Google’s smart hubs, like the Google Nest Mini and Google Nest Hub, are useful for controlling your smart home. But did you know that you can also use them for communicating in your house?
Here is how to set up and use your Google smart hubs as your home’s intercom system.
What You Need
If you want to set up a family intercom, you must have at least two Google smart hubs—these could be Google Nest Minis, Google Nest Audios, Google Nest Hubs, Google Nest Hub Maxes, or any combination of those.
Aside from intercom use, these smart speakers are also great for controlling your smart home. So, if you can’t decide which device you should get, we can help you with that by comparing all four Google smart hub devices.
Aside from these, you need the Google Home app and a Google account for the initial setup of your Google Nest device. Remember to place your Nest device in the proper room during setup to avoid issues later.
Setting Up Your Google Smart Hubs
After setting up your first Google Nest device, set up your second device in the room where you want to place it. Once the device is powered, set it up in the Google Home app for Android or iOS. Here’s how to do so:
- Open the Google Home app.
- On the upper right-left corner, tap on the + icon.
- Tap on Set up device in the Add and manage menu.
- In the Set up a device menu, tap on New device.
- Under Choose a home, select the correct home where you’re setting up your Google Nest speaker, then tap Next.
- The app will then automatically look for the Nest device. Once it finds it, tap Yes. The Google Home will then attempt to connect your Google Nest device.
- Once it connects, you should hear a sound from your device, and a confirmation message should also appear on your app. Tap on Yes on the Google Home app.
- Google will then ask you to share device stats to help improve its services. You can tap Yes, I’m in if you want to do so, but you can also tap No thanks if you don’t want to share your data.
- At the Where is this device? Screen, select the room where you want to place your Google Nest device. Once you’ve made your selection, tap on Next.
- You then need to connect your Google Nest device to your Wi-Fi connection. You can connect it to any network in your house, but it’s best you connect it to the nearest Wi-Fi router. Once you’ve selected the nearest access point, tap Next.
- If your phone is already connected to this Wi-Fi router, tap Next on the Use saved password? screen. Otherwise, tap on Enter manually.
- Your Google Nest device will then attempt to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Once it successfully connects, it will check the recognition and personalization settings you’ve set up for your current Google Home location and automatically apply them. Tap on Continue to continue the setup process.
- On the next screen, the Google Home app will ask you to set up its additional features. If you don’t want to set it up yet, tap on Not now.
- The app will also ask if you want to receive updates from Google. If yes, you can tap on Sign up. Otherwise, tap on No thanks.
- After making your choice, you’ll go to the Almost done screen and review everything you’ve done. When you’re done going over the list, tap Continue.
- The Google Home app will then give you instructions on how to use your Google Nest device. Keep on tapping Next until you complete the instructions.
- After you complete reading through the instructions, you’ll get the Office speaker is ready screen. Tap Continue.
- You’ll then get to the Just start with “Hey Google” screen, which tells you how you can interact with your Google Nest device. Once you’re done reading, tap on Finish setup, and you’re ready to start using your Google Nest devices as your home’s intercom.
Once this setup is complete, you can now broadcast general messages throughout your home.
Communicating Via the Broadcast Command
If you have more than two Google Nest devices, you can simultaneously broadcast to all your devices. Alternatively, you can broadcast to a Google Nest in a specific room. Here’s how to do so.
- Say OK, Google, broadcast or Hey, Google, broadcast to your smart device.
- The Google Nest device will then respond with What’s the message?
- After that voice prompt, say the message you want to broadcast.
Google will then send your message to all the Google Nest devices in your home. If you want to send a message to a specific room, say, the kitchen, say “OK, Google, broadcast to the kitchen,” or “Hey Google, broadcast to the kitchen” instead.
Calling From One Google Smart Hub to Another
The broadcast function helps send one or two short messages to everyone or for looking for family members. However, it’s not easy to use if you want to converse with someone in another room.
If you want to call someone from another room, you must enable audio or video calls with your Google Nest speakers. After setting it up, you must also ensure that all your Google Nest devices are allowed to make calls.
- Open the Google Home app, then tap on Settings.
- In Home settings, tap on Communication.
- Under Communication, tap on Video & Voice Apps.
- Scroll down to Linked devices and ensure that all your Google Nest devices are toggled under it.
After doing this, you can now start making audio calls to your other Google Nest speakers.
- Say, “OK, Google, call [room],” or “Hey, Google, call [room].”
- Google will then respond by saying Making an audio call to your [room], and it will start ringing.
- The person in the room must respond with “OK, Google, answer call,” or “Hey Google, answer call.”
- After doing so, the Google Nest devices will connect, and you can now carry on a conversation.
- When you want to end the call, all you need to say is “OK, Google, end call,” or “Hey, Google, end call.”
With that, you can now use your Google Nest devices to talk with other family members no matter where they are in your house, as long as they’re in the range of a Google Nest hub.
Call a Family Member From Your Google Smart Hub
If your family members are at home, you can easily call them via your Google Nest hubs. However, you can also use the Google Nest Hub to call any family member wherever they are, as long as they have a Google Duo account.
To do so, your family member must first sign up for and set up a Google Duo account. Once they already have a Google Duo account, you should also add them as your household contact.
- Go to the Google Home app and tap Settings.
- Tap Communication and then tap Your contacts.
- In Your contacts, tap Household contacts.
- Under Household contacts, tap Add person.
- Choose the person you want to add as a household contact from your contact list.
- The Google Home app will confirm if you want to add that contact to your household contacts. Tap Add to confirm.
- After your contact is added to your Household contacts, tap on it to change their details, like your relationship with them, their birthday, home address, and nickname. You can even record how their name is pronounced so your Google Nest hub will understand you when you ask it to call them. Don’t forget to tap on Save after you complete adding their details.
With that, you can now make calls to any member of your household with the Google Nest speaker—whether they’re at home or away.
Google Nest Makes Family Communication Easier
The Google Nest speakers and hubs are excellent for controlling your smart home. However, it goes beyond that—you can use it to communicate with each other, helping to bring your family closer.
After you set this up, you no longer need to scream your lungs out just to find someone in your house. Just use Google to broadcast a message; they can respond right back by calling you from the Google Nest device in their room.