Tag Archives: Google Nest

“Hey Google, make a group call” now on Nest Hub Max

One of the most popular ways people use Nest Hub Max is for video calling. Up until now, that meant one-on-one sessions with friends and family. Rolling out today in the U.S., you can make group video calls with Duo and Google Meet on your Hub Max. With just a simple voice command, Google Assistant can now help connect you with multiple people at once.

“Hey Google, make a group call”

With group video calling on Nest Hub Max, you can now bring the whole family together, spontaneously check in with your siblings or host a weekly happy hour with friends for up to 32 people. To get started, you can create groups in the Duo mobile app, and from there just ask your Hub Max, “Hey Google, make a group call,” and tap on the Duo group you want to connect with. And with auto-framing, you can freely move around your kitchen or living room during your Duo video call, while staying in view. In addition to Nest Hub Max, Duo group video calling is available on LG XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart DisplayJBL Link View and Lenovo’s 8 inch and 10 inch Smart Displays

“Hey Google, join my next meeting”

You can also try, “Hey Google, start a meeting” to connect with up to 100 people on Google Meet for fitness classes, book clubs, community gatherings or whatever else you’ve got planned. If you want to call into a meeting, say "Hey Google, join a meeting" then tap the "enter a meeting code" option and type it in to join. Or try asking, “Hey Google, join my next meeting” to instantly connect to the next call on your personal Google Calendar. Meet group video calling is launching first on Nest Hub Max.

We’re also rolling out beta support for G Suite accounts, so you can host work meetings on your personal Nest Hub Max. G Suite admins who would like to apply on behalf of their domains to join the beta program can sign up at g.co/gsuiteassistantbeta

And if you’re looking to put your personal VIPs on “speed dial,” household contacts are starting to roll out today on Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and Smart Displays in the U.S. Once set up, you (or other people in your household) can dial your cousin Cassandra by saying "Hey Google, call Cassandra” or by tapping on Cassandra’s name on your Smart Display's household contacts list.

Google Assistant and Nest have always made it easy to connect with friends and family⁠—and now, the more the merrier. 

“Hey Google, make a group call” now on Nest Hub Max

One of the most popular ways people use Nest Hub Max is for video calling. Up until now, that meant one-on-one sessions with friends and family. Rolling out today in the U.S., you can make group video calls with Duo and Google Meet on your Hub Max. With just a simple voice command, Google Assistant can now help connect you with multiple people at once.

“Hey Google, make a group call”

With group video calling on Nest Hub Max, you can now bring the whole family together, spontaneously check in with your siblings or host a weekly happy hour with friends for up to 32 people. To get started, you can create groups in the Duo mobile app, and from there just ask your Hub Max, “Hey Google, make a group call,” and tap on the Duo group you want to connect with. And with auto-framing, you can freely move around your kitchen or living room during your Duo video call, while staying in view. In addition to Nest Hub Max, Duo group video calling is available on LG XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart DisplayJBL Link View and Lenovo’s 8 inch and 10 inch Smart Displays

“Hey Google, join my next meeting”

You can also try, “Hey Google, start a meeting” to connect with up to 100 people on Google Meet for fitness classes, book clubs, community gatherings or whatever else you’ve got planned. If you want to call into a meeting, say "Hey Google, join a meeting" then tap the "enter a meeting code" option and type it in to join. Or try asking, “Hey Google, join my next meeting” to instantly connect to the next call on your personal Google Calendar. Meet group video calling is launching first on Nest Hub Max.

We’re also rolling out beta support for G Suite accounts, so you can host work meetings on your personal Nest Hub Max. G Suite admins who would like to apply on behalf of their domains to join the beta program can sign up at g.co/gsuiteassistantbeta

And if you’re looking to put your personal VIPs on “speed dial,” household contacts are starting to roll out today on Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and Smart Displays in the U.S. Once set up, you (or other people in your household) can dial your cousin Cassandra by saying "Hey Google, call Cassandra” or by tapping on Cassandra’s name on your Smart Display's household contacts list.

Google Assistant and Nest have always made it easy to connect with friends and family⁠—and now, the more the merrier. 

