Google Home Experiments

I finally got my Google Home and have enjoyed setting it up. This page details things that I’m trying to figure out how to do or have done.

Tweet me @bwagy with thoughts, questions.

Why not Alexa? No issue with Alexa but my feeling was my data would be more protected with Google so I went with that.

About the device itself

Challenges of Google Home:

  • The biggest challenge is the lack of interoperability with my existing Apple infrastructure AND sonos.
  • Limited integrations and at present lack of an open app marketplace.
  • IFTTT provides the in route for most solutions.

What can they improve?

  • Audio is good but not great.
  • Would like to see a second version with better audio.
  • Or acquire Sonos run it as the high end line.

Would I recommend buying one?

  • Absolutely.
  • The voice recognition works well, I can yell from upstairs and get a response.
  • Design is great. The IOS App works seamlessly.
  • It’s a great piece of tech even if you’re not an early adopter.
  • It is the kind of thing you’d get your parents etc.


Google Home Use Cases

What I have done:

  • Hooked it up to Uber. Built in integration.
  • Enabled, find my phone via IFTTT. 
  • Changed to Celsius. 1. Open up the Google Home app -> 2. Tap the three lines in the upper left hand corner next to the word “Home” -> 3. Tap “More Settings” -> 4. Scroll down and tap “Personal Info” -> 5.  -> Tap “Preferences” -> 6. Change your weather temperature units to Celsius.
  • Used the timer whilst cooking. ‘set a timer for 6 minutes’.
  • Asked for the weather or Will it rain tomorrow?
  • General knowledge.
  • Add items to my shopping list in Evernote. Use IFTTT to create a recipe, and create the note in Evernote.
  • Lodge tasks with FancyHands. | Use Google Assistant + Gmail to email a request to FancyHands.


What I want to do:

(And fair comment is -> how much of this can you already do with Alexa)

  • Play Sonos. | Not sure how to do this yet.
  • Find out how many bikes in the citibike dock near me. | Think can use their public API calls for the docks near me, then maybe hack a solution via IFTTT.
  • Read out what got achieved from ASANA overnight. | Maybe an API call.
  • Give me bank balances. | Not optimistic here at present.
  • Make a call and/or text.
  • Change Google Homes accent.
  • Store recipes in it, and I can ask what next, i.e. I’m hosting a cocktail dinner and have 3/4 recipes. | No idea here.
  • Integrate with Hello Alfred, to add things to my todo list. | Same, need to get a API to do this. Maybe I can do via IFTTT. Awaiting info from their team around how to add to the list.
  • Have it understand my accent.
  • Ordering food via Seamless/Caviar/Maple etc.
  • MARSBOT! Let me hit the FourSquare Marsbot app to find recommendations. | Think I can do this via a text interface.
  • OpenTable, can you find me table for 2 tonight.
  • Notify my wife (when she wants to know) how far from home I am.


Packaged Services

Things I can see bundled or created specifically for Google Home.

  • A personalised daily radio run down, tells me the weather, what’s done overnight, any pressing issues. As I get ready.
  • Daily run down when you get home, from Gyroscope, you travelled X km today, via bike, train, this many steps, 85% productive, 6 hours online. etc.


Thoughts on where the platform is going


Google Home Vision

  • The slack of voice assistants.
  • Easy enough to pull in your own ‘actions’ to add extra features.
  • It connects and routes you to the right information (like Google does).


Product Insights

  • It helps when you’re moving, when you’re going out or coming in. So it’s about homestages, settling in, or heading out. Making that process handsfree.
  • It removes the need to open and check your phone as much ideally.
  • Strong overlap with Apples new wireless Earpods I suspect, they will open up Google Home like features on the go.
  • You end up saying thank you, as a matter of courtesy. Be a nice touch if it acknowledged that.
  • Be amazing if you sneezed it said bless you.
  • I can imagine ‘OK Google’ are going to be some of our kids first words at this rate. Is that a good thing? I’m not sure as yet.



How you can use IFTTT to create your own apps/bots for Google Home.

The Google Home SDK launches in December.