What are Routines in the Google Home app, and how do you use them?

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Have you ever wished you could make your smart home do multiple actions at once with a single command? Maybe turning off all the lights and adjusting your thermostat in your home when you leave for the office in the morning. Another example would be starting your morning by hearing the weather, latest headlines, your favorite music, and turning on your lights.

Well, the good news is, that’s exactly what Routines were created for. With a few simple steps, you can set up your Google Home to automate several actions with one simple voice command.

How do you set up a routine?

One of the easiest ways to learn about Routines is by setting one up. The Google Home app even comes with several Routines already set up for you. All you have to do is enable it and edit the Routine to your liking. To access routines follow these steps.

1. Open the Google Home app.
2. Tap on Routines.
3. Choose Manage routines.

From here, you have access to edit the pre-made Routines and the ability to create your own by pressing on the blue plus (+) symbol in the bottom right corner. Editing a Routine is one of the easiest ways to set one up, and also shows you many of the possibilities that a Routine offers.

In this tutorial we’re going to set one up from scratch; this way you understand how to create your own. But make sure to explore the premade Routines, because it might have everything you’re already looking for, or work with only a few minor tweaks.

Create a Routine

To begin creating your own Routine, follow these steps.

  • Tap on the blue plus symbol in the bottom right corner.
  • Under the “When” section, choose either a voice command or time of day to initiate your Routine.
  • If choosing a voice command, it will allow you to add several to choose from. Have fun and add a few different phrases using the blue plus icon in the bottom right corner.
  • Next, you’re going to want to add an action. This can be any voice command your Google Assistant speaker is capable of. The easiest way to add one, is by choosing from the list of popular actions.

If there is a settings cog next to the action, make sure to click on it and adjust the settings to your liking. For example, under “Adjust lights, plugs, and more” I made sure to turn off all the connected lights in my house.

  • After you’ve added all of your actions, don’t forget to check the order and change it if necessary.
  • In the Add media section, is where you can choose to play music, audiobooks, podcasts, sleep sounds, or even hear the news. In this example, I will be adding a sleep sound.
  • The final step will be to tap on the check mark at the top to save your new Routine.

That’s all there is to it. I would suggest trying it out to test and make sure everything happens exactly as you wanted. If not, no worries, as you can go back in and edit your Routine at any time.

Routines will vary widely depending on your smart home setup. For example, if I were allowed to install a connected thermostat or smart locks in my current residence, I could have also adjusted the temperature and locked the doors. However, since I own the Logitech Harmony Companion remote, which I highly recommend, I was able to control my TV using Google Assistant.  It all comes down to what connected devices you have in your home.

Even without any connected devices, you can still set up Routines that only make use of your smart speaker, such as reading off your calendar, your reminders, listening to the headlines, the traffic report, or playing a certain playlist.

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