“Hey Google, make a group call” now on Nest Hub Max

One of the most popular ways people use Nest Hub Max is for video calling. Up until now, that meant one-on-one sessions with friends and family. Rolling out today in the U.S., you can make group video calls with Duo and Google Meet on your Hub Max. With just a simple voice command, Google Assistant can now help connect you with multiple people at once.

“Hey Google, make a group call”

With group video calling on Nest Hub Max, you can now bring the whole family together, spontaneously check in with your siblings or host a weekly happy hour with friends for up to 32 people. To get started, you can create groups in the Duo mobile app, and from there just ask your Hub Max, “Hey Google, make a group call,” and tap on the Duo group you want to connect with. And with auto-framing, you can freely move around your kitchen or living room during your Duo video call, while staying in view. In addition to Nest Hub Max, Duo group video calling is available on LG XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart DisplayJBL Link View and Lenovo’s 8 inch and 10 inch Smart Displays

“Hey Google, join my next meeting”

You can also try, “Hey Google, start a meeting” to connect with up to 100 people on Google Meet for fitness classes, book clubs, community gatherings or whatever else you’ve got planned. If you want to call into a meeting, say "Hey Google, join a meeting" then tap the "enter a meeting code" option and type it in to join. Or try asking, “Hey Google, join my next meeting” to instantly connect to the next call on your personal Google Calendar. Meet group video calling is launching first on Nest Hub Max.

We’re also rolling out beta support for G Suite accounts, so you can host work meetings on your personal Nest Hub Max. G Suite admins who would like to apply on behalf of their domains to join the beta program can sign up at g.co/gsuiteassistantbeta

And if you’re looking to put your personal VIPs on “speed dial,” household contacts are starting to roll out today on Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and Smart Displays in the U.S. Once set up, you (or other people in your household) can dial your cousin Cassandra by saying "Hey Google, call Cassandra” or by tapping on Cassandra’s name on your Smart Display's household contacts list.

Google Assistant and Nest have always made it easy to connect with friends and family⁠—and now, the more the merrier. 

Nest and Spotify are bringing you the sounds of summer

My favorite part of summertime is that it means music festival season is upon us. For me, there’s nothing better than getting together with all my friends and listening to our favorite bands on a warm, sunny day. This year, the festivals will have to wait, and while I’ll miss the jam-packed action of a live show, thankfully I have a back up system powered by Spotify, and Nest and Google Home smart speakers and displays.

Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max and Google Home Max, to name a few, all work together to build a sound system that can cover your whole home. Plus, Spotify Premium users can ask Google Assistant to recommend some music and Google Assistant will offer multiple choices from artists and genres that they like, and others like them to choose from.

Obviously, I’m not the only one curating my own concerts at home: Here’s a look at how some of you have been listening to Spotify on Nest and Google Home devices.

Quarantine streams

Spotify shared how people have been listening to Spotify on Nest and Google Home smart speakers and displays between May 10 and June 10 of this year, in all parts of the world where both Spotify and our devices are available. Suffice it to say that quarantine apparently has many of us in our feelings, with Drake as the top-streamed artist on Nest devices. And given the stress of 2020, it's no surprise the top playlists are all related to sleep and relaxation. In fact, Google Trends backed up Spotify’s data , showing that searches for “insomnia” reached an all-time high in April of this year.

R2_V2-1.png

We also took a look at Google Trends to see which of the three top artists are being searched the most by country, which you can see below.

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 9.46.02 PM.png

Songs of summer 

Summer couldn’t come soon enough. According to Google Trends, searches for “summertime songs” spiked more than 1,150 percent and searches for “songs that remind you of summer” spiked more than 1,000 percent in the past 90 days worldwide. Thankfully, Spotify can help listeners land on a summer jam. 

Spanning a variety of genres—from hip-hop to indie—Spotify’s Songs of Summer predictions are based on a number of factors like streaming numbers, current trajectory and future forecasting from their global curation team. This year, the team at Spotify predicts that “This is America” by Childish Gambino and “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar are likely to be mainstays during summer 2020.  The resurgence of these older tracks is likely due to cultural conversations focused on supporting the Black community. In fact, global Google Trends searches for the meaning of “This is America,” by Childish Gambino spiked more than 700 percent over the past month. 

