Google Nest feature I use almost daily: Turn it into a Bluetooth speaker

I use the Google Nest feature almost daily: One of the Google Nest features I use the most is among the simplest. Yes, Google Assistant smart devices are great at much stuff — calculating math problems, reporting the weather and serving up fun games, for example. But you can also use your Google Nest as a bona fide Bluetooth speaker to beam whatever music, podcast or audiobook you want from your phone or tablet.

Why does that matter? Well, maybe you listen to a streaming service Google Home doesn’t support, like Apple Music or Audible. (Full disclosure: I have both.) Or when friends come over, and one wants to DJ the party. Sometimes I prefer to control what’s playing on my speakers with my phone and not my voice.

Whatever your reason, here’s how to connect a phone, tablet, or laptop or desktop computer to your Nest smart speaker with Bluetooth.

First, pair your phone or device to the Google Nest with Bluetooth

If you’ve never connected your phone, tablet or computer with your Nest speaker using Bluetooth before, the first time is a little more complicated. Once they’ve been paired, they’ll remember each other, and connecting and disconnecting will be much easier. Here’s how to pair with Bluetooth the first time:

1. Say, “OK, Google, enter pairing mode.” You can also say “pair Bluetooth” or “turn on Bluetooth.”

2. Google Assistant will respond, “To connect, open Bluetooth settings and look for the device called [the name you gave your device].”

3. Open the settings app on your mobile device or computer, go to Bluetooth settings, look for your Nest device’s name, and click or tap either the name of the device or the word or button for Connect.

4. Your Nest speaker will play a sound to indicate your devices are now connected. Now any audio you play on your phone, tablet or computer will play through your smart speaker.

5. To disconnect, say, “Hey, Google, disconnect Bluetooth.” Google Assistant will say “Bluetooth is disconnected” to confirm.

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Once you’ve paired your device with Google Home, connecting and disconnecting can be done with just voice commands. Josh Miller/CNET

How to connect your phone to the Google Nest after you’ve paired them

From there on out, it’s pretty simple. When you want to connect, start with “Okay, Google” or “Hey, Google,” then say any of the following:

  • “Connect to my phone.”
  • “Connect to my device.”
  • “Connect Bluetooth.”

Google Assistant will respond, “Looking for paired devices,” then play a sound when you’re connected. Say, “Hey, Google, disconnect Bluetooth” when you’re done.

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Be careful — if Google Assistant asks if you want to “clear” Bluetooth devices, say no and try your command again, or it’ll unpair with everything. Chris Monroe/CNET

Watch out for this Google Assistant glitch, though

When I was testing this process out on several different Google Nest devices — both speakers and displays — occasionally, I would try to disconnect my phone, and Google would ask, “You want to clear your list of paired Bluetooth devices, right?”

If your Google Assistant asks this, the definitive answer is “No.”

“Clearing” your list of paired devices will make Google Assistant forget the device you just paired (and any other devices you’ve ever paired, too). Not only will you have to go back and redo the first pairing steps as detailed above, but you’ll also probably have to go into your mobile device or computer’s Bluetooth settings and “forget” the Nest device from there, too. Otherwise, you might get the same error message as me that your device cannot connect to your Nest speaker all of a sudden.

The more uses I can come up with for it, the more I love using Google Nest as a Bluetooth speaker. Most people listen to music on their smart speakers — here’s how to call up the exact song you want with only your voice. Another simple feature I use every day: Here’s how to turn off timers and alarms when you’re no longer in the same room (without shouting).

What Can the Google Nest Do?

Google Nest is a new device from Google. It’s part of the suite of Google Assistant technologies, which are meant to let you control various home appliances. If you want to cook dinner, you can say “done” and then have the right program update your gas cooker, or you can do all sorts of other things. The first thing that someone might ask about this technology is what special features does Google Nest have? What is special about Google Nest?

As the name suggests, Google Assistant can be activated by voice, through a web browser, or even using a mobile device like a smartphone or something similar to that. It is a fully-featured computer, capable of doing many things that a standard PC can do, but it does all this without the user having to touch or move an object. This makes things like cooking a lot more convenient and simple while at the same time keeping costs down to a minimum. What makes these devices even more appealing is that they are controlled by the natural intelligence of the devices themselves, meaning that users aren’t forced to do mundane tasks like entering data or pushing buttons. What makes Google Nest special is its ability to control smart home devices such as thermostats, security systems and lighting.

Google Nest feature
Google Nest feature

To activate this technology, you need to activate your home’s Google Assistant settings, allowing you to turn on the Spotify music player and make sure that your devices get a network signal. What’s nice about activating the device is that it’ll also automatically play any incoming calls that come in. To keep this working, you can set up one particular rule that allows you to wake up one way only if someone calls you on your phone, and if another person calls you in the middle of the night from your mobile, you can set your Google Nest device to play only that call. The beauty of the Google Nest feature lies in the fact that you can actually be alerted by your device when another device connects to it, so you don’t have to leave the sound of the other device on.

 

However, if you want to take this feature further, you can integrate your Nest with your smartphone or iPad and use the Assistant smart devices to control them directly. For instance, you can set up your Google Nest with your Bluetooth speaker so that it can play a selection of your favourite songs and then switch to controlling your smartphone or iPad through the same wireless network. If you happen to have some Bluetooth speakers lying around, you can use them to playback whatever you recorded to your voice recorder earlier. The great thing about integrating your devices with your smartphone and iPad through the same network is that you can expect to get a unified experience and make for a more cohesive user experience.

 

You can also use Google Assistant to manage things like contacts and calendars. With the Assistant, you can set it to remind you to update your calendar with any important upcoming appointments. You can also assign certain things to certain people in your life, such as whether you should be making lunch the next day or replying to an email within a specific time frame. With all of these features, you will realize just how powerful it is to connect everything.

 

There are a few other features that the Google Nest can integrate with your smart speakers. One of these is turning your Google Assistant into a productivity assistant. You can program certain things to be pre-scheduled, so you don’t have to waste your morning hours searching for information. The Nest can even remind you to set alarms on certain things, so you never miss anything important. These are just a small handful of the many assistant smart speaker features that can help you simplify your life.

 

Since the Nest is paired with your Google Home device, it will also be automatically updated. With all of the latest features, it’s truly one of the most useful devices that you could have in your home. What’s even better is that it will allow you to stay connected with the people in your life no matter where they are, and it will even connect you to those in your office if you have it connected with Google’s mobile service.

 

However, many users have been hesitant about the Google Nest feature. What many people fail to realize is that the device won’t necessarily always be 100% accurate. Sometimes it will connect with your Bluetooth device incorrectly, or it may not turn it on at all when you leave the house. What you can do to solve these problems is to configure your Google Home to reconnect with your Bluetooth devices whenever you leave and to turn them on when you arrive. By doing this, you will be able to stay connected no matter what happens while you’re away from home.

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