Google Home and various Assistant speakers are incredibly handy devices, and they offer a lot of incredibly cool features. Everyone has a favorite, so this week, I sat down with the rest of the team at 9to5Google to find out what their favorite features are…

Stephen Hall – Song Identification & Playback

We’ll start with 9to5Google’s managing editor, Stephen Hall. His favorite feature is Assistant’s ability to identify songs based on a simple description. You can, of course, just ask the speaker to play a song based on its title, but Google is smart enough to recognize vague descriptions and still accurately play the song you intended. His example is asking “OK Google, play that hipster song with whistling” which plays back “Young Folks.”

Justin Duino – Smart Home Control

One of the most used features of any smart speaker is the ability to control smart home devices. Since its debut, Google has massively expanded what devices can be controlled with simple Assistant voice commands, and that’s Justin’s favorite feature. Through his home, he has lights, smart plugs, and more, controlled with the Google Assistant.

Abner Li – Taking Over From Your Phone

Google Assistant is very intelligent, and one of the ways it ties into your other devices is being able to handoff tasks. In the case of smart speakers and your phone, that’s the speaker being able to take over for your phone, as Abner enjoys.

As you’re probably aware, many Android devices have the ability to activate an always-listening mode with Google Assistant that let them respond to “OK Google” commands even when they’re asleep. If you have an Assistant speaker in the room, that creates a bit of friction, or at least it would if Google hadn’t made it possible for Assistant speakers to take over for your phone when they both hear the same command. That’s especially handy if you’re trying to listen to music.

Kyle Bradshaw – Timers

Our newest team member, who you probably know for his Fuchsia breakdowns, is Kyle Bradshaw. His favorite feature on the Google Home Mini is the ability to set timers. This is especially handy since his device is in the kitchen. It’s extremely handy functionality for sure.

Ben Schoon – Media Casting

Personally, my favorite feature for Google Home is the ability to cast media across my home with various connected hardware. Primarily, that includes casting Netflix to my TV. Simply walking in and saying “OK Google, play Parks and Recreation on Living Room” is super convenient, and something I do far more often than I’m willing to admit…

What’s Your Favorite?

If you’re a Google Home user, drop a comment below and let us know what your favorite feature is!

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About the Author

Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to schoon@9to5g.com or encrypted to benschoon@protonmail.com.