In no particular order, here’s Spotify’s playlist of predictions for summer 2020, which you can stream on your Nest device by saying, “Hey Google, play Songs of Summer.” The playlist includes current hits like “ROCKSTAR” by DaBaby, featuring Roddy Ricch and “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles.  

Your Summer Rewind playlist from Spotify

This year, it feels especially important to relive the glory of summers past. To help, Spotify is re-introducing Your Summer Rewind, a personalized collection of your favorite summer jams from previous years. It will be available in all of Spotify’s Northern Hemisphere markets for both Free and Premium listeners on iOS and Android starting today.  Make sure your Spotify account is linked in the Google Home app and say, “Hey Google, play Your Summer Rewind playlist on Spotify” to get started. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who will be missing music festivals this year, but Nest and Spotify will certainly help me party at home, and cure some of my quarantine woes this summer.

Nest and Spotify are bringing you the sounds of summer

My favorite part of summertime is that it means music festival season is upon us. For me, there’s nothing better than getting together with all my friends and listening to our favorite bands on a warm, sunny day. This year, the festivals will have to wait, and while I’ll miss the jam-packed action of a live show, thankfully I have a back up system powered by Spotify, and Nest and Google Home smart speakers and displays.

Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max and Google Home Max, to name a few, all work together to build a sound system that can cover your whole home. Plus, Spotify Premium users can ask Google Assistant to recommend some music and Google Assistant will offer multiple choices from artists and genres that they like, and others like them to choose from.

Obviously, I’m not the only one curating my own concerts at home: Here’s a look at how some of you have been listening to Spotify on Nest and Google Home devices.

Quarantine streams

Spotify shared how people have been listening to Spotify on Nest and Google Home smart speakers and displays between May 10 and June 10 of this year, in all parts of the world where both Spotify and our devices are available. Suffice it to say that quarantine apparently has many of us in our feelings, with Drake as the top-streamed artist on Nest devices. And given the stress of 2020, it's no surprise the top playlists are all related to sleep and relaxation. In fact, Google Trends backed up Spotify’s data , showing that searches for “insomnia” reached an all-time high in April of this year.

R2_V2-1.png

We also took a look at Google Trends to see which of the three top artists are being searched the most by country, which you can see below.

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 9.46.02 PM.png

Songs of summer 

Summer couldn’t come soon enough. According to Google Trends, searches for “summertime songs” spiked more than 1,150 percent and searches for “songs that remind you of summer” spiked more than 1,000 percent in the past 90 days worldwide. Thankfully, Spotify can help listeners land on a summer jam. 

Spanning a variety of genres—from hip-hop to indie—Spotify’s Songs of Summer predictions are based on a number of factors like streaming numbers, current trajectory and future forecasting from their global curation team. This year, the team at Spotify predicts that “This is America” by Childish Gambino and “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar are likely to be mainstays during summer 2020.  The resurgence of these older tracks is likely due to cultural conversations focused on supporting the Black community. In fact, global Google Trends searches for the meaning of “This is America,” by Childish Gambino spiked more than 700 percent over the past month. 

In no particular order, here’s Spotify’s playlist of predictions for summer 2020, which you can stream on your Nest device by saying, “Hey Google, play Songs of Summer.” The playlist includes current hits like “ROCKSTAR” by DaBaby, featuring Roddy Ricch and “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles.  

Your Summer Rewind playlist from Spotify

This year, it feels especially important to relive the glory of summers past. To help, Spotify is re-introducing Your Summer Rewind, a personalized collection of your favorite summer jams from previous years. It will be available in all of Spotify’s Northern Hemisphere markets for both Free and Premium listeners on iOS and Android starting today.  Make sure your Spotify account is linked in the Google Home app and say, “Hey Google, play Your Summer Rewind playlist on Spotify” to get started. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who will be missing music festivals this year, but Nest and Spotify will certainly help me party at home, and cure some of my quarantine woes this summer.

