Stop yelling across the house — use your Google Home as an intercom instead

Google Home Max review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

You’re always telling everyone else in your family not to shout, so of course you feel like something of a hypocrite every time you have to yell to someone in the next room that dinner is ready, or that you all need to be out the door in two minutes. But here to help you practice what you preach is Google, which has finally found a way for you to herd cattle your family more effectively. Google Assistant will now amplify your voice across any room in your household (provided that room has a voice-activated speaker in it). So even though Google Assistant can’t exactly make you omniscient, it’s doing what it can to make your omnipresent.

Starting Monday, November 13, you can broadcast your voice from Google Assistant on your phone or Google Home, turning your smart speakers into an intercom. So the next time you need to get everyone out of the house and over to the grandparents’ for dinner, simply say, “OK Google, broadcast it’s time to leave,” and that message will be broadcast to every Assistant-enabled speaker in your household.

To inject some fun into these announcements (so you’re not just giving orders all the live-long day), Assistant can also send “playful messages” for you. For example, if you say, “OK Google, broadcast it’s dinner time,” a dinner bell will begin to chime across all your Google Home devices. And no matter how sonorous your voice may be, chances are that a dinner bell is more pleasant than your hollering. More saliently, it will save your vocal chords for more important tasks.

Similarly, you can alert your family members to changes in your location, warning them that you’ll soon be crossing the threshold. As you leave work, you can say to Assistant on your smartphone, “OK Google, broadcast I’m on my way home,” and that message will be played across Google Home speakers. Of course, you’ll have to be signed into the same Google account in order for this cross-functionality to work.

As it stands, broadcasting is available to Assistant on phones and speakers with English language settings in the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. More languages are said to be on their way.