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How to Use Google Home as an Intercom?

Posted by Arch on October 31, 2019
how to use google home as an intercom

Google Home speakers are convenient smart devices that use Google Assistant to listen to your voice commands and provide you with various services.

Did you know that besides playing music or reading you the news, you can use these speakers as intercom-like communication devices? Of course, this means that you’ll need at least two of them in your household.

If you want to send short, snappy messages to family members using your Google Home speakers, you’re reading the right article. Here you’ll find out everything about the Google Home’s Broadcast feature and how to utilize it properly.

What Is the Broadcast Feature?

The Google Home Broadcast feature allows you to send a voice message through each of the Google Home devices in your household.

Let’s say that you want to notify all of your family members that you’ll be visiting some friends soon. Instead of yelling or sending texts, you can send a voice message from your Google Home speaker to all other Google Home speakers in the house that are connected to the same network.

To successfully broadcast a message, you’ll also need at least one household member to be linked to each of the Google Home assistants in your house. You should also turn off the ‘Do Not Disturb’ and ‘Downtime’ modes.

In addition, you should keep in mind that you can’t broadcast a voice message only to an individual device. When you perform this command, your message will go through all other Google Home speakers linked to the same network. Unfortunately, there’s (still) no way to choose the recipients.

google home as intercom

How to Broadcast with Google Chrome

If you want to broadcast a message, you’ll either need to be near a Google Home speaker, or you’ll need a phone that has a Google Assistant feature and meets all of its requirements.

That same phone should have the same Google Account as all other Google Home devices. Note that your phone can be connected to another network and not the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home devices. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Launch the Google Home app on your phone.
  2. Go to the home screen.
  3. Look for a ‘Broadcast’ icon among the options on the home screen.
    broadcast
  4. Say your message once you hear Google ask: “What’s the message?”
  5. Wait for the app to display: “OK, broadcasting now.”
  6. The message will broadcast on all Google Home speakers.

If you’re near one of the Google Home speakers, you can use the voice command to start broadcasting. Start with “OK, Google (or Hey, Google)”, and then say one of these commands:

  1. “Broadcast”.
  2. “Tell Everyone”.
  3. “Shout”.
  4. “Announce”.

…followed by the message that you want to send.

Keep in mind that the message that you send will also be played through the Google Home speaker that you used to broadcast your message.

Using Special Broadcasts

Google Home speakers have several integrated broadcast alerts that you can use instead of sending your own custom message. For example, a “Dinner/Breakfast/Lunch is ready” command will broadcast a virtual dinner bell notifying your household members that they can come to the dining room.

The same goes for some other universal alarms, such as a wake-up call, or a broadcast that you’re soon to arrive home, or that it’s time to watch a movie together, and various other things. You can find a list of all built-in broadcast commands on the official Google Support website.

Replying to a Broadcast

If you’re on the receiving end of the broadcast, you may reply to the sender. Unlike the original broadcast, your reply will return only to the sending device, whether it’s a phone or a Google Home speaker. Pay attention – If the sender used a Google Home app to broadcast a message, your reply will go to the Google Assistant instead of that app.

You can reply to a Google Home broadcast in two ways – via the Google Home speaker voice command, or by a reply button on the Google Home Hub (if you have it).

To reply to a broadcast using the speaker, you can just say: “Hey, Google. Reply.” Alternatively, you can use “OK, Google. Send a reply.” After you hear the response from the Google Assistant, just say your message and it will be sent back to the sending device.

When it comes to the Google Home hub, a small reply button will appear on the bottom-right of the screen. Just tap it and wait for the device to respond before recording your message.

Not as Effective as a Real Intercom

At the moment, this is the closest feature to the proper intercom one. However, there’s a reason why it’s called ‘Broadcast’, and not ‘Intercom’.

This feature allows only one-way communication – the sending device first transmits the message, and then the recipient can wait and respond. On the other hand, intercom should allow you to communicate in real-time without any breaks between the two messages.

However, before Google launches a better feature, this is still more than enough to send concrete commands and other info where the other side can respond if needed. Which option do you prefer – broadcast or intercom? Why? Have your say in the comments section below.

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