iPhone owners who have fitted their homes with Google Nest smart speakers have so far missed out on one of the gadget’s best features. While Android fans have been asking the chatty AI assistant to find their misplaced handset for some time, iPhone owners have had to resort to the good old-fashioned search method and take the sofa apart, move the pile of unopened letters and dig through drawers …
Thankfully, Google can soon save you a lot of time looking for a misplaced iPhone in your home. This is because the Google Assistant, the chirping hands-free voice assistant that supports Google Nest’s smart speaker and display, can now help you find both iOS and Android devices.
When you ask your next Google Nest speaker to find your iPhone, your handset will sound a happy melody so you can find it quickly. The happy melody will play even if you left your iPhone in Do Not Disturb mode or something similar. That makes the feature even more useful than asking a friend or partner to call your misplaced phone.
Google is currently rolling out this convenient solution for Google Nest owners in the UK, US and Australia.
If you are a forgetful iPhone owner who needs this feature for their smart home kit, there are a few settings you need to make. First of all, you need to add your mobile number to your Google account. If you’re juggling between multiple Google Accounts, you’ll need to add the phone number to the number you use with your Google Nest smart speakers and smart displays.
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Next, you need to make sure that Voice Match is enabled. This allows the Google Assistant to recognize your voice and distinguish it from other people in your home. This is important because the AI assistant needs to know who you are – and what your phone is when you ask the Google assistant to find your phone.
The next time you reach for your iPhone and can’t find it in your pocket as expected, you can rely on the Google Assistant to track it down.
As always, you need to use the wake-up phrases “OK, Google” or “Hey Google”, which essentially act as an on / off switch for the smart speaker. It asks the devices to prick up their ears and take note of your command. Ask either “Find my iPhone” or “Where is my iPhone?” starts the function. And if you have an Android device instead of an iPhone, you can ask, “Where’s my phone?” or “Find My Phone” to unlock the same feature.
It’s great to see Google bringing this feature to iPhone owners. If you have Amazon Echo smart speakers at home instead of Google Home, you’ll need to download a skill (as Amazon Apps calls its AI assistant Alexa) called Find My Phone that activates the feature . Unlike Google, however, this Alexa capability makes a call over the telephone network. So you need to make sure your iPhone is not in silent mode if you ever actually want to find it.