Google Assistant routines — what are they and how to set them up?

By | 28th May 2018

Google Assistant routines

Google Assistant routines allow you to trigger multiple actions with a single phrase. There are six ready-made routines available, which you can customize to your liking. You can also create custom routines by assigning phrases to the actions you’d like Assistant to perform. For example, Assistant can read you the weather report, turn on Bluetooth, and open YouTube when you say, “Hello world.” Google Assistant routines work on phones, tablets, and smart speakers like Google Home Max.

Google Assistant ready-made routines

The six ready-made Google Assistant routines are turned on by default. You can view and edit them by launching Assistant, tapping the weird-looking blue icon in the top-right corner, opening “Settings,” and selecting the “Routines” option — as shown in the screenshots above.

You’ll find a breakdown of all six routines below. You can customize each one by setting a new phrase to launch it, disabling any of its actions, adding new actions, or changing their order.

Good morning routine — When you say, “Good morning,” “Tell me about my day,” or “I’m up,” Assistant can:

  • Turn off silent mode.
  • Adjust lights, plugs, thermostat, and other smart devices (if you have any).
  • Tell you about the weather.
  • Tell you about your commute.
  • Tell you about your calendar events.
  • Tell you today’s reminders.
  • Adjust media volume.
  • Play music, news, radio, a podcast, an audiobook, or nothing (this is always the last action).

Read next: Google Assistant vs Siri vs Bixby vs Amazon Alexa vs Cortana

Bedtime routine — When you say, “Bedtime,” “Good night,” or “Time to hit the hay,” Assistant can:

  • Turn off silent mode.
  • Tell you the weather for tomorrow.
  • Tell you tomorrow’s first calendar event.
  • Ask what time the alarm should be set for.
  • Adjust lights, plugs, thermostat, and other smart devices (if you have any).
  • Adjust media volume.
  • Play music, sleep sounds, or nothing (this is always the last action).

Google Assistant routines

Leaving home routine — When you say, “I’m leaving,” or “I’m heading out,” Assistant can:

  • Adjust lights, plugs, thermostat, and other smart devices (if you have any).

I’m home routine — When you say, “I’m home,” or “I’m back,” Assistant can:

  • Adjust lights, plugs, thermostat, and other smart devices (if you have any).
  • Broadcast that you’re home through a Google Home speaker (if you have one).
  • List your home reminders.
  • Adjust media volume.
  • Play music, news, radio, a podcast, an audiobook, or nothing (this is always the last action).

Google Assistant routines

Commuting to work routine — When you say, “Let’s go to work,” Assistant can:

  • Tell you about your commute.
  • Tell you about the weather.
  • Tell you about today’s calendar.
  • Tell you today’s reminders.
  • Adjust lights, plugs, thermostat, and other smart devices (if you have any).
  • Adjust media volume.
  • Play music, news, radio, a podcast, an audiobook, or nothing (this is always the last action).

Read next: How to choose your new Google Assistant voice

Commuting back home routine — When you say, “Let’s go home,” Assistant can:

  • Tell you about your commute.
  • Send a text.
  • Read unread texts.
  • Broadcast that you’re on your way home through a Google Home speaker (if you have one).
  • Adjust lights, plugs, thermostat, and other smart devices (if you have any).
  • Adjust media volume.
  • Play music, news, radio, a podcast, an audiobook, or nothing (this is always the last action).

Google Assistant routines

Google Assistant custom routines

You can also create custom Google Assistant routines if the ready-made ones aren’t your thing. That means you can select the actions you want to trigger and match them up to your phrase of choice. For example, Assistant can show you the first event on your calendar, read you the weather report, and open Android Authority’s website when you say, “Rise and shine.”

Google Assistant routines

Here’s how you can set up that example in Assistant: launch Assistant, click the blue icon in the top-right corner, open “Settings,” and select “Routines.” From there, tap the blue “+” icon, which will bring up a page for you to set up the routine. Start by selecting the “Add commands” option and type in “Rise and shine.” Then tap “Add action” and type in all three actions:

  • Action 1: Show calendar events
  • Action 2: What’s the weather
  • Action 3: Visit www.androidauthority.com
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That’s all there is to it! Once you say the magic word, or words (“Rise and shine”), Assistant will trigger all the actions one by one. But depending on the phrase you choose, it could show you the top search results for that keyword before launching the routine. This happened to me while testing the feature, although it only occurred on the first few tries. After that, Assistant skipped the search results and went straight to the first action.

The example above is just one of many. You can personalize every routine to your taste, adding in the actions that matter to you. If you’re going to try out the feature, a good idea would be to check out our Google Assistant guide, which will show you all the actions the software is capable of triggering.

Any thoughts or questions about Google Assistant routines? Leave them down below, and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

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