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Quick Tip: Google Routines Make Life Easier in Your Smart Home

Google Home mini smart speaker with built-in Google Assistant

If you have a device that supports Google Assistant, like a brand new Pixel 4a or a Nest Hub, and one of the more than 50,000 smart home devices it’s compatible with, you have access to a powerful feature that can make your life a little easier: Google Routines.

Routines trigger helpful actions like automatically turning on the lights when you get home from work, playing your favorite music or podcasts whenever you work out, or telling you the day’s pertinent information when you wake up. Routines even have integration with popular apps (like Netflix or YouTube) and smart devices (like smart lights).

What Types of Google Routines Are There?

You have two options here: ready-made Routines and custom Routines. Ready-made Routines cover common scenarios and are great for when you first wake up, when you’re going to bed, and when you’re leaving to commute to work (or vice versa). If you need a Routine for a different situation, or if the ready-made options don’t offer all of the exact actions you need, go with a custom one. Either way, you’ll need to install the Google Home app on your Android or iOS device to access and manage the feature.

Depending on which specific ready-made Routine you choose, your Assistant can perform actions like taking your phone off silent, turning lights on or off, telling you location-based reminders, adjusting your smart thermostat, and resuming playback of an audiobook or playlist you were listening to at an earlier time. Once your Routine is set up, all you have to do to trigger it is say its command phrase, like “Hey Google, good morning.”

Google Home app showing Google Routine options
Suzanne Humphries / Review Geek

How to Set Up a Google Routine

Setting up a ready-made Routine is easy. Just open the Google Home app, tap on “Routines,” then on “Manage Routines.” Under the “Ready-Made” option, select the routine you want along with the corresponding actions you want to set up.

Setting up a custom routine isn’t much harder, but it does require a few extra steps. Open the Google Home app, tap on “Routines,” then “Add a Routine.” From here, it’s up to you to fill in the details about when your Routine should run, what the command phrase will be, and what will happen when you trigger it.

Scheduling a custom Routine is also possible, and only takes one extra step. When you’re first setting it up, simply specify what day and time you want the Routine to run on and which days it should repeat.

Suzanne Humphries Suzanne Humphries
Suzanne Humphries was a Commerce Editor for Review Geek. She has over seven years of experience across multiple publications researching and testing products, as well as writing and editing news, reviews, and how-to articles covering software, hardware, entertainment, networking, electronics, gaming, apps, security, finance, and small business. Read Full Bio »