• Last Updated:
  • Nov 20th, 2017 10:20 pm
Deal Addict
May 12, 2010
1071 posts
103 upvotes
Vaughan
I won a Google home mini at the Eaton centre and had a few Qs.

-I can easily set up my own voice/google account with the mini and it recognizes my voice (mostly, more below). I was told i could set up multiple users. I want to add my kids voices as well and want it to recognize them by voice/name. In the instructions on how to do so, I should get a blue banner when in the google home app, on the device card screen. I do not: Your text to link here...
4. In the top right corner of the app Home screen, tap Devices . Find the device card of the Google Home you'd like to link to your voice.
5. From the device card, tap the blue banner labeled Multi user is now available or Link your account.
Do my kids need there own Google account to be able to add their voices? They are young and i'd prefer not to have to create an account for them. Their school accounts are moderated and won't work.

-The mini often doesn't hear my voice (or my kids voices) and doesn't respond. I thought it was supposed to hear "OK google" from a good distance. My kids are now walking right up to it and speaking annoying loud to get it to comply.

-Can the tell the mini to start an app on my android box? (all on the same network) Is there a way to create commands and then just say the command name and it will execute? i.e. I create a command that starts the mixcloud app on my Android box called "command 1". "OK Google, command 1" to execute.

-I have a semi smart Vizio TV which has a youtube app. I have a PS4 with youtube. I have an android box with youtube. I can't figure out how to connect any of them to the mini. Right now there is no default video player.

I'm hoping the mini gets better as right now it isn't doing much but telling us some jokes and traffic/weather.

THX
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
2662 posts
1395 upvotes
Richmond
For me the Mini responds very reliably to my voice, even when I am in the next room or music/TV is playing. The general reviews seem to be that the microphone voice pickup on the GHM is the best to date of any of these units, so your experience is not typical. Perhaps you've trained it to your voice, and the kids' voices are not close enough to yours? There is a Guest mode, but I think all users who want to have custom voice recognition need their own Google account because it has to store the voice print somewhere.

Multi-user is still one of the features Google has crippled in Canada I think. See https://mobilesyrup.com/2017/07/10/get- ... rt-canada/ . Mine is set to U.S. English as stated, but no multi-user banner for me either.

I always hesitate to recommend Reddit because they're plagued with immature morons and vicious trolls, but there is a Google Home forum on Reddit, and they have a sticky FAQ at the top answering the most common current questions. Among them:

"Q: Can I string commands together? Ans: No, Routines have been announced and said to be coming soon, but no firm date"

There are ways using IFTTT and Stringify if you really want to get into it. For example I can easily set up an arbitrarily long and complicated Flow of multiple steps in Stringify, add Google Assistant as a trigger with a keyword, then run it by saying "Hey Google, tell Stringify <keyword>"

I don't know of any way to launch or command an Android app on any platform using Google Home, aside from custom programming.

The only video device that Google Home can control directly or send Youtube video to is a Chromecast. If you have a Logitech Harmony hub, you can control certain aspects of your AV equipment via Google Voice that way.
Last edited by Faith24 on Oct 31st, 2017 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2007
623 posts
158 upvotes
Faith24 wrote:
Oct 31st, 2017 2:51 pm
"Q: Can I string commands together? Ans: No, Routines have been announced and said to be coming soon, but no firm date"
I just want to state that routines were released a few weeks ago. I forget where exactly they are in the settings, but it comes with a few default ones, like "Hey Google, cheer me up" and it'll play funny videos from YouTube on your connected TV.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
2662 posts
1395 upvotes
Richmond
orbitdesign wrote:
Oct 31st, 2017 4:05 pm
I just want to state that routines were released a few weeks ago. I forget where exactly they are in the settings, but it comes with a few default ones, like "Hey Google, cheer me up" and it'll play funny videos from YouTube on your connected TV.
According to online sources, it's still in beta in version 7.12 of the Google app.

https://9to5google.com/2017/10/31/googl ... -teardown/
Member
Dec 25, 2010
229 posts
16 upvotes
Toronto
Faith24 wrote:
Oct 31st, 2017 2:51 pm
Multi-user is still one of the features Google has crippled in Canada I think. See https://mobilesyrup.com/2017/07/10/get- ... rt-canada/ . Mine is set to U.S. English as stated, but no multi-user banner for me either.
There is an update article on this on MS, where multi-user is available. I've been trying to figure out a way to do this and will have to follow this advice: Multi-user support in Canada
Deal Addict
May 12, 2010
1071 posts
103 upvotes
Vaughan
rjw85 wrote:
Nov 1st, 2017 7:41 am
There is an update article on this on MS, where multi-user is available. I've been trying to figure out a way to do this and will have to follow this advice: Multi-user support in Canada
Thanks, I read through the article.

