Use this hack to create custom Google Home alarms

Want to use your Google Home to get you out of bed in the morning? This workaround will show you how.

While Google Home is packed with features, one aspect of the speaker that seems underutilized is its alarm function.

You could argue that an alarm doesn't need many features to wake someone up -- just a loud noise at a specific time. But if you want to wake up to music -- or any custom sound -- with your Google Home, there's a simple way to make it happen.

What you will need

This workaround uses the same principle as getting notifications on Google Home, which means you need an Android device to make it work.

In addition, you need the Tasker app, which you can find in the Google Play Store for $2.99 (£2.37 or AU$3.94). In a way, Tasker is like IFTTT on your phone. Using profiles and tasks (not unlike triggers and actions on IFTTT), you can automate certain actions based on the state, time or location of your device.

You also need AutoCast, a 99-cent (£0.78 or AU$1.30) plug-in that works with Tasker to allow you to automatically start streaming to Cast-enabled devices on the same wireless network.

Finally, you need music, a podcast or the audio file you want played to be stored locally on your Android device.

How to create a custom alarm for Google Home

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Taylor Martin/CNET

Creating a custom Google Home alarm does require a little bit of setup, but it should only take 5 to 10 minutes. After it's set up, managing your Google Home alarm will be as simple as creating or editing an alarm on your Android device.

To create a custom Google Home alarm:

  • Open Tasker and select the Profiles tab.
  • Tap the plus sign at the bottom of the app.
  • Select Event, followed by Date/Time and Alarm Clock. (Alternatively, you can select Time instead of Event to set a start and end time for the alarm so the alarm will only last for a specific amount of time. Using this profile will require you to set or edit the alarm within Tasker.)
  • Tap the back button to return to the Profiles tab.
  • A drop-down menu will appear, prompting you to select a task. Select New Task by tapping the plus sign.
  • Give the task a name and tap the check mark to begin building the task.
  • Tap the plus sign at the bottom to select an action. Tap on Plug-in and select AutoCast.
  • Select AutoCast to edit the task. Beside Configuration, tap the pencil icon.
  • Select Cast Device and select your Google Home.
  • Tap Screen and select Full Screen Media.
  • Select Full Screen Media elements, then select Audio.
  • On the next page, tap Audio to browse for files and select Yes.
  • Locate and choose the audio file you want as the alarm sound. To add additional files for a playlist, tap Audio again and select Add instead of Replace.
  • Tap the back button three times to return to the action edit page.
  • Set Timeout to 30 seconds and press back one more time.
  • Press the play button in the lower-left corner to test the task.

After the Tasker profile is set up, you can set alarms as you normally would in the default Clock app on Android.

If you only want specific alarms to trigger Google Home, in Tasker, tap on the Alarm Clock profile and give a label, like morning or googlehome. Any alarm in the Clock app with the same label will queue up your Google Home alarm. This means, using multiple labels, you can create different alarms with varying sounds throughout the day.

Keep in mind that this will only work when your Android device is on the same wireless network as Google Home, so you may want to consider creating a Tasker profile to turn on Wi-Fi when you go to sleep or a few minutes before your alarm is set to go off each morning.

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