One of the most frustrating experiences of using a smart speaker is trying to achieve. For example, if you want to dim the lights, stream your favorite music, and change the volume, usually three separate commands are required.
A compromise has come for Google Home ($ 129 at Dell Home) . Back in November, Google made sure that your Google Home speakers could pass up to two commands to Google Home at the same time. You could say something like, "OK, Google, turn on the TV and what's the weather like?" Your TV with Chromecast ($ 35 at Dell Home) turns on and your Google Home tells you the weather for your location.
Now the company has taken things a step further.. You can now say things like:
- "OK, google, turn on the office light and play music and volume 5."
- "OK, Google, dim the lights, play music and turn off the TV."
- "OK, Google, what's the weather and set a timer for 5 minutes and find my phone."
Testing showed that sometimes this was a bit awkward to use. It felt like we were just betraying Google phrases, hoping it might make sense.
As before, with two commands at once, not every command is compatible with this feature. It still seems to overlook certain commands asking for traffic. And if you try to set a timer as the first command, Google Home may mistake anything you say afterwards for the actual name of the command. (This happened a few times in our tests.)
I often had to pause for a few seconds to collect my thoughts before summarizing three commands. It takes a bit more effort to plan everything, and that's partly why I prefer Alexa's handling of multiple commands a little better.
Instead of trying to parse multiple commands at once, Alexa will wait for a few seconds for her next statement after she has performed an action. This can take forever, and when you're done, you can just let Alexa time out or say "thank you" or "stop". In practice, this method seems to be easier for both the user and the speaker.
Nevertheless, it is possible to combine strings with shortcuts. Once you've found the wording for a set of commands, you can create a focus playlist on Spotify in the Google Home app (Android, iOS) at More Settings> Shortcuts , the light dims and changes the volume to 40 percent. This seems to be the most practical use for multiple commands.