When it comes to running your smart home, Google makes it easy, thanks to the company’s suite of web-connected products and services. With Google Assistant as the brains of the smart operation, all of your Google-powered devices are housed under one roof for controls and customization — the Google Home app.
Available exclusively for iOS and Android devices, you won’t find a dedicated desktop app for running your Google smart home on your Mac or PC. That being said, there are a few workarounds you can implement, allowing you to add Google Home’s intuitive features to your computer of choice. Read on to learn how.
Use Google Home through your Chromebook
While your run-of-the-mill desktop doesn’t feature onboard support for the Google Home app, those using a Chromebook can download and use the application as they would on a regular mobile device — and it’s all possible via the Google Play Store.
To get started, go into the Settings menu of your Chromebook. Click Apps, find the Google Play Store tab, then click Turn On. Now all you have to do is head into the Google Play Store on your Chromebook, download the Google Home app, and launch it.
Because the building blocks of Chrome OS and Android are pretty close in nature, you’ll be able to use the Google Home app to do everything you normally do on your mobile device — including device controls, routine building, and casting — but through your Chromebook.
Put Google Chrome to the test
If you’re already using Google Chrome as the default web browser for your PC or Mac and are looking to add Google Home functionality to your desktop, you’ll be glad to know that you can use Google Chrome to unlock the casting and streaming features that are built into the Home application.
To do so, you’ll first want to ensure that your desktop is running the latest version of the Chrome browser. Next, with the Chrome browser launched, you can either click the More icon (three vertical dots) or right-click a blank section of your webpage. Then, click Cast, followed by your device of choice.
While you won’t be able to use Google Chrome for Google Assistant or any kind of device customization for the hardware on your network, the casting function will allow you to send audio and video from your desktop to certain Google Home devices on your network.
Try an Android emulator
Did you know that you can mimic your phone or tablet’s Android operating system to your desktop? With programs like Bluestacks, you can enjoy the look, feel, and functionality of your phone’s Android OS right from your home computer. While there are a handful of emulators to choose from, Bluestacks is known for its reliability, easy layout, and customization options.
To get started, download Bluestacks for your PC or Mac, then launch the program. During setup, you’ll be prompted to enter Google Play Store credentials for downloading apps. After entering this info, go into the Play Store, search for Google Home, and click Install.
When you launch the Google Home app, you’ll be prompted to enter your Google account info, at which point the rest of your installation will mirror that of Google Home on a mobile device. Once you’ve locked down your location preferences and a few other tweaks, you’re ready to use the app.
The nice thing about Bluestacks (minus the ads) is that Google Home will perform exactly the same way it does on the mobile gear the app is designed for.