Android

Google Home is awesome; here’s how to make it even better!

First introduced in May 2016, the Google Home has fast become one of the leading connected smart speakers. It’s perhaps one of the most flexible devices of its kind and only gets better with updates and new features.

We’re in an era where the Google Home faces strong competition from the likes of Sonos, Amazon Echo, and the Apple HomePod. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks, and the space will get more crowded when Samsung delivers its first Bixby-powered speaker.

Getting Smarter and Smarter

The Google Home has a more robust user experience than when it initially launched; it gets smarter all the time. It’s flexible, customizable, and designed to act as your personal assistant. Indeed, there are a ton of questions and commands you can use to harness the internal Google Assistant technology.

SEE ALSO: Google Home devices can now pair with third-party Bluetooth speakers

For all of the cool and unique things you might do with the Google Home there are a few options and settings that you absolutely should do. Setting up the Google Home, Home Mini, and Home Max is a breeze, but there’s a handful of additional customization that’s worth the time.

Here are nine features and settings every Google Home user needs to know. Seasoned users might take these for granted, but new owners will appreciate learning a thing or two.

Note that some of these will also work for the Google Home Mini and/or Google Home Max.

A couple of things to keep in mind

  • Make sure you have the latest version of the Google Home app.
  • Check to ensure you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Google Home device.

Enable ‘Do Not Disturb’

Regardless of where you have your Google Home setup, chances are good that you’ll sometimes want to mute notifications and reminders. To do so, open the Google Home app and look to the top right corner for Devices. Scroll down to the speaker or device you’d like to change and open the menu in the right corner. From there go to Settings and look for Do Not Disturb. Simply toggle the slider on and off.

Change Device Name

Have you moved your speakers around or added to your setup? You might want to rename your device(s) so you can better identify them. Doing this is easy. Open the Google Home app and look for Devices in the menu or in the top right corner of the main screen. Once there, tap on the menu in the right corner for the device you want to change.  Scroll to where you see the Name section and tap on it. After typing in your new name remember to tap “Save”.

See Also: How to choose from Google Assistant’s new voices on your phone

Enable/Disable Guest Mode

Guest Mode for Google HomePlanning to host a party or game night? Guest mode is a cool feature which makes it easy for friends and attendees to cast their music and media to your Google Home. Using a combination of Wi-Fi and location, the app can create a private network for trusted users to connect to the speaker.

If you’d like to set up Guest mode, open the app and look for the device for which you’d like to enable the feature. In the right corner tap the menu button and select Guest mode. Once you enable the setting you’ll be given a randomly generated PIN. Give this out to your guests so they can hop onto your speaker or TV and share. All they have to do now is connect to your Wi-Fi network and cast the music or media from inside an app like Google Play Music or Spotify.

Change Volume for Timers and Alarms

Depending on where you place your Google Home, you might not want it to be all that loud. The one on your night stand, for instance, might need not be as loud as the one in your kitchen.

To adjust the volume level for alarms and timers,open the Google Home app and look to the top right corner for Devices. Scroll to the device you’d like to change and open the menu in the right corner. Find “Alarms and Timers” and adjust the slide according to preference.

Change Volume and LED Brightness with Night Mode

Night Mode in Google HomeIf you want to manage the overall volume and brightness of your Google Home, you can do so via “Night Mode”. Inside of the Settings for the device you’d like to change you’ll want to look for Night mode. Once you enable it you’ll be presented with a host of options, each of which lets you set automatic changes for certain days of the week or time of day.

These settings are helpful if you have a room that you’d like to keep quiet or dim in the evenings. Moreover, the automatic schedule gives you peace of mind in that you don’t have to go in and change it every night.

Create or Change Your Nickname

Want to change things up a little bit? Have your Google Home use a nickname when addressing you. Additionally, it will also use the same name when on your Pixel 2 or other phone with Google Assistant.

To set your nickname open Google Home, open the menu and tap on More Settings. From there you’ll go to Personal Info and tap Nickname. You can edit it to be whatever you’d like but if Google has a hard time learning it, you can also record yourself to teach it proper pronunciation. Have fun with it, “brah”.

