Google Assistant prompt to open Gmail
Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek

Google Assistant is absolutely packed to the brim with features, and it integrates with many other apps and services. If you use Google Assistant on your phone or Nest smart speakers, you’re probably not aware of everything it can do.

Change Google Assistant’s Voice

select a circle to hear the voice

First, you don’t have to use the default Google Assistant voice. There are actually a bunch of voices to choose from, including different accents, and sometimes celebrity “cameos.” If you’re going to hear Google Assistant often, it might as well be a pleasant voice.

RELATED: How to Change the Google Assistant's Voice

Schedule Announcements With the “Family Bell”

enable or disable announcements

One of my personal favorite Google Assistant features is the “Family Bell.” It allows you to schedule custom announcements that can be made over smart speakers or show up on phones. It’s really handy for keeping your household (and the people in it) running smoothly.

RELATED: Why You Should Use Google Assistant Family Bell

Start Your Day With the “Good Morning” Routine

select actions and tap gear to set them up

Routines are a big part of making Google Assistant work for you. The “Good Morning” routine is particularly useful while you’re in your early morning groggy state. Simply say “Hey Google, good morning” and you can get a read-out of everything you need to know for the day.

RELATED: How to Set Up and Use Google Assistant's 'Good Morning' Routine

Get a Checklist for Your Morning and Nighttime Routine

Check off items on a smart display.
Joe Fedewa / How-To Geek

Google Assistant can help you start and end your day with a checklist of things to do. You can make a list of tasks, then have Google guide you through them at a designated time and days of the week. This feature only works with Assistant-enabled speakers and displays.

RELATED: How to Create a Google Assistant Checklist (for Morning or Bedtime)

Use Google Assistant on a Chromebook

Google Assistant is not just for iPhones and Android devices. If you have a Chromebook, you can use Google Assistant too. It can be launched with the “OK Google” command, the search bar in the launcher, or with a keyboard shortcut. It’s essentially the same experience as with phones.

Send Text Messages With Google Assistant

send a message with assistant

Don’t feel like opening your texting app and typing a message? Google Assistant can do it for you. Simply launch Assistant and say “Send a message to [contact name],” then Google will ask what you’d like the message to say and send it off for you. Easy peasy.

RELATED: How to Send Text Messages with Google Assistant

Perform Actions Inside Apps

example shortcuts

Google Assistant is not limited to only doing Google-y things. It can also perform actions inside some of your favorite apps, such as Instagram, Venmo, Strava, Discord, and many of Google’s own apps, too. For example, you could create a command that opens Spotify to the “Made For You” tab. It’s pretty powerful.

Translate Conversations in Real Time

how to start interpreter mode

Google Assistant can translate words and phrases for you, but it can be a lot more useful than that. The “Interpreter Mode” feature aims to make it easier to have a conversation with someone who speaks a language you’re not familiar with. Once started, Assistant will automatically translate the conversation as it happens.

RELATED: How to Use Google Assistant's Interpreter Mode

Set Up Parental Controls for Google Assistant Speakers

Choose people to include.

Google Assistant-enabled speakers and displays are handy to have around the house, but you might not want everyone in the house to have free reign over them—*cough* kids *cough*. Thankfully, Google offers several ways to limit who can use the speakers, when they can use them, and what can be accessed.

RELATED: How to Use Parental Controls on Google Assistant Speakers

Delete Google Assistant Recordings

delete everything from a day

There’s no getting around the fact that Google records a lot of information about you. The good news is the company allows you to delete that information, or prevent it from being recorded in the first place. When you use Google Assistant, your voice commands and prompts are stored to your account. You can manually delete them, auto-delete, or opt-out entirely.

RELATED: How to Delete Google Assistant Recordings

Google Assistant is an incredibly powerful product with tons of features. There are many useful commands at your disposal. Hopefully, with these tips, you’re getting the most out of Google’s virtual helper. It’s still much more useful than AI chatbots like Google Bard.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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