Google Home: Try these other mobile apps to unleash its full power

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Google Home only requires one app, but several others can come in handy as well.

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If you dig around in the Google Home ecosystem for long enough, you’ll discover the Google Home app alone doesn’t handle everything you want to do with your smart speakers. Tons of great features require you to download even more Google apps, like Google Assistant and even Gmail, but there’s nothing in the Google Home app to let you know about those apps.

To make matters more confusing, there are some apps you might think you need but either you actually don’t or you do, just not for the reasons you think. Rest assured; I’m going to sort it all out for you.

I’ll show you which app you absolutely need, which ones aren’t critical but definitely worth having and, finally, which one you can leave on the app store shelf (unless, of course, you need it for a different reason than setting up your smart speakers).


If you want to set up a morning routine, you’ll want to use the Google Home app to do it.

Dale Smith/CNET

The Google Home app does almost, but not quite, everything

Everyone needs to download the Google Home app to set up their Google-branded smart speakers, so it’s by far the most ubiquitous of these apps. The Google Home app is the one you’ll use the vast majority of the time when you need to accomplish something you can’t easily handle with voice commands. For example, you need the app to create custom commands or routinesorganize your smart home into rooms or create speaker groups for playing music across your whole house.

It’s also incredibly useful as a…