Nest and Spotify are bringing you the sounds of summer

My favorite part of summertime is that it means music festival season is upon us. For me, there’s nothing better than getting together with all my friends and listening to our favorite bands on a warm, sunny day. This year, the festivals will have to wait, and while I’ll miss the jam-packed action of a live show, thankfully I have a back up system powered by Spotify, and Nest and Google Home smart speakers and displays.

Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max and Google Home Max, to name a few, all work together to build a sound system that can cover your whole home. Plus, Spotify Premium users can ask Google Assistant to recommend some music and Google Assistant will offer multiple choices from artists and genres that they like, and others like them to choose from.

Obviously, I’m not the only one curating my own concerts at home: Here’s a look at how some of you have been listening to Spotify on Nest and Google Home devices.

Quarantine streams

Spotify shared how people have been listening to Spotify on Nest and Google Home smart speakers and displays between May 10 and June 10 of this year, in all parts of the world where both Spotify and our devices are available. Suffice it to say that quarantine apparently has many of us in our feelings, with Drake as the top-streamed artist on Nest devices. And given the stress of 2020, it's no surprise the top playlists are all related to sleep and relaxation. In fact, Google Trends backed up Spotify’s data , showing that searches for “insomnia” reached an all-time high in April of this year.

R2_V2-1.png

We also took a look at Google Trends to see which of the three top artists are being searched the most by country, which you can see below.

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 9.46.02 PM.png

Songs of summer 

Summer couldn’t come soon enough. According to Google Trends, searches for “summertime songs” spiked more than 1,150 percent and searches for “songs that remind you of summer” spiked more than 1,000 percent in the past 90 days worldwide. Thankfully, Spotify can help listeners land on a summer jam. 

Spanning a variety of genres—from hip-hop to indie—Spotify’s Songs of Summer predictions are based on a number of factors like streaming numbers, current trajectory and future forecasting from their global curation team. This year, the team at Spotify predicts that “This is America” by Childish Gambino and “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar are likely to be mainstays during summer 2020.  The resurgence of these older tracks is likely due to cultural conversations focused on supporting the Black community. In fact, global Google Trends searches for the meaning of “This is America,” by Childish Gambino spiked more than 700 percent over the past month. 

In no particular order, here’s Spotify’s playlist of predictions for summer 2020, which you can stream on your Nest device by saying, “Hey Google, play Songs of Summer.” The playlist includes current hits like “ROCKSTAR” by DaBaby, featuring Roddy Ricch and “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles.  

Your Summer Rewind playlist from Spotify

This year, it feels especially important to relive the glory of summers past. To help, Spotify is re-introducing Your Summer Rewind, a personalized collection of your favorite summer jams from previous years. It will be available in all of Spotify’s Northern Hemisphere markets for both Free and Premium listeners on iOS and Android starting today.  Make sure your Spotify account is linked in the Google Home app and say, “Hey Google, play Your Summer Rewind playlist on Spotify” to get started. 

I’m sure I’m not the only one who will be missing music festivals this year, but Nest and Spotify will certainly help me party at home, and cure some of my quarantine woes this summer.

Wi-Fi woes got you down? Google Nest is here to help

As the product lead for connectivity at Google Nest, I’m a complete Wi-Fi geek. I love helping people solve their home Wi-Fi problems and get the most out of their routers -- and that includes my own family. I have two teenage sons attending high school remotely, while I’m currently working from my dining table. Suffice it to say I’m a fan of anything that gives my home Wi-Fi a boost.

Luckily, we’re rolling out a software update to make both Nest Wifi and Google Wifi work even more smoothly today. This update will improve overall network performance on slow internet connections, which means your Wi-Fi will better support multiple video calls, gaming sessions and more simultaneously. It includes general security and stability improvements and will also improve device connection speeds on wireless networks and optimizations so your devices move to faster Wi-Fi radio channels. Our priority device feature is also getting smarter, so you can rest assured Wi-Fi traffic will be prioritized to the device you choose. This means you can make sure your work laptop is getting the strongest Wi-Fi available, as opposed to the kids’ YouTube sessions. And the best part is these updates will be pushed automatically, no action required on your end. 