I played with it a bit more last night. On my phone, galaxy S7 from Rogers, I still don't get the “multi-user is available” message or the ‘Link Your Account’ message anywhere. But on my wife's phone (which is logged in using my Google credentials as well) I do get the blue ‘Link Your Account’ message on the card. This appears without having to change the language to English-US. Her phone was purchased from Amazon US, but is also with Rogers now. Not sure why the difference. I created accounts for my kids and added them and their voices using her phone.

Issues: When I ask "what's my name" the google assistant doesn't know my name. Same with my kids. When I ask "What does my day look like" the Google assistant starts with "hi <<name>>" and continues on. Same with my kids. So she knows our names but when we ask it directly, it's very flaky.
orbitdesign wrote:
Oct 31st, 2017 4:05 pm
I just want to state that routines were released a few weeks ago. I forget where exactly they are in the settings, but it comes with a few default ones, like "Hey Google, cheer me up" and it'll play funny videos from YouTube on your connected TV.
I remember seeing this last night. I thought they were just standard ones and didn't have a chance to go through them but will look into it tonight.
Faith24 wrote:
Oct 31st, 2017 2:51 pm
I always hesitate to recommend Reddit because they're plagued with immature morons and vicious trolls, but there is a Google Home forum on Reddit, and they have a sticky FAQ at the top answering the most common current questions. Among them:

"Q: Can I string commands together? Ans: No, Routines have been announced and said to be coming soon, but no firm date"

There are ways using IFTTT and Stringify if you really want to get into it. For example I can easily set up an arbitrarily long and complicated Flow of multiple steps in Stringify, add Google Assistant as a trigger with a keyword, then run it by saying "Hey Google, tell Stringify <keyword>"
The GHM seemed to hear our voices better last night. Maybe we weren't speaking clearly enough the first night.

I'll have a look at Reddit and IFTTT, which I believe is the app the Google rep told me about after I won the device. Seems like something i would want running on my phone anyway.

Thanks all.

BTW - I have a free spotify account that I have never used. Anywhere to get info on how to use the free service their? I've always found it complicated and GHM says I can't request actual songs, and always plays something similar (or not).
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
2662 posts
1395 upvotes
Richmond
d_source wrote:
Nov 1st, 2017 8:43 am
But on my wife's phone (which is logged in using my Google credentials as well) I do get the blue ‘Link Your Account’ message on the card.
If her phone is using your Google account, how do you know which Google account it wants you to link? The customized voice recognition is stored by Google per account, so if she trains it with your account, then you might not be understood any more. :)
I'll have a look at Reddit and IFTTT, which I believe is the app the Google rep told me about after I won the device. Seems like something i would want running on my phone anyway.
Also check Stringify, which I think is much better than IFTTT. IFTTT is older and supports more devices, but Stringify is much more flexible and responds instantly whereas IFTTT can take anything from seconds to minutes. Stringify only runs on recent versions of Android and iOS though.
I have a free spotify account that I have never used. Anywhere to get info on how to use the free service their? I've always found it complicated and GHM says I can't request actual songs, and always plays something similar (or not).
In the Google Home settings you can select your default music player as either Google Play Music (initial default) or Spotify (add account login info). Google Home will not play specific titles with the free version of either service - it will only play generic stations/streams. If you have a paid account with either service, you can request specific titles. Google offers a 3-month free trial of the paid version of Google Play Music with your GHM purchase, but you must give them a credit card, and obviously you must remember to cancel on time if you don't want to be charged.

In a recent update Google also added the ability to play specific titles from music that you upload to your Google Play Music account. It's free, but they also require you to give them a credit card for that, just 'cause they really want to know.
Deal Addict
May 12, 2010
1071 posts
103 upvotes
Vaughan
Faith24 wrote:
Nov 1st, 2017 9:49 am
If her phone is using your Google account, how do you know which Google account it wants you to link? The customized voice recognition is stored by Google per account, so if she trains it with your account, then you might not be understood any more. :)
I should have been more clear. My voice is saved to my account. My wife didn't upload her voice (and doesn't care to). My kids have their own google accounts, and each child had their voices set up using their own accounts. I asked a Google rep today and he told me that the ‘Link Your Account’ message is from an old version of the software and maybe by restoring the GHM to factory default I will get the newer message on both phones. He also suggested changing the assistant language on my phone to US-English before doing anything with the factory restored GHM. So i'll give that a try. Was thinking of doing that anyway.
Also check Stringify, which I think is much better than IFTTT. IFTTT is older and supports more devices, but Stringify is much more flexible and responds instantly whereas IFTTT can take anything from seconds to minutes. Stringify only runs on recent versions of Android and iOS though.
Thanks, will try this one first/instead.
In the Google Home settings you can select your default music player as either Google Play Music (initial default) or Spotify (add account login info). Google Home will not play specific titles with the free version of either service - it will only play generic stations/streams. If you have a paid account with either service, you can request specific titles. Google offers a 3-month free trial of the paid version of Google Play Music with your GHM purchase, but you must give them a credit card, and obviously you must remember to cancel on time if you don't want to be charged.

