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30 Google Home services for a better home with more pizza

Google Home's third-party services let you have pen pals, get recipes and play games. Here are 16 of the most useful apps for Google Home.

Google introduced Actions for Google Home, third-party integrations that work a lot like skills for Alexa, back in January. Since then, the list of available services -- now called Assistant apps -- has grown, giving users access to additional news sources, food or book recommendations and much more.

Unlike Alexa skills, third-party services for Google Home just work. To use them, you only need to know the invocation, which can be found in the Google Home app under More settings > Assistant apps. We've included some examples below, too.

Here are 30 of the best Assistant apps you should already be using.

Update, June 2: Originally published on February 8, 2017, this article is regularly updated to include new Assistant apps and new information.

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Food and recipes

Whether it's ordering a meal or asking for recipe recommendations, smart speakers have naturally become kitchen companions. Google Home is no exception.

  • You can order Dominos with Google Home simply by saying, "OK Google, let me talk to Dominos," or, "OK Google, talk to Dominos and get my Easy Order." You can also track an order you've placed by saying, "OK Google, talk to Dominos and track my order."
  • With the Food Network app, you can ask for recipes by specific chefs, what shows are coming on tonight or even to get the recipe for what's currently on TV. Just say, "OK Google, ask Food Network to send me the recipes on TV right now," and if there is a recipe on the show playing for your time zone, it will be sent straight to your inbox.

Drinks

  • My Wine Guide will give you wine pairings for your favorite foods. Just ask to talk to My Wine Guide and the app will walk you through pairings for the meal you're preparing.
  • Tender can suggest cocktails for you, walk you through making a drink or even tell you what's in a certain cocktail. For suggestions, say, "OK Google, ask Tender for drinks like a mojito." Another similar app is called The Bartender.
  • Beer Guide will tell you about your favorite beers, or beers you'd like to try. Just say, "OK, Google, tell me about [beer name]," and Beer Guide will tell you the brewer, type of beer, its ABV and give a short description of the beer.

Smart home

Google is hellbent on adding support for a growing list of smart home brands. Several are directly integrated with Google Home, such as Lifx, Philips Hue, Nest, SmartThings and WeMo. But many more smart home brands have added support for Google Home with Assistant apps.

  • The Geneva Home app allows you to control your GE smart appliances with Google Home. Preheat the oven, heat water for coffee, ask when the dishwasher will finish, ask if the dryer is finished and much more. Just say, "OK, Google, let me talk to Geneva Home."
  • Likewise, the LG app allows you to check the status of the dishwasher, set the AC temperature or start your robot vacuum.
  • Ring allows you to control your home security with Google Home. Turn on motion alerts, begin a recording or check your last notification. Say something like, "OK, Google, ask Ring about the last time my doorbell rang."
  • Similarly, using Harmony, you can control your home entertainment system using your voice. Turn on the TV, start up Netflix and more.
  • August recently added support for door locks. You can use Google Home to lock your doors or check on the status of a specific lock. Unfortunately, you cannot yet unlock doors with August using Google Home.

Cars

  • Blue Link by Hyundai allows you to remotely control compatible vehicles using Google Home. You will need to link your MyHyundai account and provide a PIN when interacting with the app, but you will be able to remotely start your car and set the AC temperature, send directions to the navigation unit and control the charging state of your hybrid.
  • Mercedes me is a similar app for Mercedes owners. You can remotely set the temperature, start the car and lock the doors.

Health

  • The WebMD app is exactly what you would expect, a voice-controlled version of the website. You can ask about conditions, specific drugs or side effects.
  • Your dog's health is important, too, and Dr. Doggy can tell you if the treat you want to give your dog is safe or not. Say, "OK Google, ask Dr. Doggy if it's safe for my dog to eat apples."
  • 5-minute plank does exactly what you would think -- it walks you through a common 5-minute plank workout. To get started, just say, "OK, Google, let me talk to 5-minute plank."

Movies and books

  • If you're looking for something to watch, And Chill can give you recommendations based on another movie you like and why you like it, such as the twist at the end or the suspense.
  • The itcher app recommends movies, as well, but it can also recommend books. Link your Google and itcher accounts to get even more personalized, community-based recommendations.
  • To check the critics' rating for a movie before you watch it, use Tomato Reviews. It pulls ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. Just say, "OK, Google, talk to Tomato Reviews about 'Split.'"

Games

  • To start up a game of blackjack, just say, "OK Google, let me talk to 21 Blackjack." You will be dealt a hand and you can choose to hit or stand. The game keeps a record of your wins and losses. You can also ask for advice and for the official rules.
  • Akinator the genie is the classic guessing game. You choose a character and Akinator asks you a series of questions until it can guess your character. It's not often you can stump the genie.
  • The Magic Door is a choose-your-own-adventure story game that's filled with hidden items and riddles. To start, just say, "OK Google, open the magic door."

Bots that can hold a conversation

  • Clever Girl is an artificially intelligent conversational bot based on Cleverbot. Start a conversation by saying, "OK Google, talk to Clever Girl." Then you can carry on a conversation as long as you'd like.
  • If you'd rather talk with real people, Random Conversations allows you to talk with random Google Home users. You record short messages that are then transcribed and read back to whomever the recipient is. You can carry on a conversation with the same person -- or multiple people (separately) -- sort of like digital pen pals.

And other random apps

  • To hear about the newest products for the day, ask to talk to Product Hunt. It will give you the top three products by default, and more products if you ask.
  • AutoVoice allows you to create your own commands for Google Home. It requires the AutoVoice and Tasker Android apps, as well as a fair amount of setup. But once it's up and running, the sky is the limit.
  • Cool Events pulls events from TicketMaster, MeetUps, SeatGeek and EventBrite. Just ask for Cool Events and specify your location. Tell it which source you'd like to hear about events from and it will list all nearby events.
  • Date Night will provide you with suggestions for what to do on your next date. From going skinny-dipping to checking out a farmer's market and cooking a meal with what you buy or buying each other new fragrances, anything to switch up date night will be a welcome change.
  • The eBay Assistant app can give you the value of items. Say something like, "OK, Google, ask eBay what an Apple Watch is worth." It will ask whether it's new or used and give you an approximate value for how much it's worth.
  • If you're unhappy with the way Google Home handles shopping lists, your best bet is to use OurGroceries. It will require you to create an OurGroceries account, but you will be able to manage multiple shopping lists and view them from the mobile apps or from the web. Say, "OK, Google, ask OurGroceries to add milk to [list name]," or, "OK, Google, ask OurGroceries to remove eggs from [list name]."
  • While you can check on flight prices with Google Home out of the box, you can't check on hotels or rental cars. That's where the Kayak app comes in. Just say, "OK, Google, ask Kayak to find new travel destinations," or, "OK, Google, find a hotel in New York City."

We publish a new Google Home tip every week. Sign up for our Google Home newsletter to get those tips in your inbox!

And here's the complete list of Google Home commands so far.