So you've got a Google Assistant powered smart speaker in a household of families or friends. Sure, the person who bought it/brought it into the house is no doubt away on Day One linking all their Google and media accounts. But what about the rest of us?
That's where Google's Voice Match feature comes in and it's pretty important if you want to avoid smart home spats. Essentially it's a way of building personal profiles for each person who lives in this new Assistant controlled home and avoiding flatmates, partners and children messing up your algorithms. And don't worry it's simpler than it looks.
How to set up Voice Match
The early adopter who has set up the Google Home or other Assistant speaker will already have trained Google to recognise his/her voice when they set up the device.
If you are this person, head to the Google Home app on your phone and hit the hamburger menu (three horizontal bars) button then go to More settings then Voice Match. Here you will see an option to Invite others to use your devices which you can do via WhatsApp, Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, Slack, SMS etc.
Read this: Google Home Max review
At this point, you should also choose which speakers will be Shared devices with Voice Match - Google shows you a list of the speakers on your network and you can 'unlink' i.e. remove any that don't need the service e.g. a bedroom speaker or that you don't want to read out personal info. Hit the plus icon in the bottom right to add devices.
Each person who wants personal results should download the Home app, hit the hamburger menu and check they are signed into the Google account they want to use - you can only have one.
Then train Google to recognise your voice by saying one of the wake phrases - Hey, Google or OK, Google - a couple of times. You can also retrain the voice model Google has of you at a later date if you run into problems.
What works with Voice Match
When you are up and running with multiple people using Google Home speakers, you can get personalised answers to voice commands based on your Google account, including:
- "Hey Google, tell me about my day" – My Day for personalised weather, news, commute, reminders, calendar and flight status)
- "Hey Google, what's on my agenda?" – As above
- "Hey Google, add an event called Lily's birthday" – (Calendar for personal results)
- "Hey Google, add veggie sausages to my shopping list" – (Multiple shopping lists)
- "Hey Google, show me photos of Bolivia on TV" – Viewing personal Google Photos on a TV with a Chromecast
- You can also set up multiple card details for payments - add cards in Payments under More Settings in the Google Home app
- Voice Match also now works with streaming services including Spotify, Netflix, Google Play Music, Pandora and YouTube Red.
And expect this list to grow as Google adds more personalised results.
How to set up Voice Match with Spotify
The best way to make sure that your flatmate or other half isn't voice controlling your Spotify at home while you're out is for everyone to link their own Spotify account in the Home app, once you've each set up Voice Match, and set it as default.
Do this by going to the hamburger, then More Settings, then Music. Here you can choose your streaming service and sign in to your Spotify (or Google Play Music account).
Then if Assistant recognises your voice when you say "Hey Google, play Superorganism" it will play it from your account keeping your Discover Weekly vibes intact.
You can also select No default provider which means that the speaker will use someone else's account - not ideal if the whole point is to keep profiles separate although obviously some people might not be signed up to any compatible services.
How to set up Voice Match with Netflix
Setting up Voice Match on Google Assistant with Netflix - a new addition - is much the same. Head to the hamburger in the top left, then More Settings then Videos and Photos. Here you will see Netflix as an option, you can link it and select your personal profile from within Netflix.
If you have a TV with a Chromecast dongle plugged in or Chromecast plugged in it will automatically appear in your Google Home app if it's connected to the same Wi-Fi network. You can rename it and also allocate it to a room e.g. living room.
If you have the Chromecast dongle, you can now say "Hey Google, play The Good Place on Netflix" and it will auto sign in to your profile on the TV, as per your voice.
There's a rub for Android TV owners though - these TVs, like Sony's Bravia range, have Chromecast built in so you can cast from apps like Netflix and YouTube on your phone.
But annoyingly Android TVs don't support Voice Match for Netflix yet - your speaker will tell you exactly this if you try. Sort it out, Google.