In a recent update Google also added the ability to play specific titles from music that you upload to your Google Play Music account. It's free, but they also require you to give them a credit card for that, just 'cause they really want to know.
Can it play music from my phone insttead? I don't care to upload music to google play or share my CC info. I saw TuneIn radio was an option as well (hopefully also in Canada), sadly I can't get DI.fm on there anymore last time I tried.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
2662 posts
1395 upvotes
Richmond
d_source wrote:
Nov 1st, 2017 3:00 pm
Can it play music from my phone instead?
Only via cast or Bluetooth. You can't tell Google Home to play a specific selection from your phone or any local server.
I saw TuneIn radio was an option as well (hopefully also in Canada), sadly I can't get DI.fm on there anymore last time I tried.
Yup, TuneIn works. You can say "Hey Google, play radio station <name>"
[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
2662 posts
1395 upvotes
Richmond
d_source wrote:
Oct 31st, 2017 9:57 am
-I can easily set up my own voice/google account with the mini and it recognizes my voice (mostly, more below). I was told i could set up multiple users. I want to add my kids voices as well and want it to recognize them by voice/name. In the instructions on how to do so, I should get a blue banner when in the google home app, on the device card screen. I do not
I noticed that one of the items in the scrolling list of news and tips that appears in the Google Home app offers to set your device up for multiple family members. When you click on it, it takes you to "Shared Devices" in the menu, which then offers to step you through the process of individual voice training. Is that what you did?
Deal Addict
May 12, 2010
1071 posts
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Vaughan
Faith24 wrote:
Nov 1st, 2017 3:33 pm
Yup, TuneIn works. You can say "Hey Google, play radio station <name>"
Phone or local server supprt should happen. Silly not to be there from the start. I undersatnd they are trying to push their own products, but the device also needs to be useful.
I thought you had to add TuneIn as a music source. I treid and you are right, just telling it to play a station from TuneIn works. Thanks!

Faith24 wrote:
Nov 2nd, 2017 1:51 pm
I noticed that one of the items in the scrolling list of news and tips that appears in the Google Home app offers to set your device up for multiple family members. When you click on it, it takes you to "Shared Devices" in the menu, which then offers to step you through the process of individual voice training. Is that what you did?
I saw that there as well, but that is not how I added them. On my wife's phone, when on the device card for the GHM I did get the blue banner to ‘Link Your Account’. I added the other 2 accounts that way.

Again this morning the GHM couldn't tell me my name or my kids names. Maybe my morning voice is different than my afternoon voice or something.
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Feb 24, 2007
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Umm. Multi-user works for me on my GH. All my family members can talk to GH with no problem being recognised. You have to try "Hey Google. Who am I" to see if it is working.

First you have to enable the multi-user mode on app. Then all family members have to have the app installed on phone and have their own voice trained. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the beta program I've joined or not but it works fine.
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Feb 29, 2012
2662 posts
1395 upvotes
Richmond
I see that placing a phone call via the Google Home Mini does work in Canada. You can call a known contact from your linked Google account by name, or just say "Hey Google, phone <number>". I see a place in the Google Home settings to specify a phone service, but I haven't set anything, so I presume it's using the same free North-America-wide Google phone service as the Hangouts dialer. It warns that callers won't see your caller ID, and suggests that you could change that in the Settings, but I don't see how so far.

The call quality is disappointing though. I was expecting that with its dual far-field microphones that excel at picking up your voice from anywhere nearby it would be of similar quality to a conference call speakerphone. Not so much! The voice quality is muffled, echoing and crackling, not anything I would want to inflict on someone I'm calling. Plus as others have pointed out, you have to say "Ok Google, hang up" to end the call - which will be recorded by the other end if you are leaving a message.

Another observation: When playing music from an app on another device to the GHM via either audio casting or Bluetooth, the GHM can name the tune that's playing if you say "Hey Google, what's playing now?". Apparently this is not by recognizing the music (a feature of Google Now that got dropped), but rather because the playing app sends the title along with the music.

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