Of course, no Wi-Fi is infallible, and I know how frustrating it can be when it isn’t working the way you expect. No matter what router you’re using, here are a few tips to help you troubleshoot: 

If your TV is always buffering:

Remove  barriers: If you’re still using an old black box router, don’t hide it in drawers or behind furniture – this compromises its usefulness and weakens your Wi-Fi signal. Metal (like a filing cabinet) and water (like an aquarium) are the biggest offenders.

Reboot your router: Most people are familiar with this tip, but don’t actually know why they’re doing it. If you’re noticing network congestion, rebooting  cleans up stale software buffers and forces the reconnection of your devices. 

Run a speed test: Is your problem your Wi-Fi range? Get close to your router and run a speed test, then try again from farther away. If it’s slower the second time, you may have a dead zone. If you can, try moving your router out into the open or closer to the potential dead zone to see if that helps. You can find a free speed test at speedtest.net

If the whole family is online at once:

Know how much speed you need: Most video calls require 5 Mbps of consistent speed, but the reality is a bit more nuanced.  Because you’re receiving video from the internet (download) and sending video as well (upload), you’ll want to make sure that your upload speed is a good, consistent 5 Mbps as well. Conduct a speed test during a busy time of day when you’ve had a bad video call. If you have less than 5 Mbps DL (downlink) or UL (uplink), you might consider placing a...

...Call to your Internet Service Provider: If it feels like your Wi-Fi gets bogged down during the work day, but otherwise works fine, your issue could be your ISP.  If you’ve already run a speed test and spent time rebooting your router and modem, it may be time to work with your ISP to solve the problem. If your ISP modem is really old, it might be time for an upgrade.  Buying one yourself rather than getting it from your ISP might save you up to $10 a month. Check your ISP’s website for compatible modems before you purchase one, then call your ISP to get it added to their network.

If your home has dead zones:

Upgrade your router: Especially if it’s more than five years old There were substantial changes in Wi-Fi standards in the U.S. back in 2015, allowing higher radio power and therefore better coverage from routers made in 2016 or later. 

Consider a mesh network: A mesh network is a group of routers (actually Wi-Fi access points) that wirelessly communicate with each other to create a single, connected Wi-Fi network over a large area. We created Nest Wifi as a mesh system because having multiple points work together to create a seamless, single network. While network strength varies depending on things like the size of your house and your ISP, the idea is that this system provides consistently strong coverage for all connected devices throughout your home. 

We all rely on Wi-Fi, and when it doesn’t work, it’s a source of frustration untold.  Hopefully these tips help keep you connected, whether you’re working, streaming, gaming or binge-watching.

How the Nest Hub Max helps keep families connected

As a kid, I could navigate from my home to my grandparents’ house blindfolded—that walk remains muscle memory for me. My grandparents’ place was really my second home, nearly as familiar to me as my own. Today, my 92-year-old grandma, Mary-Jane (she prefers Marty), still lives in that house. She lives there alone, and although she has my parents and a few of my aunts and uncles nearby, COVID-19 has been extremely isolating for her. 

Despite protests she wouldn’t be able to figure out how to use it, I sent my grandma a Nest Hub Max. After getting her an old smartphone simply for setup purposes and helping her create a Google Duo account, I now get to actually see my grandma regularly while we’re in quarantine. “Oh, I love it,” she told me recently when I asked her how it was working out. It’s easier than clicking on a link to start a video chat on her laptop, and she likes that the Nest Hub Max stays in one place and that she can answer video calls with a simple tap. She’s even learned to ask Google Assistant to play Frank Sinatra, who’s always been one of her and my grandpa’s favorites. 

It’s important for seniors’ mental and emotional health to stay connected, and social isolation during this quarantine makes doing that especially hard. As I learned with my grandma, Nest Hub Max and Duo video calling can help keep us "together" while we’re apart. My family isn’t the only one that's unable to be around our grandmother; seniors everywhere haven't been able to have visitors or join others for social activities in recent months. To help make things a little easier, Google is giving nearly 1,000 Nest Hub Max devices to residents in seven Merrill Gardens retirement communities in Washington State —giving them a way to connect with family and friends. 

