services configured the right way, also. And while you’re at it, consider mounting your Google Home or Nest Mini on the wall for better sound.
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