Smart Home Weekly: Bringing the Google Assistant to Thanksgiving

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Next week, in the US, everyone will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Giving thanks for everything that they have, and spending some quality time with their family, and of course watching some football. Now with personal assistants having become so much more powerful, along with the smart home, this Thanksgiving is going to be a bit more interesting. So we're taking a look at how you can use the Google Assistant at Thanksgiving this year. Going from cooking your Thanksgiving dinner, to providing entertainment and everything in between.

Preparing for Thanksgiving

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We're still about a week out from Thanksgiving, but many will be preparing what they'll be cooking for Thanksgiving, this weekend. And the Google Assistant can help with that. Google Assistant can create a list for you, so that you don't forget anything when you head to the store to do your shopping. Just say "OK Google, add turkey to my list", and it'll be added to your list. It's pretty simple. Not sure if a family member will be coming over for Thanksgiving? Well the Google Assistant can help there too. Assistant is able to do both calls and texts. So you can say "OK Google, call mom" and the Assistant will call your mom (since it does support multiple users now, this will work for anyone and call different people).

Cooking for Thanksgiving

There's already a ton of great recipe apps out there, and many of them are now available on the Google Assistant. So if you're cooking a dish for the first time, you can ask the Google Assistant to look up a recipe and help you walk through how to cook that dish. The Google Assistant will tell you what you are going to need, and also walk you through step-by-step so you don't mess it up.

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Entertainment

You'll want to entertain your guests, especially if they arrive before dinner is ready. And again, the Google Assistant can help there. If you have an Android TV or a Chromecast connected to your TV, you can ask the Google Assistant to turn on the game, so everyone can get started watching football while dinner is being finished. Of course, if you are not a big football fan (and neither is your family) you can turn on other programming, like some kids shows to keep the kids happy, or even play some music. Google Play Music and Spotify both have some great Thanksgiving-themed playlists available that you can play on your Google Assistant speaker or other Cast-enabled speakers throughout your home.

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After Thanksgiving, it's Black Friday Shopping Time

Many stores are closed on Thanksgiving, but there are plenty that are open in the evening, starting as early as 4PM local time. And they'll have some of the steepest discounts of the year on all sorts of items. Now we'll have you covered with the best Black Friday deals happening, but you can use the Google Assistant to find out what time stores open. If you've never been to a specific store (maybe you are out of town and not sure where Staples is, near you), you can also ask the Google Assistant to find out where the closest Staples is, and it can even send you directions to your phone (or if you are using the Assistant on your phone, open it in the Maps app).

Wrap Up

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The Google Assistant can do a lot, but unfortunately, it still cannot actually cook your Thanksgiving meal for you, at least not yet. Everything that was mentioned here for the Google Assistant will also apply to Alexa. However, Google is typically better with questions, especially for Black Friday, since it does have a larger search engine behind it, compared to Alexa.