Mobility

How to add routines to Google Assistant

Google Assistant routines let you launch multiple tasks with a single command. Here's a look at how to put these time-savers to work.

assistanthero.jpg
Image: Google

Google Assistant is an incredibly powerful tool, one that makes your Android life quite a bit more efficient. Since diving into Assistant, I haven't looked back, and I am constantly finding something new that helps to make my busy day a bit less hectic.

One such feature is routines. Within the realm of Google Assistant, routines allow you to bundle up multiple tasks with a single command. Let's say, for instance, one of the first things you do in the morning is have Assistant list your days appointments, tell you the day's weather, read you the news, and then play music on Spotify. You could rattle off those commands, one at a time, or you could create a custom routine to make this happen with a single command.

Let me show you how to do that.

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Creating a new routine

We're going to stick with the example I used above. This routine will include the following actions:

  • List off your days appointments
  • Tell you the day's weather
  • Read you the news
  • Play music on Spotify

The individual commands for these actions (each starting with "Hey, Google") would be:

  • What's my agenda for today?
  • What's today's weather?
  • Read me the news.
  • Play classical music on Spotify.

Let's turn the above commands into a single routine. The location to do this is a bit buried. Go to Settings | Google | Search. Under Google Assistant go to Settings | Routines. In the Routines window (Figure A), tap the + button in the lower-right corner.

Figure A

Figure A

The Routines main window.

In the resulting window (Figure B), tap Add Commands and type something like My Morning.

Figure B

Figure B

The New Routine setup window.

Once you save the command, tap the back button to return to the routine creation window. Under the My Assistant Should section, tap Add Action. In the resulting window, enter the text for the first action (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

Adding our first action.

After you fill that out, tap the Add button. Continue adding actions until you've added all four (from above). Once you've filled out all the actions, tap the check mark in the upper-right corner (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

All of our actions have been added.

With that routine saved, you can now say "Hey, Google. My morning" and your routine will start. Google Assistant will walk through each action without your having to request them one by one.

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Your assistant

You'd be hard-pressed to find a digital assistant with as much power and flexibility as the one Google has created. Using routines, you can customize Google Assistant so it perfectly fits your needs. Give routines a try and see if you don't immediately grow dependent upon them.


Your thoughts

Have you become reliant on Google Assistant? Do you think routines could save you a significant amount of time? Share your opinions and experiences with fellow TechRepublic members.

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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