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Smart Home

How to control Google Home without your voice

Did you know the top of Google Home is a giant touchpad? Well, it is, and it's pretty useful.

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Maybe you've lost your voice. Perhaps it's too loud when you shout at the speaker. Or possibly you're just flat-out annoyed at having to say "OK, Google" for the most basic of commands -- sometimes it's easier or more practical not to use your voice to interact with your new personal assistant.

No matter the reason, here are a few handy tips (pun fully intended) for controlling Home without saying a word.

Taps and swipes

Included in the box with your Google Home ($129 at Walmart) are a few cheat sheets detailing various aspects of using the device. If you're like me, however, and lost the cards a few moments after opening the box, here's a list of the gestures you can use on the top of Home:

  • Tap the top of Home to play or pause music or videos playing on a nearby TV through Chromecast.
  • Long-press until the Assistant's lights start blinking, awaiting your command.
  • Drawing a circle in a clockwise motion increases volume.
  • Drawing a circle in counter-clockwise motion decreases volume.

Adjust volume from your phone

Google Home works just as any other Chromecast ($35 at Dell Home) device when streaming content from your phone or tablet, so you can adjust the volume without touching Home or using a voice command.

To do so, open the Home app and navigate to the Devices section. Tap on the speaker icon for Home, then adjust the volume as you see fit. Alternatively, if you're casting music from an app on your phone or tablet you can use the volume slider in said app or the physical volume buttons on your device to adjust playback levels.