Got an old Android laying around? Here’s how to turn it into a Google Home (of sorts)

We all know (and are kind of annoyed with the fact) that phones are released at a rate that is almost impossible to keep up with. Odds are, you have a phone lying around somewhere that you aren’t using anymore. I also have that same issue, so we had to figure out what to do with them. We did a little bit of digging around online, and came to the conclusion that we should turn it into a Google Home!

So before we begin, there are a few things we need to go over.

  1. The phone needs to have the Google Assitant (download).
  2. You will need 1.5GB of storage space on the device and a 720p display.
  3. A speaker is required (either Bluetooth or wired will work)

If this device is one that someone gave you or was used it might be easier to do a factory data reset. To do that go to Settings> System> Reset or Security (depending on device)> Factory Data Reset. Once the phone has been reset, follow the instructions to set the device up again as your own and be sure to download the Google Assitant. So now that we have the phone ready, let’s get it set up to be your new Google Home (kinda)!

  1. Open the Google App (download)
  2. Go to Settings> Voice
  3. Select “OK Google” Detection
  4. Follow the instructions to train the voice model to recognize your voice.
  5. Make sure that Say “OK Google” anytime.
  6. Go back and select Hands-free
  7. Enable For Bluetooth Devices and For wired headsets
  8. Go back again and be sure to turn Speech Output to ON

From here, we have to make sure that the Google Assitant is ready to recognize you from anywhere it can hear you.

  1. Go back into the settings on the Google app settings
  2. Select Settings under the Google Assitant
  3. Select Phone
  4. Make sure Google Assistant is enabled
  5. Under Preferred input, make sure Voice is enabled

With this configuration, you’re now set up and ready for your new Google Home device! You need to be sure that the phone has a power source plugged into to be sure it doesn’t die. Some Bluetooth speakers have an “auto-off” feature, so we recommend an auxiliary cable to use it. You can also use it to play music from Spotify, Google Play Music, Pandora, or Deezer. If you have a Google Chromecast, you can also use this device to do things like playing a video on YouTube directly to your T.V. or telling Netflix to play a specific show like “Hey Google, play The Office on Living Room T.V. (or whatever you named the T.V. you want to watch on.) You can ask it to tell you the weather, or where the closest breakfast diner is. Ask it to give you directions to the airport or when your next meeting is, and it will be right there to help. Let us know in the comments what your set up looks like, and if you have any questions or comments.

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