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How to turn Google Home into a Bluetooth speaker

A recent Google Home update turned it into a Bluetooth speaker. Here's how to pair your phone and stream any audio you want.

Taylor Martin/CNET
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At its launch last November, the Google Home was missing several important features found on Alexa speakers like the Amazon Echo. One important feature, in particular, was Bluetooth.

Instead of Bluetooth, users had to use Cast to stream music, podcasts and other audio from their phones to Google Home. While you can Cast almost anything from an Android device, users were limited to apps that officially support Cast on iOS.

A recent update, however, brought Bluetooth capabilities to the speaker. Here's how to pair your phone and stream any audio with a Google Home.

How to pair your phone with a Google Home using Bluetooth

There are two ways to put the Google Home speaker into pairing mode. The easiest and fastest way is by voice. Just say, "OK, Google, Bluetooth pairing." The speaker will then become discoverable to all nearby Bluetooth devices for a few minutes.

The other way requires the Google Home app on Android or iOS. Once you've opened the app, tap the Devices button in the top right corner or in the left menu. For the Google Home speaker you wish to pair, tap the action overflow button in the top right corner of the card and select Settings. Scroll to the bottom and tap Paired Bluetooth devices. Then, in the bottom right corner, tap Enable Pairing Mode.

Once the speaker is in pairing mode, open Bluetooth settings on your phone and look for the Google Home speaker, which will appear as the name you have given it in the Google Home app.

After you've paired your phone with the Google Home, it will work like any other Bluetooth speaker. You can play audio from unsupported music streaming services, YouTube videos, audiobooks and even locally stored music from any capable device.

To remove a paired device, return to the Paired Bluetooth devices menu in the Google Home app and tap the X to the right of one of the devices. Then, in Bluetooth settings on your device, unpair your Google Home speaker.

The same update brought other useful features, like voice calling and support for streaming with Spotify Free