Best New Actions for Google Home

As I reported earlier this week, new functionality is coming to Google Home in the form of Conversation Actions.  Similar to Alexa Skills, these software components, written by third party developers give more features and capabilities to Google Home.  The first thirty Google Home Actions have just been available. 

To view the Actions that are available use the Google Home either Android or iPhone/iPad, tap the hamburger menu > More Settings > Services  and you will see a list of Actions available.  There is no need to enable an Action, they are all immediately available.  All entries are listed alphabetically.  Although some require you to link external accounts.  Here is what the list looks like on a tablet:   

Most Actions are accessed with the phrase "Ok Google, Open NBC News".   Where you use the name of the action with which you wish to interact.   Let's take a look at the interesting ones:

  • CNBC - Business and stock news, market insights, CNBC television schedules.
  • NBC News - What is trending on NBC News.
  • NPR One - Latest headlines followed by stories.
  • Domino's - Order pizza delivered to your door.  Uses account linking.
  • FitStar Personal Trainer - Gives you a 7-Minute Workout.
  • Food Network - Helps you find inspiration in the kitchen.
  • HuffPost Headline Quiz - Weekly 10-question quiz on topics from the news site.
  • Lonely Planet - Find out about the planet and experiences around the world.
  • Quora - Uses the popular web site for you to ask a question and get an answer.  Uses account linking.
  • SongPop - Listen to music and guess the song trivia.
  • The Wall Street Journal - The day's top stories, breaking news updates, and market coverage.
  • Todoist - The popular TODO list App on mobile can be used from Google Home.  Uses account linking.
  • Uber - Get a ride.  Uses account linking.
  • WebMD - Answers to your health questions.

This is not a conclusive list, but rather the brands and actions that are familiar at first glance.  I strongly urge you to check them out.  Remember you don't have to enable anything, and can start most of them with the simple command "Open WebMD".

If you choose any action name from the list, you will learn more information about what voice commands to use with it, along with information on the action.  If you need to link accounts, it is done at this point by clicking on the "LINK ACCOUNT" button.  Here is what the Domino's pizza Action screen looks like:

Notice the button you tap on to link your Domino's Account with your Google Home account.

Here are some of the games and entertainment Actions that were also released at the same time:

  • 21 Blackjack - You can play the card game against the dealer.
  • Akinator The Genie - Mind reading to tell you what you are thinking about.
  • Elle Horoscopes - Get your daily horoscope.
  • Trivia Blast - Pop culture quiz.

This set of new Actions is great news and shows alot of promise.  If you think of these voice assistants not just as a cute gadget, but as a whole new platform, it really gives you an idea of the power that we are just experiencing through voice commands.  I like the way Google found a way to use extension points without having to enable them first.  

What is your favorite new Google Action?  How do you use it?  Leave a comment below to tell others.



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