Of course, there is a lot of hype around the Amazon Echo, but what would you say if I said that you already have the features that the Echo offers in your existing Android smartphone? It’s called Google Now.

We’ve covered using Google Now for things like searching the web. and drive your car using your phone in hands-free mode. but Google Now can also serve as voice control for your smart home gadgets, posting to your favorite social networks, and even keeping track of your health.

If you have an Android phone, don’t waste your hard-earned money on the Amazon Echo! Follow the tips in this article to use your voice smartphone to automate everything that matters to you.

Control your nest thermostat

No, Google Now does not have a command to directly control your Nest learning thermostat but there are several ways to make the integration happen without much work.

If you’ve never used IFTTT before, be sure to check out our IFTTT guide and set up your account. Then create a new recipe and select Gmail as the trigger. Select New email address in inbox from search and enter «subject: nest» in the » Search» .


Create a trigger and then select the Nest channel as the action. Select the Nest device you want to control, install the ingredient bodyplain, so that it uses the body of the email as the temperature parameter.


This IFTTT recipe monitors your email account for incoming emails with the subject «Nest» and sets your nest temperature to any number in the body of the email.

So how does it work with Google Now and your phone?

Well, now all you have to do is say: Send email to Ryan, Nest subject, message 70 «.


Instantly, Google Now will send an email, the email will fire IFTTT, and your nest will be set to 70 degrees. Performed.

Google Now Email Startup Tips

Now that you know how to turn Google Now into your own voice controller for everything, there are a few things you can do before you start going crazy setting up your integrations.

  • The last thing you want is a bunch of random emails coming into your regular email account, so you might want to consider creating a dedicated email account just for your Google Now voice triggers and setting it up to work with your IFTTT account .
  • For any on/off configuration, such as Philips Hue lights you only need to worry about the topic. Try something like «kitchen light on» or «kitchen light off» and then set up those integrations (see below).
  • For devices you need to configure, use the body of the email, as in the Nest example above.
  • When you set up this «voice control» email in IFTTT, consider giving it a name that makes sense to you. Hey, if you really want to make people laugh, call it «Alexa».

To avoid any copyright infringement, I will go with «Johnny» for my personal voice assistant.

Add reminders to your To-Do app

No matter what online To-Do app you use, chances are pretty good that you can publish it through IFTTT. ToDoist. Toodledo, and Kyber are all available on IFTTT, and with the same Google Now approach as above, you can use voice control to add reminders.

Here is the voice command you can use for this: Send an email to Johnny, subject «To do, message». Grab your groceries today «.

Create a Gmail trigger using New email address in inbox from search, and install for fields » Search» meaning «to do».


Then create an application action of your choice. In my case I use ToDoist so my «Create Task» action looks like this:


Your email message becomes a task that you add to your application. The cool thing about ToDoist is if you add the wording «next Tuesday at 4pm» or «every third Wednesday of the month», ToDoist is smart enough to schedule that task exactly the way you want it to.

Being able to do this with your voice without touching your phone or computer is a very cool feeling.

Register your weight with Fitbit

Here is the voice command you will use for this integration: Email Johnny, Fitbit Thread, Message 220 »

The goal is simply to tell your phone what your new weight is and have your Fitbit log it. . With IFTTT it’s really easy.

Create a Gmail trigger using New email address in inbox from search, and install for fields «Search» value «fitbit».


Next select » Write down your weight in the Fitbit channel. Fill in the field » The weight» body ingredient.


Now all you have to do is use Fitbit’s new voice command to send your weight using your Android phone and you’re done. You don’t need to find your computer or sign into the Fitbit app with your phone. Just say it and you have recorded your weight.

Post to social networks

Sure, with Amazon Echo you can use voice commands to post to Facebook and Twitter, but so what? You can do the same with Google Now!

Here is the voice command you will use to post to Facebook. : » Email Johnny, Facebook Thread, Message This is my status update! »

As you can see, the subject of this command says «Johnny» that you want to post to Facebook, and the body of the email contains the message. This is what it looks like in IFTTT Facebook Create action with status message .

email, facebook

Here is the voice command you will use to post to Twitter : » Email Johnny, Themed Twitter, A message I can’t believe I can tweet with my voice! »

This tells «Johnny» what you want to tweet, and the body of the email contains the tweet. Here’s what it looks like in message IFTTT Twitter Post Tweet .


Hey, why stop at Facebook and Twitter? Why not send messages on Slack when you are on the run using your voice? I’ll tell you that you can’t give Amazon Echo social posts when you run or ride outside your home, but you you can do it with Google Now — both internally and and outside of your home.

Here is the voice command you will use to send messages to Slack: Email Johnny, Subject Slack, Message Hey everyone, I’m late for the meeting! »

This tells «Johnny» that you want to post to Slack and the body of the email contains the message. Here’s what it looks like in action IFTTT Slack Post to Channel .

email slack

Please note that you need to define one channel where your Slack voice messages will be sent.

Just imagine that you can control with your voice

All you have to do is browse the IFTTT channels to see how many cool things you can control with your voice using this new approach. If you have Smartthings products Wink gadgets, WeMo devices or other smart devices built into your home, you can activate or deactivate them using your voice using Google Now and IFTTT.

IFTTT smart home

It’s really only limited to household smart home products starts you own — IFTTT is constantly adding new smart home equipment to its repertoire.

Do you have Google Now enabled on your phone? Are you going to try any of the automations listed above? Share your creative ideas in the comments section below.

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