Don’t forget about your smart home when planning your Halloween decorations and activities. Your Google Home or Nest device has some Halloween tricks up its sleeve.
“Hey Google, Let’s Get Spooky”
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to take your home from zero Halloween vibes to a proper spooky mood, it’s tough to beat the “let’s get spooky” shortcut.
For several years now, Google Assistant has responded to the trigger phrase “Hey Google, let’s get spooky” by taking advantage of the smart gear connected to your Google Home.
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When you give the command, Google Assistant will play a Halloween loop on Chromecast-connected TVs or Nest displays, music, and sound effects over your Nest speakers and adjust any linked smart lights for colorful Halloween effects.
If the effect is too short for your tastes (it lasts about a minute) consider making a custom routine to trigger different effects around your home.
“Hey Google, Play Some Halloween Music”
If you have your Google Assistant configured to use a particular music service as a default, then it will default to using that for your request.
In my case, for example, I have Spotify set as the default music service so when I say “play some Halloween music” it spools up a popular Halloween music playlist off Spotify. If you don’t have a default set, it will play a Halloween-themed YouTube playlist.
“Hey Google, Trick or Treat”
If you have some super antsy kids on your hands who can’t wait to get out and trick or treat, this is a great way to keep them occupied for a few minutes while you get ready for a jaunt around the neighborhood or prep some last-minute Halloween party items.
Just say “Hey Google, trick or treat” to trigger a trick-or-treat response as if your Google Assistant was answering the door and handing out candy.
“Hey Google, Tell Me a Spooky Story”
There are two Halloween story options baked into your Google Assistant. You can say “Hey Google, tell me a Halloween story” to get a short 30-second-or-less story. The stories are usually based on pun or a simple gotcha scare like somebody hears spooky sounds coming from a speaker but the speaker isn’t plugged in.
If you say, “Hey Google, tell me a spooky story” you’ll get a slightly longer interactive story where you pick which doors to open and other such things.
“Hey Google, What Should I Be for Halloween?”
Need a little AI-assist picking your Halloween costume? If you ask Google what you should be for Halloween it’ll launch into a series of questions. By giving your preferences, you’ll dial in on which monster or such you should dress up as.
Enable Nest Ringtones
If you have a Nest doorbell in your mix of smarthome gear, you can jazz things up for Halloween. In the Nest app, you can select the settings for your doorbell and change the ringtone from the default sound (the simply three-tone chime sequence that comes from the Nest’s internal speaker) to something spookier.
You can’t pick a specific sound out of the mix, but if you flip it on, visitors will be treated to different sound effects, like wolf howls and rattling bones, when they ring the doorbell. The sound effects aren’t just limited to the doorbell unit, either, if you have your Nest Home speakers set to chime, they’ll play the sound effect too.
Don’t worry about forgetting to change things back to normal, after Halloween, your doorbell will revert to the default tone.
Set Up Advanced Routines
While all of the above little tricks are fun, if you want something a bit more extended and spooky than short tales or little chimes, you’ll want to take advantage of the routine building function in your Google Home.
You can pick a trigger, like “Hey Google, let’s go to Halloween town,” and then string together a sequence of smart home-driven effects such as turning the lights orange, powering up the smart plug that controls the fog machine, playing a custom playlist, and so on.
Smart plugs are a great way to add holiday decorations into your smart home routines—they really make starting up and shutting down the show a one-command affair.