Change Google Assistant Language

Change the language in Google HomeChanging the language of your Google Home is fairly simple and can be done on a per-device basis. Inside of the mobile app, tap on More Settings in the menu and scroll down to the section marked Devices. Tap on the one you want to change and look for Assistant Language.

Enable/Disable Personal Results

Sometimes we don’t want to share things that are personal, especially in a public setting. Worried about a co-worker hearing your next doctor’s appointment or flight? Turn off the personal results.

In the Google Home app, go to the menu and look for More Settings. Look for the section marked “Devices” and select the one you want to adjust. The next screen will let you enable or disable the “personal results”.

Enable sound after saying, “Ok Google”

Trigger a sound after saying, "Hey Google".Wouldn’t it be nice if your Google Home would make some kind of chime or noise to signal it heard you? It’s possible. Navigate in the app to the Devices in the top right of the app and open its menu. Scroll to Accessibility and enable sounds; you can opt for both the beginning and the end of the request.

What else is there?

Indeed, there’s plenty left in the Google Home configuration and customization. Have fun looking around and playing with the various settings, making your devices more uniquely “yours”.

Is there a particular setting that impressed or surprised you? Leave a comment below with your favorite tweak for Google Home.

Android

UMIDIGI One promotional video launched ahead of pre-orders (Promoted)

For the past few weeks, we have been learning more and more about the new UMIDIGI One and One Pro. These handsets aim to provide a “compact flagship” experience, without breaking the bank.

Today, we have been informed that the first official graphics video has been released. This video shows off both the One and One Pro, giving users a better idea of what to expect.

As a refresher, let’s take a quick look at the specs for both handsets:

UMIDIGI One UMIDIGI One Pro
Display 5.9-inch 5.9-inch
Processor Helio P23 Helio P23
RAM 4GB 4GB
Storage 32GB 64GB
Front Camera 16MP 16MP
Rear Camera 5MP + 12MP 5MP + 12MP
Battery 3,550mAh 3,250mAh

 

As you can see from the table above, there are a few key differences between these two handsets. Primarily, we see that the One Pro is equipped with 64GB of storage, versus the 32GB offered with the One.

In the battery department, the UMIDIGI One comes with a substantial 3,550mAh battery. Meanwhile, the One Pro sports a smaller 3,250mAh option. However, UMIDIGI has included its new “Dual Fast Charge” technology, allowing the One Pro to charge at up to 15W wired or 18W wireless capacities.

Unfortunately, we have yet to see any official pricing revealed for either the UMIDIGI One or One Pro. Nonetheless, the company has announced that pre-orders will begin on August 6th.

In the meantime, you can head over to the UMIDIGI site and learn more about both of these options. Also, you can throw your name into the hat to attempt to win the latest UMIDIGI device for yourself.

All you will need to do is hit the link here and follow the necessary steps. From there, you have a chance to win one of 10 UMIDIGI One handsets for free! You’ll want to act fast as there are just 18 days left in the giveaway.

Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think about the UMIDIGI One and One Pro. Are you interested in snagging one for yourself? What is the most compelling reason?

Android

Keezel portable online security solution & lifetime VPN gets 25% discount

With all of this talk about leaks, cyber-security, and hacking, you’d be wise to want to put your guard up. For some of us this means making smarter decisions about where we go and what we do online. For others, it’s shielding themselves behind a VPN client. We’re currently offering a product and service combination takes things even further.

Enter Keezel.

As a physical, portable WiFi device, the Keezel connects to any WiFi connection and then routes traffic its own protected network. That’s right, you can use it at home, at a coffee shop, or at the airport. No matter what it connects to, you’re getting the same level of security.

Keezel is the portable internet encryption device that protects all your photos, documents, passwords, financial data etc. against identity, credit card, and account theft with just the push of a button.

The Keezel boasts an internal battery that delivers more than 10 hours of continuous usage. Moreover, it also packs an 8000mAh battery inside to help charge your mobile devices, too.

