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10 questions to ask your smart speaker

August 29, 2021 - 3 min read

Sure, we all know by now our smart speakers can read us the headlines and tell us the weather. But these versatile little boom boxes are capable of a whole lot more. Here’s how to make the most of your voice assistant enabled speaker and why they’re worth investing in. Just make sure you’ve set up your relevant account and connected to Wi-Fi.

Couple are looking at their mobile phones and pointing out the great features.

Can you add milk to the grocery list, please?

You’re halfway through cooking dinner, your hands are full stirring a hot saucepan and you’ve just used the last of the milk to perfect your white sauce. If you don’t write it down now, you’ll probably forget again… but if you drop everything to add to the list your sauce will burn. The solution? Just ask your speaker to start a new grocery list, and add milk to the top. Whether you’ve got an Amazon Alexa household or you’re strictly a Google family, both voice assistants have this feature and Woolworths even launched its own Google Assistant integration for their app. Try a Google Nest Audio (Chalk) in the kitchen.

What’s a recipe I can use to cook this eggplant?

We’re not all born with the natural ability to cook, so if you need some guidance on how to best use the groceries in your fridge, just ask. From suggesting a recipe and reading out the required ingredients to talking you through the instructions step by step, Google Assistant will take you from novice to Nigella in no time. Add the Google Nest Hub Max – Chalk to your benchtop collection and enjoy the benefits of the display screen, too.

Can you find me a ride?

Running late? You can ask your Amazon Echo Dot with Alexa to order your Uber for you as you finish getting ready. As long as you’ve got your account up and running, your ride will be there in minutes. While you’re there, you might as well ask about the weather to find out if you need that jacket or not.

Couple are looking at their mobile phones and pointing out the great features.

Will you please tell the kids that it's dinner time?

When dinner is ready and it’s time to serve up, don’t bother straining your voice to yell out and tell the kids. With compatible Amazon smart speakers in every room, you can set up a smart home device group and use it as a real-time intercom system with the Announcements feature. Add an Amazon Echo Dot to each of the kid’s bedrooms, and you’ll also be able to get them up in time for school without taking a step.

Can you turn the lights off?

Our homes are getting smarter every day, and if you’ve invested in smart light bulbs and smart power plugs, you can use your smart speaker to control them all by voice. Both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are compatible with most bulbs and plugs, so all you need is to choose your speaker and set up your network. Try the Lenovo Smart Clock with Google Assistant, which can double as your bedside alarm clock.

Be my Italian interpreter?

Google Assistant can even act as your very own translator with interpreter mode. Whether you’ve got new friends visiting or you’re just trying to sharpen up your language skills, once you start interpreter mode and choose your language, you won’t even need to change between languages for interpreter mode to work. With a smart display such as the Google Nest Hub 2nd Gen you’ll be able to hear and see the translation on screen.

“Today’s smart speakers are capable of everything from booking an uber to teaching the kids their times tables”

What is that song on the TV show I’m watching?

If you’ve noticed the latest Netflix shows feature some impressive soundtracks, you’re not alone. The good news? Tracking down those songs you heard has never been easier thanks to Google Assistant’s song recognition abilities. It doesn’t have to be playing on your smart speaker, just within hearing reach. The Google Nest Mini in Coral is a chic addition to any living room, and will help you to level up your playlist game.

Can you get the bedtime routine started?

Combine a smart speaker’s ability to tell the kids it’s dinner time and its ability to control the lights, and you have everything you need to get the bedtime routine under control. With Amazon Alexa’s Routines function, you can have the speaker remind the kids 10 or 15 minutes before bedtime while also dimming the lights and switching off the television. Get it started with the Amazon Echo Show 8 with Alexa.

Is someone at the door?

With a Google Nest Hub, you can access a livestream of the front door (or anywhere else you’ve installed a Google Nest Cam Wireless Camera), so whether you’re upstairs, home alone or preparing dinner in the kitchen, you won’t have to question yourself on whether or not you heard someone pull up.

Can you help the kids with their homework?

Mathematics is not everyone's forte, and it can be hard to keep up with the kids' homework – but no need to dust off the calculator, Alexa can help. But addition, subtraction and multiplying aside, there’s a lot more the kids can learn from Alexa with the help of “skills”. Alexa skills are similar to apps on your smartphone, and can provide information, activities and tasks with voice control. Downloadable via the Amazon Skills store, there are options to quiz the kids, read them a story and teach them to spell. Add an Amazon Echo Dot Clock & Alexa to the kids’ playroom and save yourself from learning the nine times tables all over again.

These clever devices have evolved far beyond just playing music, and go a long way in making your life a little easier. Visit The Good Guys in-store or online to find out more about smart speakers.

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