If I’m being transparent, I don’t use the Google Assistant for a ton of things on my Chromebook. Searching the web, starting some music, checking the weather and doing some quick calculations are top of mind when I think about things I routinely do with the Assistant on any Chromebook I use. But I’ve recently added another thing to that list: broadcasting.
With a Chromebook and my keyboard, I can silently send broadcast messages to smart speakers in my home or my office with ease and do so without disrupting those around me. Granted, if I’m in a spot where I want to just use my voice, I can do that as well, making broadcasts from a Chromebook the easiest choice when I’m in the middle of other productive tasks. Here’s how it works.
Summon the Google Assistant
To get started, you need to summon the Google Assistant, which can be done in a handful of ways. For Chromebooks or keyboards with a dedicated Assistant key, simply hit that button. For all others, a simple SEARCH + A will do the trick. You may also opt to open your launcher by hitting the SEARCH key or clicking on the circle in the bottom-left of your screen. After the app launcher opens, click the Assistant logo and you’re ready to go.
Choose to type or use your voice
In the top-right of the window that holds the Assistant, you can choose to either speak or input your request with the keyboard. Simply click the mic icon or keyboard icon to swap between the two methods. As I said up top, speaking is quicker but more disruptive. Typing is a bit slower, but can be done discretely and silently when needed.
Specify the room, home or device
Whether you are typing or speaking, you’ll need to specify where you want to broadcast. You can broadcast to an entire home, to a room in that home (provided you have rooms set up), or to a specific device. Simply type or say something like, “Broadcast to the kitchen” or “Broadcast to the living room display” and Google will let you know it understands the assignment.
If you are near the speaker you targeted, you should hear a small tone followed by your broadcast. If you type in your message, Google will tell those in the room who the message is from and will read your typed input verbatim. If you speak the broadcast, a recording of you actually saying the message will be played on the speaker.
That’s it! Sure, you can do this from smart speakers or your phone, too, but there have been numerous occasions where I’m sitting at the office and need to quickly relay a message to the house that I’m on the way or that I need to know what to pick up for dinner. It isn’t always necessary, but when needed, this little trick really does come in handy. Hope you find it useful and happy broadcasting!