Smart speakers are one of the fastest growing markets in the tech world.
IDC have said in their latest Worldwide Quarterly Smart Home Device Tracker report that 433.1 million smart home devices were shipped worldwide in 2017 ("growing 27.6% from the previous year") and that the market for smart speakers is expected to continue growing through 2018.
If you’re one of the many new owners of a Google Home or Google Home Mini smart speaker, you might be a bit confused about how to set it up and get started. Here’s a quick and easy-to-understand guide.
1. Make sure the power cord is connected
The first thing you want to do after you’ve unboxed your Google Home or Google Home Mini is connect the power cord (this should be included in the box) to a nearby power outlet and the other to the speaker itself.
On the regular Google Home, the power port is located on the underside of the speaker. On the Google Home Mini, it’s on the back-side of the device.
If your Google Home or Google Home Mini did not arrive with a power cord, you should definitely get in contact with the retailer or reseller who you bought it from as it should include this and you’ll need it to set up and use the smart speaker.
2. Wait for your smart speaker to introduce itself
If everything is in working order, your speaker will power on. After a moment, it’ll introduce itself (“Hi, I’m your Google Assistant”) and instruct you to download the Google Home app.
3. Download and install the Google Home app
The next step towards setting up your Google Home, Google Home Mini or Google Assistant-powered smart speaker is to download and install the Google Home App.
This app is available on both the iOS and Google Play app stores.
4. Log in using your Google account
Once you’ve downloaded the app, launch it and you’ll be asked to log in using a Google account.
If you don’t have a Google account, follow the in-app prompts and you’ll be able to create one.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to set up and use a Google Assistant-powered speaker speaker without connecting it to a Google account.
5. Connect the app to your smart speaker
Once you’re logged into the Google Home app and your Google Home speaker is powered on, a pop-up should appear within the app letting you know that your unconnected Google Home speaker is ready to be set up.
If there are multiple smart speakers on your network, the Google Home app will prompt the nominated speaker to make a chime and ask you to confirm that you’ve chosen the correct speaker.
Make sure your phone or tablet is connected to the local Wi-Fi network you want your speaker to use before you start this process.
When you’re ready, tap on the prompt and the setup process will automatically begin.
6. Confirm you hear the audio tone
After initializing the setup process, your Google Home speaker will make a chime - just as it did before. You’ll need to confirm you’ve heard the noise using the app before continuing the setup process.
You’ll then be taken to a screen where it asks if you’d like to share your device stats and crash reports with Google in order to help them refine and improve the Google Home experience.
You can say yes or no to this. It’s up to you and won’t affect the capabilities of your Google Home, Google Home Mini or Google Assistant-powered smart speaker in any way.
7. Choose your room
Regardless of what you choose, you’ll then be asked to set the room for the device.
Google offer a couple dozen presets here that range from bedrooms to attics to garages to hallways. If none of those presets fit, you can even create your own custom labels.
Once you’ve decided which virtual room you want to place your Google Home in, select it and hit next.
8. Name your device
Give your device a name. By default, it’ll be set to whatever the device name is but feel free to make it something more descriptive or specific.
9. Confirm which Wi-Fi Network you want to use with your speaker
Choose the Wi-Fi network you want your Google Home speaker to connect to and use for things like music streaming and answering questions.
If you’re already connected to the Wi-Fi network you choose here on your phone or tablet, the Google Home app is able to automatically pull the password over - so you don’t have to enter it a second time.
Hit go, and wait for your speaker to connect.
10. Select your language
The Google Assistant can speak several languages, so make sure you select the one you need.
11. Teach the Assistant To recognize your voice
The Google Assistant can recognise up to 6 people’s voices using a feature called Voice Match. This allows it to offer personalised media recommendations and answers to queries.
If you’ve set up voice match on a previous Google Home, it’ll automatically pull that over.
12. Enter your address
Next, you’ll need to enter the address of the location where you’ve set up your Google Home, Google Home Mini or Google Assistant-powered smart speaker.
This allows the Assistant to offer local services like weather and traffic reports.
13. Connect media services
If you plan on listening to music on Spotify or using your Google Home with a ChromeCast to watch media content from Netflix, you’ll need to connect it to the relevant services using the prompts within the app.
14. Download updates
The Google Home app will then automatically download any necessary software updates straight to your Google Home speaker.
And that’s it, you can now ask your Google Home, Google Home Mini or Google Assistant-powered speaker questions, tell it to play music, check the weather, set reminders, consult your calendar, listen to news bulletins and interact with both connected smart appliances and compatible third-party services.