If you own a Google Home device, or a smartphone running Google Assistant, and you're not using the Routines feature, then we're about to make life a whole lot easier for you. Routines are essentially custom commands, which make multiple actions happen at the same time. Designed to help you streamline your day-to-day life, you can discover how to set up a routine with Google below.
How to create a Google Assistant Routine
To get started, you'll need to access the settings menu of Google Routines. This is possible in three ways: via voice command, or through either the Google Home or Google Assistant app.
To do this through the Google Home app, you'll need to launch the app and click your profile icon on the top right. From here, choose Assistant Settings, select the Assistant tab and then tap on Routines.
The process is similar for Google Assistant app users. Just open up Google Assistant, select Updates (located on the bottom left) and then click on your Google account (top right). Then, select Assistant > Routines.
If you prefer to use voice commands on your smartphone, just say "Set up routines" and scroll to the bottom of the screen to fine Routine settings.
Now you're in the right place, you can set up your first routine. The essential steps are really straightforward, and with so many customisable options, you'll have the power to make your routine as simple or as complex as you like.
1. Create a new routine
To create a brand-new Google Routine from the Routines menu, you should start by pressing the blue '+ Add a routine' button. From here, you'll see a blank template, consisting of options under the headings 'When', 'Assistant will' and 'And then play'.
2. Add Commands
Under the 'When' heading, tap 'Add commands'. From here, you should see a box that will let you type in anything you like. This is a space for you to essentially add trigger words that will prompt the routine to begin. You can add multiple commands for one routine as well - just press the blue '+ Add' button.
For example, you can type in 'Good Evening' and 'Good Night' to begin your own night-time routine. Say either of these words to trigger the actions you'll set in the next step.
Another optional step, you can choose to trigger routines at a set time, and on specific days. Just select 'Set a time and day' to view your options.
3. Add Actions
Next, you'll want to head to the 'Assistant will' heading, and click on 'Add action'. You'll be presented with two options in this next step: you can add in your own action manually, or browse popular actions from other Google Routine users. If you're not sure about the actions available to you, spending some time looking through popular actions can be really useful - your options here really will feel endless.
Continuing with our Good Evening routine example, you may wish to add the action: 'Turn off the lights' here (if you have smart lights installed) and 'Put phone on silent' so you're not interrupted while you're asleep.
4. Add media
Sitting separately from actions, you can also add media to accompany your routine. This optional step means you can set up a specific song, podcast or even audiobook to start playing when your routine begins- it's perfect if you want to wake up to your favourite tunes, or start a gripping audiobook when you hop in the car.
5. Save your Routine
Once you're happy with your commands, actions and media, you can go ahead and save your routine by selecting the 'Save' button at the top-right. You'll be able to view or edit your routine at any time in routine settings too, if you ever want to make adjustments.
Ready-made Google Routines
When you're browsing through Google's Routine settings, you may notice six pre-built routines already exist: Good morning, Bedtime, Leaving home, I'm home, Commuting to work and Commuting home.
You can switch on and edit these routines at your leisure, and if it's your first time experimenting with routines, it's a great way to introduce yourself to the feature. They'll cover all your basic day-to-day routine needs, and you can add in actions to include all kinds of smart devices - from smart bulbs to smart kettles and fridges - to customise them to suit your lifestyle.
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