So you’ve finally bought a new AI home assistant, but now that you’ve opened your Google Home or Nest device, you have no idea where to start. Do not rush the process, because it is essential to configure the system correctly. In this article, we explain how to set up a Google Home device, how to connect and sync your Google accounts, and how to customize your preferences.
Connect the device
To get started, first plug your Google Home device into a power outlet. There is no power button on the Google Home, so as long as it’s plugged into a power outlet, it automatically turns on. Wait a few minutes for it to turn on and then it will start searching for your phone to establish a connection. Keep your phone close at hand so you know when the two are ready to sync.
Download the Google Home app
Whether you use an iPhone or Android, you can find the Google Home app in the App Store or on Google Play. When prompted, agree to turn on location permissions as this makes it easy for the device to report exact local weather, let you know the location of the closest Walgreens, etc. Make sure your smartphone is connected to your home Wi-Fi network, as this is how Google Home will be able to access your network information.
Login with Google and sync your device
To use a Google Home device, you will need a Google account. If you already have a Gmail address, this is perfect; enter that. If you don’t have one yet, head over to gmail.com on your laptop or smartphone to create a new account.
When you’re signed in, open your Google Home app and wait a moment to get your bearings. Usually at this point the Google Home app will say something like “New device detected” or “Set up device.” Select this notification to get started. If you don’t see the notification, select the plus sign on the home screen and choose Configure device to launch the application.
A series of numbers will appear on the screen of both your Hub and your phone, and these numbers should match. Please select Yes to verify that these numbers match and that you are connecting the correct device. Choose which room the device will be in and it is ready to go online.
If necessary, you may also be asked to enter your physical address for the device if you have not already done so. Make sure to set the location of your Google Home device, as you will need it for things like local weather reports, traffic conditions, and travel times.
Customize and connect accounts
Google Home will now ask you about several different connections it can make on your devices to make sure it works with your current services. This is what you will need to make decisions about:
Voice matching: Voice Match can recognize your voice and distinguish it from various other voices. This is a great feature if multiple people in the household will be using the Google device and having their own Google accounts. However, it does mean that Google will collect additional information about you, so some people may want to approve.
Music services: Your devices can connect to services like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more. Connect whatever music services you use so your Home / Nest device can play them.
Video services: If you have a Google device that has a display, like the Nest Hub, you should also connect whatever video services you have. Supported video services include Netflix, CW, CBS, HBO Max, Hulu, Flex, YouTube, Viki, Crackle, Red Bull, Starz, and Google Play Movies and TV.
Google Duo: Some Google devices can make phone calls or video calls. Home will ask if you want to set up this service through Google Duo.
Google photos: If you have a device with a display, Home will ask if you want to connect your Google Photos account so it can show slide shows of your photos. This gives your device additional use, and even if you don’t use Google Photos, you can choose to connect to general images from Google’s art gallery. Other customization options are also available.
When you’re done, Google will give you a chance to review all of your options and then offer a tutorial that shows you general information on how the device works. If you are offered this tutorial, it is wise to take the opportunity to learn more! Afterwards, you can do whatever you want with the smart device, but we’re going to talk about other customization options that users may want to spend time on.
Set your preferences
To fully personalize your Google Home device, touch the Menu on the left side of the app, then tap Account preferences. This will take you to a bunch of optional features that the Google Assistant offers, so you can make the device uniquely yours based on what suits your lifestyle. If you sink Settings> More settings> Wizard, you can change the language of your assistant or add an additional language.
Clicking on News and then Personalize, you can select the news s that you want Google Home to pull from when it reads the news to you. Whether you’re an NPR junkie, an NBC News fan, or a Fox News fan, you’ll be able to switch fonts at your convenience. If you say “OK Google, listen to the news,” your Google Home device will give you a personalized news report based on your preferences.
Change how the Google Assistant calls you
If you scroll down in the app to Personal Information, you’ll see a place that allows you to change your nickname and can even teach the Google Assistant how to pronounce it correctly. So whether you want the voice assistant to call you “Madam,” “Governor,” or “Mary Poppins,” your wish is the command from your Google Home device.
You can also disable the Google Assistant.
Set up purchases on your speaker or display
Your Nest / Home device also allows you to buy things directly, which can be useful for more informal purchases or to order something quickly before you forget it. Set up this feature now if you want to organize purchases.
First, open Google Home and make sure you are on the correct account. Then select your Nest / Home device and select the Settings gear in the upper right. Go Acknowledgment and Sharing> Acknowledgment and Personalization> Allow Personal Results. If there are multiple users on the device, you will want to have * Voice Match * enabled as well.
Now, go back to the home screen and select your account icon. Go Wizard Settings> Payments> Next to configure purchasing capabilities. Some important features to look for when enabling this capability are Pay hands-free, which can automatically approve purchases on unlocked devices, and Approve purchases with Voice Match, which requires voice authentication to authorize any purchase (generally better for security).
Add compatible smart home products
Google Nest devices are compatible with more than 30,000 smart home products. In the app, tap Home control to add a new device. Make sure these smart home devices are all on the same Wi-Fi network; otherwise, you will not be able to control them from Google Home.
Google is pretty good at recognizing connected devices when possible. However, it is important to note that there is an additional feature when setting up smart plugs. During installation, or later when you visit Device configurationfor your smart plug, you will see an option that says Type of device.
You can then choose what type of appliance is connected to that smart plug, with options like smart light, air conditioner, coffee maker, fan, humidifier, etc. Setting the appliance type can help identify specific smart plugs in the app and can be helpful in tracking specific things like power usage. It also helps Google Assistant understand commands more precisely, so you can give commands on the device itself, rather than on the smart plug.
Once all the devices are set up, you can say “OK Google, dim the lights” and your Philips Hue bulbs will adjust to your requested settings. You can then find the routine settings on your Google Nest / Home device, so you can perform various actions based on a single voice command.
Take a look at our picks for the best Google Home compatible devices.
Tips for Troubleshooting During Setup
If something went wrong when you tried to set up your Nest or Home device, you are not alone.
Unfortunately, crashes and crashes are common in the Google Home app. Sometimes you try to pair the app with your home system and get no response. Other times, the Home device you just connected doesn’t even appear as an icon in your Home app list.
If you are still in the pre-configuration stage, troubleshooting can be a significant challenge. We know it is frustrating, but with perseverance and patience, you can do it successfully when you restart the software. Keep trying again until it works.
Since nothing on the device is connected properly at this stage, rebooting will be straightforward. Unplug your Google device, pause for at least 10 seconds, and then plug it back in.
Make sure you have completely closed the Home app; If you have an Android phone or device, just swipe the app screen from bottom to top. This method of closing an application is extremely similar to the iOS method. However, on older iOS models, you’ll need to double-tap the Home button and then swipe the apps up to close them.
At that point, restarting your Google Home device would be helpful to start a smooth pairing process. If your Wi-Fi connection is reliable, you shouldn’t experience any problems connecting automatically afterwards. If you’re still having a hard time pairing your products properly, you have a few other options to try. You can always check with other people on the Google Nest community forum to find out how other users dealt with similar issues. They may have found a way to fix the problem that might work for you too.
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