Google Home is a mathematical wiz: 12 essential calculations it can make instantly

Not a numbers person? Leave it to Google. Google Assistant can handle measurements, conversions and dates for you in a snap.

Dale Smith Former Associate Writer
Dale Smith is a former Associate Writer on the How-To team at CNET.
Dale Smith
4 min read

Not only can your Nest Hub find recipes, it can also convert measurements when you want to make more or less of the dish.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Your Google Assistant devices already do a lot of convenient things for you: play your favorite tunesalert you not to burn your casseroles and even flick your lights off right at bedtime, but did you know it can also crunch some serious numbers? Yep, Google Home's voice assistant is a genius. I use it practically every day to make measurement conversions and calculate number problems I could never do -- or prefer not to do -- in my head, and so will you once you read more. 

Google Assistant's super math skills do more than just make Google Home an entertaining party guest (although it's that, too). I routinely ask my Google device to solve equations when I'm cooking, shopping or just goofing around. And once you realize how quickly and easily Google Assistant can do hands-free calculations and conversions, you'll find yourself relying on it much more than your phone's touchscreen calculator.

Read more: Best Nest and Google Assistant devices for 2021

Counting down the days, weeks and months

Off the cuff, do you know which day of the week rent is due next month? Or if your birthday falls on a weekend this year? How many days until New Year's Eve? Calendars are hard to keep track of in your head. But not for Google Assistant.

Here are some questions you can ask Google Home (after starting with "Hey, Google " or "OK, Google"):

  • "What day of the week does December 3, 2021 fall on?" (The answer is Friday, by the way.)
  • "What will the date be 30 days from now?"
  • "How many days has it been since Jan. 1?"
google home at sunset

Google Assistant can answer questions about dates faster than you can find a calendar.

Dale Smith/CNET

Convert recipe units in a flash

I cook a lot, and I like leftovers, but if I followed every recipe to a T, like this slow cooker pulled pork recipe that calls for a 5-pound pork shoulder, well, I'd be eating barbecue for a month. So, a lot of times I find myself cutting recipes in half, or even (in the case of the pulled pork) one-fifth. I know a lot of conversions off the top of my head -- three teaspoons per tablespoon, two tablespoons in an eighth of a cup -- but I still find myself asking the Google Nest Mini in my kitchen to do it for me. This is also where the hands-free Google Home interface shines, since my digits are usually covered at this point in barbecue sauce or other ingredients.

Hey, Google or OK, Google...

  • "How many cups is one-fourth of three cups?" (The answer is three-quarters.)
  • "How many ounces is 385 grams?" (13.58 ounces.)
  • "How many cups is 24 teaspoons?" (Half a cup.)
Watch this: Google announces a new video doorbell and three new security cameras

Going the distance

I was looking at furniture online recently and all the measurements were in centimeters. Although I know there's 2.54cm in every inch (and 12 inches in every foot), I can't visualize how tall a 78cm table actually is. I also have a dog who I like to walk as much as possible, but sometimes I'm unsure if a destination, such as the nearby dog park, is actually walkable or not. Enter Google Assistant, and questions like these:

Hey, Google or OK, Google...

  • "How many feet is 78cm?" (2 feet, 6.709 inches.)
  • "How far away is the nearest park?"
  • "How many miles per hour is 200 kilometers per hour?" (124.274 mph.)

Your Google Nest Mini doubles as a hands-free calculator for any math problem.

Hands-free calculations on everything else

No matter what kind of numbers you're dealing with, Google Assistant's got your mathematical back. Calculate the cost of an item with tax, figure out how many push-ups you'd do in a year if you did 20 a day or how many donuts you'd get if you ordered 18 dozen. Again, the best part is you don't have to switch to another app (like a calculator) or otherwise take your eyes off what you're doing to get hands-free answers to these questions:

Hey, Google or OK, Google...

  • "How much is $47.99 times 1.06?" (This assumes sales tax where you live is 6%. The answer is $50.8694, or $50.87.)
  • "What's 20 times 365?" (7,300.)
  • "How many is 18 times a dozen?" (216.)

Calculating math problems and doing conversions are just some of the ordinary tasks a smart assistant can take care of for you. Here's how to streamline your routines to get the most out of Google Home all day long. Get Google Home to do more for you hands-free with these commands. And turn your smart speaker into the perfect bedside companion, with these five ways Google Home can help you sleep like a baby.

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