Skip to main content

Rule your home with custom voice commands for Alexa and Google Assistant

These days, it seems like everyone has a Google Home or Amazon Echo installed in their home. We rely on these devices to do just about everything for us, and, more often than not, they deliver. Alexa can teach you how to be a champagne connoisseur, among other things, and Google Assistant has its own bag of digital tricks, including the ability to preheat your oven. It’s even possible to create custom commands with the app IFTTT (If This, Than That).

Our how-to guide will have you barking at Alexa or Google Assistant in no time.

We’ve already created a crash course to IFTTT, but for our smart home device owners who are unaware of service, let’s just say that this app lets you create custom voice commands for your Home and Echo. Getting started is simple, too, and our how-to guide will have you barking at Alexa or Google Assistant in no time.

Related Videos

First, download the IFTTT app for either iOS or Android. You will then need to set up an account, though, you can do so using your Google or Facebook accounts, in addition to your email address.

After you’ve downloaded the app, connect either your Google Home or Echo. To do this, click the search icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and type in either “Google Assistant” or “Amazon Alexa.” Then, tap either assistant to sync your smart home device with IFTTT.

Once you’ve connected your device, you will see a host of “Applets,” which essentially function as triggers or packaged actions that are ready for you to use and install. To create your own, tap “My Applets” in the bottom-right corner.

Next, tap the addition sign in the upper-right corner and choose either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa to create a “trigger,” a custom phrase that will prompt an action. It will then direct you to a screen where you can enter your voice command using lowercase letters. Tap the check mark in the upper-right corner when finished.

Now the “this” part is complete, you have to choose the “that,” meaning you need to pick which service you want to use this command for. For example, say you want to set up a trigger that will prompt your Philips Hue bulbs to pulse blue when you say the phrase, “party mode.” To do so, click That once you’ve completed the “this” component and search for “Philips Hue” using the entry field at the top. Then, set up your desired action and tap the check mark in the upper-right corner once again.

Note: You’ll have to log into each individual account for any services you have yet to set up.

The app will then show your active Applet, which you toggle on and off using the enlarged slider in the middle of your screen. You can also edit or delete your Applet from within the My Applet section located in the bottom-right corner of your screen. To set up another custom command, simply repeat the process!

David Cogen — a regular contributor here at Digital Trends — runs TheUnlockr, a popular tech blog that focuses on tech news, tips and tricks, and the latest tech. You can also find him on Twitter discussing the latest tech trends.

Editors' Recommendations

The Lenovo Smart Clock Essential drops Google Assistant for Alexa
The new Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Ambient Light Dock on the nightstand

Lenovo is introducing its new Lenovo Smart Clock Essential with Alexa Built-in instead of Google. In addition, the New Smart Clock also has a new docking accessory: The new Ambient Light Dock.

Lenovo was an early innovator for smart displays powered by Google Assistant. Over the past few years, they've released two generations of its Lenovo Smart Clock. However, at CES 2022, Lenovo has just announced its new Smart Clock powered with Amazon's Alexa smart assistant instead. Having Alexa will bring the Lenovo Smart Clock into Amazon's smart home ecosystem and allow you to control your related smart devices, similar to an echo dot.

Read more
Alexa can now tell you if you left the water on or the fridge door open
Echo Show 5 in the kitchen

Amazon's Alexa has become a ubiquitous part of the smart home, capable of handling everything from our day-to-day routines to keeping up with our shopping lists. Now, the smart assistant has a new feature: The ability to tell you if your latest load of laundry is finished or if there is running water somewhere in the home.

These new features are called Sound Detectors. Alexa already had several of these, like the ability to listen for a baby crying or the sound of barking dogs. Through Alexa Guard, the assistant can also listen for the sound of breaking glass.

Read more
The wall-mountable Echo Show 15 will rule your smart home
Amazon Echo Show 15 hanging horizontally on the wall.

Amazon's annual fall showcase saw its fair share of exciting announcements. One such revelation is the all-new Amazon Echo Show 15, the company's biggest smart display yet.

The 15.6-inch 1080p HD display parts ways with the boxier designs of previous Echo Show displays, favoring a sleeker, flatter design. It's also the first Show that can be wall-mounted for either landscape or portrait viewing. Powered by the Alexa voice assistant and Amazon's new AZ2 neural-edge processor, it places a great emphasis on shared family connections. Intended to stand upright or be hung in communal spots throughout the home (living room, kitchen, hallway, etc.), the Echo Show 15 will allow the whole family to check in on shared calendar events, post sticky notes, add to shopping lists, and more.

Read more