Bob Marum, one of the residents of Merrill Gardens, says he’s missed getting together with family and friends. “Talking on the phone is nice, but it's nothing compared to chatting over coffee or a glass of wine.” He says the Nest Hub Max sounds like it will be “a tremendous addition. It would improve the liveliness of our life."

In addition to providing Nest Hub Maxes, the Nest and Google Assistant teams wanted to make setup even easier for less tech-savvy users. The teams created a new experience that we’re kicking off with Merrill Gardens residents, where they will have access to a pre-loaded shortlist of contacts, making video calls even easier. There are new “What can you do?” cards, too, that act like shortcuts for showing weather reports, setting alarms or playing relaxing sounds. 

Merrill Garden.png

And all of this was done in a way that preserves privacy for the residents, as the devices are managed on Nest’s fleet management system and run in a “signed out” mode, meaning no audio is stored and all activity is anonymous. 

For my grandma, I think video calls are going to remain her favorite part of the Nest Hub Max. All she has to do is say, “Hey Google, call my favorite granddaughter on Duo” and just like that, I’ll be there. (I’m sure that’s how she has me listed in her contacts, right grandma?😉)

5 things to know about the new Nest Aware

We’re all spending more time at home these days, and for many of us, that means investing time in our personal spaces and trying to check in on loved ones as much as possible. For Google Nest users, that’s getting a little easier: Starting this week, the new Nest Aware is rolling out to 19 markets. The subscription service is a helpful, affordable companion to all of your Google Nest devices whether you’re home or away. 

And even though many of us are home far more often right now, we have several features that make life at home a little easier. Here’s what to expect from the new Nest Aware:


  1. More affordable, simplified pricing. Instead of paying per camera, all of your devices per home—including your cameras, speakers and displays—are covered for one low price, even when you add a new device. For just $6 a month (or $60 for an annual subscription), the new Nest Aware comes with 30 days of event video history. Or, for those who want 24/7 video history, you can choose Nest Aware Plus for 60 days of event video history and 10 days of 24/7 video history for $12 per month (or $120 for an annual subscription).
  2. Get alerts that matter. With the new Nest Aware, now your devices will start recording event clips when they detect motion or sound and give you the clips you need to see. When something happens that needs your attention—like a package being delivered—we’ll send you an alert. If you prefer 24/7 continuous recording, for example, on your outdoor camera during the night, that’s also still available with Nest Aware Plus.
  3. Keep an eye on your home and quickly connect to emergency services.Now, your Nest speakers and displays will notify you if a critical sound is detected, like a smoke alarm or glass breaking, by sending an alert to the Home app. From there, you can hear an audio clip or listen live within the Home app to confirm the alarm, and the new Nest Aware gives you the option to call 911 emergency services straight from the Home app (U.S. only). Calling directly from your phone will connect you to the center nearest to you, which isn’t always helpful when you’re away. But calling from the Home app will give you the center closest to home, no matter where you are.
  4. Take care of loved ones. If your elderly parent or relative has a Nest Hub Max, not only can they stay in touch with loved ones through Duo video calling, but you can also look out for them with the new Nest Aware. All they have to do is invite you as a home member and enable their speaker or display, and you’ll get notifications if something needs your attention.
  5. Easily upgrade from old to new. If you already have an existing Nest Aware subscription, you can upgrade to the new version through the Google Store. Keep in mind that upgrading to the new Nest Aware requires that you migrate to a Google accountif you haven’t already. You also have the option to keep your current subscription if you choose.

In addition to rolling out the new Nest Aware, we’ve updated pricing for some of our products to make it even easier to bring more help into your home: Starting today, Nest Hub is available for $89.99 and Nest Cam Indoor is now $129.99. We hope the new Nest Aware helps you save a little more, care for your loved ones and know that all is well in the place you call home.

A little help getting through the day

Like many families, my husband and I have been staying-at-home for over a month, while looking after our two young kids who are out of school. Balancing two full-time jobs—running the team that builds features for Google Assistant and homeschooling my 6- and 3-year-old children—is an unexpected challenge that I know I’m not alone in navigating. In fact, search interest for “how to work from home with kids” tripled over the past month in the U.S., while search interest in “how to keep kids busy during quarantine” spiked more than 350 percent in the past day, worldwide. 