First introduced on Indiegogo, the Keezel has been backed to the tune of more than $1 million and 540% funding. In other words, a lot of people already know about this and you’re likely late to the party.

Features

  • Prevent others from snooping on what you do online & protect yourself from hacking
  • Secure all of your devices (including IoT devices) w/ just one Keezel, no installation needed
  • Includes a Lifetime Premium VPN subscription
  • Can secure up to 10 devices at the same time
  • Over 1250 VPN servers in over 160 countries
  • Battery/powerbank capacity: 8,000mAh
  • Battery life: 20+ hours of continuous use, can be used while charging
  • Charge time: up to 7 hours
  • 1 USB port, 1 micro-USB port
  • Any WiFi-enabled device (including media streamers and IoT devices

Where to Buy

AndroidGuys readers can purchase the Keezel with a lifetime of premium VPN services. Pricing shakes out to $469, or at a 25$ discount.

Save even more!

In addition to the savings above, when you buy through AndroidGuys Deals, for every $25 spent, you get $1 credit added to your account. What’s more, should you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.

If this is your first time buying, then you are also eligible for a further 10% discount when you subscribe for email updates.

How about a freebie?

Not looking to spend any money today? That’s alright, we understand. Why not visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and take something anyhow? Go ahead, grab two!

Android

UK retailer reveals price and specifications of Sony Xperia XZ3 ahead of IFA 2018

It was just yesterday that Sony announced it is holding a press conference and a product launch on August 30th at IFA 2018 in Berlin, where the electronics manufacturer would reportedly launch the Xperia XZ3. Today, a UK retailer has posted an image purporting to be the Xperia XZ3 along with some specs and pricing […]

Come comment on this article: UK retailer reveals price and specifications of Sony Xperia XZ3 ahead of IFA 2018

Android

Samsung Galaxy Watch to run Tizen 4.0

Over the course of the past month, word started to leak out that Samsung was working on a new version of their smartwatch product. As a successor to the Gear S3, most of the focus was on Samsung’s apparent decision to change the branding to the Galaxy Watch. There were hints that Samsung was also […]

Come comment on this article: Samsung Galaxy Watch to run Tizen 4.0

Android

Google slammed with a record $5 billion fine from the EU Commission

The European Union has been investigating Google for years over claims that the company has developed a monopoly in the online sector. That lawsuit has come to an end today, and it’s bringing an enormous $5 billion dollar fine with it. The EU Commission states that Google locked other search engines out of the market […]

Come comment on this article: Google slammed with a record $5 billion fine from the EU Commission

Android

Download the official Galaxy Tab S4 wallpapers here

Thought to be launching during IFA 2018 in Berlin towards the end of August, the Galaxy Tab S4 seems to be popping up all over the place the closer we get. Whether it’s leaked renders, press images, or a sheet of specifications, there are leaks everywhere you look for the Galaxy Tab S3‘s successor. Firmware […]

Come comment on this article: Download the official Galaxy Tab S4 wallpapers here

Android

[TA Deals] Start building apps with the discounted Android O Complete Developer Course!

If you want to start learning how to build Android apps, we’ve got a fully featured bundle that will get you started and teach you how to work with the latest and greatest Android O. It will take you from learning how Android apps work to building clones of some of your favorite apps, touching […]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Start building apps with the discounted Android O Complete Developer Course!

Android

Google Assistant gets proactive in managing your day

One of the more useful features of the old Google Now was the organization of cards related to your upcoming day. This might include items from your calendar, upcoming flight information, and information about commute times. All of this was lost when Google transitioned everything to the new Google Assistant. Now, Google has announced they […]

Come comment on this article: Google Assistant gets proactive in managing your day

Android

The Nokia X5 launches with mid-range specs, dual rear cameras, and a notch

HMD Global has just taken the wraps off the Nokia X5 that sports a metal and glass design, mid-range specifications, as well as the dreaded notch. The handset was announced in China, and while it has similarities with the X6, the Nokia X5, or the Nokia 5.1 Plus as it will likely be called internationally, […]

Come comment on this article: The Nokia X5 launches with mid-range specs, dual rear cameras, and a notch