This Google Home feature hiding in plain sight is one of the best — here’s how to use it

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Yes, it’s smart, but a Google Home Mini or Nest Mini can also act as a simple Bluetooth speaker.

Josh Miller / Tips Clear

One of the Google Home ($ 130 at QVC) Features that I use the most are also some of the simplest. Yes, Google Home devices are great in calculate math problems, report the weather and serve fun games. But they are also real Bluetooth speakers that you can use to stream music, podcasts or audiobooks from your phone or tablet.

Why does that matter? Perhaps you’re listening to a service that Google Home doesn’t support, like Apple Music or Audible. (Full disclosure: I have both.) Or when friends come over and you want to put on the party. Sometimes I just prefer to use my phone rather than my voice to control what is playing on my speakers.

Whatever your reason, here’s how to connect a phone, tablet, or even a laptop or desktop computer to your Google Home using Bluetooth.

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Bluetooth pairing a Google Home smart speaker to your phone is pretty easy.

Matt Elliott / Tips Clear

First you need to introduce your devices to each other

If you’ve never connected your phone, tablet, or computer to your Google Home device using Bluetooth, the first time is a little trickier. Once paired, they will remember each other, and connecting and disconnecting will be a lot easier. To pair with Bluetooth for the first time:

1. Say “OK, Google, go into pairing mode.” You can also say “Pair Bluetooth” or “Turn on bluetooth.”

2. The Google Assistant replies, “To connect, open Bluetooth settings and find the device you are calling [the name you gave your device]. “

3. Open that Settings app Go to on your mobile device or computer Bluetooth settings and find the Name of your Google Home device and either click or tap the name of the device or the word or button for Connect.

4th Google Home will play a tone indicating that your devices are now connected. Now any audio you play on your phone, tablet, or computer will be played through your Google Home speaker.

5. To separate we say “Hey Google, disconnect bluetooth.” Google Assistant says “Bluetooth is not connected” to confirm.

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Once you’ve paired your device with Google Home, you can only connect and disconnect using voice commands.

Josh Miller / Tips Clear

How to connect after pairing once

From then on, it’s pretty easy. If you’re ready to connect, start with “Okay Google” or “Hey Google” Then say one of the following statements:

  • “Connect to my phone.”
  • “Connect to my device.”
  • “Connect Bluetooth.”

The Google Assistant responds, “Search for paired devices” and then plays a tone when you are connected. Say, “Hey Google, disconnect bluetooth” when you’re done.

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Be careful – if the Google Assistant asks if you want to “delete” Bluetooth devices, say “no” and repeat your command or everything will be disconnected.

Chris Monroe / Tips Clear

However, watch out for this glitch

When I tested this process on various Google Home devices – both speakers and displays – I would occasionally try to disconnect my phone and Google Home would ask, “You want to clear your list of paired bluetooth devices , correct ? “

If your Google Assistant asks this, the definitive answer is no.

If you “clear” your list of paired devices, Google Home will forget the device you just paired (and any other devices you’ve ever paired). In addition to going back and repeating the initial pairing steps as described above, you will likely have to go to your mobile device or computer’s bluetooth settings and “forget” the Google Home device from there too. Otherwise, you might get the same error message I got that your device suddenly can’t connect to Google Home.

The more uses I can find, the more I love using Google Home. Most people listen to music through their smart speakers – Here’s how to get the exact song you just want with your voice. Another simple feature I use every day: How to turn off timers and alarms when you are no longer in the same room (without shouting).

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