Google Home has a lot going for it when matched against Amazon's Echo in the battle for best smart speaker: it's cheaper, better at search, and integrates well with all of Google's tools. But Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, has more skills at its disposal than Google Assistant, the virtual assistant powering Google Home. That means Alexa can work better with your internet-connected devices and services than Google Assistant can — even with recently announced actions that Google added.
That's where IFTTT (IF This Then That) comes in. IFTTT applets tie together internet-connected services to make them more useful than they are alone. In this case, one service is Google Assistant, and the other depends on the connected services or devices you have.
The list grows every day, but here are the current 15 best IFTTT applets for Google Home.
To connect IFTTT with your Google Home, you'll need a free account with IFTTT to get started. When logged in to IFTTT, search for "Google Assistant." Select the service with that name, then click "Connect." You'll be asked which Google account to connect; make sure you pick the one that’s tied to your Google Home. Once you give IFTTT permission for offline access, you're ready to run applets.
Misplaced your phone again? Instead of suffering moments of terror as you retrace your steps, just say, "OK, Google, find my phone," and Google Assistant initiates a call to your phone. When you answer, you'll hear a recording say, "Hooray! You found your phone." Of course, this is only useful if your phone is on and not silenced.
The dream of hands-free TV viewing is within reach. Alexa has this built-in as a skill, but with a bit of extra effort you can make Google Assistant do the same thing. If you've got a Harmony Hub, you can connect your Google Home to it to turn your TV on (you’ll need to set up a separate applet for off). "Saying, OK, Google, turn on the TV" does the trick.
The best ideas always seem to happen when you’ve got your hands full. With this recipe, you won't forget a thing or have to stop what you’re doing. Say, "OK, Google, add [insert great idea here] to my digest," and Google will send an email to your Gmail address with all your brilliant ideas at the end of the day. You can even specify when the email will arrive.
Of all the social networks, Twitter may be the one of best suited to quick text quips and updates. The next time you can’t wait to share a revelation with the world, say, "OK, Google, tweet," and then tell it what to tweet. It'll get posted to your timeline. Similar recipes are available for posting to Facebook and LinkedIn.
Meeting new people shouldn't involve handing over your phone so he or she can tap in their name and number. When you need to add new friend Bob to your Google Contacts, say, "OK, Google, add Bob to my contacts. The number is 555-555-5555." Bob will show up in your Google contact list thereafter, and your phone remained in your possession at all times — that's making the most of technology.
Quick temperature adjusts are just what Internet-connected thermostats such as the Nest and the Ecobee were designed for. Now you don't even need to pull out your phone to get it done. The next time you feel cold, say, "OK, Google, set thermostat to 74 degrees," and you'll be toasty in minutes. Keep in mind that this applet is set to Fahrenheit, not Celsius.