Google Home is now a better alarm clock

Google’s Home smart speakers have this week gained a feature which doesn’t just make it a smart speaker, but a smart alarm clock, too.

A few days ago, this writer’s wife asked him to set up a speaker in his baby daughter’s room that was able to play a playlist while she slept. The playlist would have classical, some jazz, and generally be just a lot of music meant to relax by, to fall asleep next to when the white noise wasn’t enough.

And so he naturally turned to a smart speaker, to one of the Google Home products, because it made sense to set up a room with something he could control and change remotely. That’s the way the future is going, so why not embrace it now?

There was only one problem: Google Home couldn’t play a playlist as an alarm. It could handle a playlist well enough, and if we wanted to let the kid listen to the sounds of her father talking at hyperspeed on technology, we were ok, but a basic playlist to get her to sleep, that was apparently difficult.

  • He tried to get Google Home to recognise every variant of the phrasing to make it work.
  • “Hey Google, set alarm for 6pm and play Sleepytime playlist.”
  • “OK Google, set playlist alarm for 6pm with Sleepytime playlist.”
  • “Hey Google, can you play music for eight hours as an alarm clock playlist?”

The answer to that last question was seemingly a firm “no”, and every time we tried to get Google to acquiesce, it either ignored us, or found some other playlist to play from Google that would have kept the six month old in a chanting-based trance, or probably would have annoyed her in the process (us too).

It seemed as though we were asking the wrong question. We should have been asking:

“Hey Google, when are you going to get patched and support alarm clock functionality?”

The answer to that one was a good week away, because only a few days ago, the search giant and makers of the “Home” smart speaker concept rolled out an addition to its Google Assistant-enabled speakers to do just that, to add playlist alarm functionality.

Now you can do it, calling up Google and have it “set an alarm for” a certain time — say 6PM — to play a playlist, or to make a station playing an artist.

It’s a minor addition, but it’s one that Google Home should probably have arrived with in the first place, so it’s nice to see it around.

Now we just need to get Apple Music to support Google Home, and make an eight hour long playlist to keep the bub happy. One step at a time, we guess.

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