It’s easy to add a Google gadget to your home (such as the Nest Hub Max and Nest Hub Max), and you can join the smart home revolution. While no one is stopping you from tossing the gadget on your kitchen counter and calling it a day, it’s definitely worth your time to take a few extra seconds to optimize your Google Home experience. These are the additional steps to take when setting up your Google Home device.
John Velasco / Digital Trends
Plug the device in
To get started, first plug your Google Home device into an outlet. Keep your phone nearby too, as you’ll want to pair the two as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to keep your phone in a central and easy-to-reach place. The versatility of a Nest Hub or any other Google Home-enabled product is what makes it so much fun. However, tucking it away in the corner can reduce its hearing ability.
Get the Google Home app
You can find the Google Home App in the App Store and on Google Play, regardless of whether you are using an iPhone or Android. When asked, you will agree to enable location permissions. This allows the device to provide accurate local weather reports, tell you the location of the nearest Walgreens and more. Make sure your smartphone is connected with your home Wi Fi. This will allow your device to access your network information.
Sign in to Google and sync with your device
To use a Google Home device, you’ll need a Google account. If you already have a Gmail address, that’s perfect — go ahead and enter that. If you don’t already have one, head over to gmail.com on your laptop or smartphone to create a new account.
After you log in, open the Google Home app. Give it time to get familiar with its surroundings. Usually, at this point, the Google Home app will say something like, “New device detected” or “Set up device.” Select this notification to begin. To give the app a kickstart, click the + sign on your Home screen and choose Set Up device.
You will see a series of numbers on both your phone and your Hub. These numbers should match. Select Yes to verify that these numbers match and that you’re connecting the right device. You can now choose the room in which the device will be located and connect.
If required, you may be asked for your physical address to add to the device. Be sure to set the location of your Google Home device, as you’ll need this for things like local weather reports, traffic conditions, and commute times.
Connect and customize accounts
Google Home will now ask about the connections you can make to your devices in order to ensure that it works with your existing services. Here’s what you will need to make decisions about:
Voice MatchVoice Match can recognize and distinguish your voice from many other voices. This is a great feature for multiple people using the Google device, and each person will have their own Google account. It does however mean that Google may collect additional information about you. Some people may wish to pass.
Music services: Your devices are able to connect to services like Spotify and TuneIn. Connect to any music services that you use, so your Home/Nest can play them.
Video servicesYou should connect all video services to your Google device with a display, such as the Nest Hub. Netflix, CW. CBS, HBO Max. Hulu. Flex. YouTube, Viki. Crackle. Red Bull. Starz. And Google Play Movies and TV are all supported video services.
Google Duo: Some Google devices are capable of making phone calls and video calls. Home will ask you if you would like to set up this service via Google Duo.
Google PhotosHome will ask you to connect your Google Photos account to show slideshows of your images if you have a display device. This gives your device an added use, and even if you don’t use Google Photos, you can choose to connect to general pictures from Google’s art gallery instead. Other customization options are available.
Google will then give you the chance to review all of your choices and then provide a tutorial that will show you how the device works. If you are offered this tutorial, it’s smart to take the opportunity to learn more! Afterward, you can do as you please with the smart device, but we’re going to talk about several other customization options that users may want to spend time going through.
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Set your preferences
To personalize your Google Home, tap on the Menu button to the left-hand of the app and then tap Account Preferences. This will take you directly to the Google Assistant options, so you can personalize your device according to your needs. If you go under Settings > More settings > Assistant, you can change your assistant’s language or add another language.
By tapping on News and then Customize, you can select which news sources you’d like Google Home to pull from when reading you the news. Whether you’re an NPR junkie, NBC News follower, or Fox News fan, you’ll be able to change the sources at your convenience. If you say “OK, Google, listen to the news,” your Google Home device will then give you a news report that’s customized to your preferences.
Juliana Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Google Assistant can change what you hear
If you scroll down in the app to Personal Info, you’ll see a spot that lets you change your nickname, and you can even teach Google Assistant to pronounce it correctly. So whether you want the voice assistant to call you “Ma’am,” “Governor,” or “Mary Poppins,” your wish is your Google Home device’s command.
You can also deactivate Google Assistant.
You can set up shopping on your speaker/display
The Nest/Home device can also be used to order items directly. This can be useful for quick shopping or ordering items quickly in case you forget. This feature can be set up immediately if you are interested in purchasing.
Open Google Home first to verify that you are logged in. Next, select your Nest/Home gadget and click on the Settings cog at top right. Go to Recognition & Sharing > Recognition & Personalization > Allow Personal Results. Voice Match will be useful if you have multiple users using the device.
Now go back to your home screen and select the account icon. Go to Assistant Settings > Payments > Next to set up purchasing capabilities. Pay Hands-Free can approve purchases on unlocked devices automatically. Approve Purchases With Voice Match requires voice authentication to authorize purchases. This is generally more secure.
Compatible smart home products can be added
Google Nest devices can be used with over 30,000 smart home products. To add a device to the app, tap Home Control. Be sure that these smart home devices are all on the same Wi-Fi network, otherwise, you won’t be able to control them from the Google Home.
Google is very good at recognizing connected devices. However, it’s important to note that there is an additional function when setting up smart plugs. You will see a Device Type option during setup or when you visit Device Settings for your smart-plug.
You can then choose which type of appliance is plugged into that smart plug — with options like smart light, air conditioner, coffee maker, fan, humidifier, and so on. The appliance type can be used to identify specific smart plugs within the app and for tracking things like energy consumption. It helps Google Assistant understand commands better, so you can send commands about the appliance and not the smart plug.
Once all the devices are set up, you’ll be able to say “OK Google, dim the lights,” and your Philips Hue bulbs will adjust themselves to your requested setting. You can then set up routines on the Google Nest/Home device so it can perform multiple actions based on a single voice command.
Check out our top picks of the best Google Home compatible devices.
Troubleshooting tips during setup
If something went wrong when you tried to set up your Nest or Home device, you aren’t alone.
Google Home app crashes and freezes are quite common. Sometimes the app doesn’t respond when you try to pair it with your home system. Other times, the Home device you have just connected doesn’t even show up as an icon on your Home app list.
If you’re still in the pre-setup stage, you could find that troubleshooting is a significant challenge. We know it’s frustrating, but with perseverance and patience, you can successfully pull it off when you restart the software. Keep trying until it works.
It is possible to reboot your device without any problems as long as the device is not connected properly. Turn off your Google device and wait for it to re-plug.
Ensure you’ve completely closed the Home App; if you’ve got an Android phone or device, just swipe the app’s screen from bottom to top. This method is very similar to the iOS one. However, on older iOS models, you’ll need to tap the Home button two times and then swipe your applications upwards to close them.
To launch a seamless pairing process, it would be a good idea to restart your Google Home device. If your Wi-Fi connection is reliable, you shouldn’t experience any issues with automatically connecting afterward. There are a few options available if you still have difficulty pairing products. You can always ask other users in the Google Nest Community forum how they dealt with similar problems. You might find a solution that works for them.
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