My husband and I are figuring out a schedule that minimizes the chaos, enabling us to work while also cherishing time with our kids. Here are some of the things we’ve learned and how Google Assistant is helping us get through the day.

Morning 

With the four of us sharing the same space all day every day, It can be especially important to carve out “me time.” Most mornings before my kids get up, I ask my Nest Hub Max, “Hey Google, show me workout videos” and I exercise along to a YouTube tutorial (here’s one I love). This solo time energizes me and sets the right tone so I can tackle the day.


I’m also restructuring my day to meet the needs of both work and family. While it might not be the case for everyone, I’m fortunate to have some flexibility in my work schedule. So instead of working a typical 9 to 5, I’ve established shifts with my husband so one of us gets uninterrupted time to focus on work, while the other helps our kids. I take the afternoon shift with my kids, so I schedule all of my work meetings in the morning. I typically hop back online after the kids are in bed so I can follow up on any urgent items and give my team guidance for the following day.


I also use ready-made Routines to trigger several actions with one single command. They’re super easy to set up and they’re the ultimate multitasking partner. For example, when I say “Hey Google, good morning,” Google Assistant turns on my kitchen lights, starts the coffee maker, reads out my calendar and plays the news. And when I want a quick update on specific topics, I ask things like, “Hey Google, what’s the latest news on coronavirus?” so I’m informed before the kids are up.


And with the lines between work and home completely blurred, I’ve realized I need to be much more intentional about my time. I ask Assistant to set reminders so I can keep track of upcoming online classes for my kids or remind my husband about our schedule. 


I also make sure my kids’ homeschooling classes and activities are added as calendar appointments, so I have a clear overview of what's going on for the family that day.


Afternoon 

When I’m with the kids in the afternoon, I make sure to over-communicate with my colleagues about my whereabouts. For example, I block off my calendar in the afternoon and even put an “out of office” message in my email to set expectations about my availability. 


My daughter is starting to read, so one of her daily lessons is going over the alphabet. I ask Google Assistant to sing the ABCs on our Nest Mini when we review her alphabet book, so she starts understanding each letter.


As part of my son’s school assignments, he writes at least one or two pages a day. We've gotten into the habit of writing out jokes which we print and tape on our sidewalk so our neighbors can enjoy. Since he’s still learning how to spell, he’ll often ask Google Assistant for help spelling difficult words.


And is it just me, or are kids hungry all day long? To manage my (seemingly endless) grocery list, I ask my phone, “Hey Google, add pasta and cream to my shopping list.” And when I’m at the grocery store, I can quickly pull up my list without touching my phone by asking, “Hey Google, what’s on my shopping list?”


Evening 

To create some separation between the workday and family time, we started a new evening ritual: dance parties. I scheduled a Custom Routine that automatically dims our living room lights and turns on a party playlist at 5:30pm each day. This also helps my kids shake out some energy, so it’s a win-win.


A few times a week before dinner, we video call the kids’ grandmas using Google Duo on our Nest Hub Max. If they don’t happen to be by their own Smart Displays to answer the call, they can easily pick up on their phones. Their grandmas live in Washington and Canada, so it’s special to connect with them regularly since we can’t see each other in person.


Around dinnertime, I try to get inventive with what I have so I can minimize grocery store trips. One of my favorite Google Assistant features is getting recipe inspiration based on what’s left in my fridge or pantry. Try asking, "Hey Google, what can I make with broccoli and cheese”—or whatever ingredients you need to use up!


Once dinner is ready, I simply say, “Hey Google, broadcast it’s dinner time” and my message is sent to all Assistant enabled speakers around our home, no need to shout.


And when it’s time to wind down for the night, we ask Assistant to tell us a story or play soothing sounds. Try it out by saying, “Hey Google, read me a bedtime story” or “Hey Google, play ocean sounds.” 


Whether you need help making mundane tasks more magical (“Hey Google, help me wash my hands”) or need assistance getting a meal on the table, I hope what I’ve learned in my own home can help make your day just a bit easier.