Virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa are becoming more and more integrated into our daily lives. Recently, Google released their competitor to Amazon’s product. Aptly named, Google Home, the Google Home Assistant can help you in surprising ways you might not have realized at first. Here are 15 features that might surprise you.

1. Use It as a Speaker

It’s common knowledge that it comes equipped with a Bluetooth speaker. However, it’s not limited to just connecting to your phone and playing playlists. It can connect to many music streaming services, like Spotify and Pandora. Not only that but with an integrated chrome browser on any computer, you can easily connect your computer to it and use it as a desktop speaker.

2. Read the News from 1851

It has a database of news headlines going back all the way to 1851. All you have to do is ask for the news on any specific day. It will then read the headlines of that day and summarizes the news contained in that article.

3. Find Your Phone

With just a simple phrase, Google Home Assistant can place a call to your phone to help you find it. If your phone is on silent or vibrate and is compatible with Google Home, it will even come out of silent mode in order for you to hear its ring.

4. Turn Your Lights On or Off

It is advertised as the central hub for all your smart devices. If you have compatible lights such as the Phillips Hue bulbs, then you can ask it to turn off and on the lights for you without pressing a switch.

5. Use Touch Commands

It is equipped with touch-sensitive technology that knows where your fingers are and can register many gestures. You can tap the top to pause and unpause music and sliding your finger to the side opens up the volume control. Google has promised more functionality of touch commands in the future.

6. Get an Uber

By connecting your Uber app to Google Home and specifying a few settings, you can ask it for an Uber and one will go right to your house in a matter of minutes.

7. Cook Recipes

Perhaps one of the most useful functions, it can look up over five million recipes via several databases such as the New York Time and Food Network. The Google Home Assistant will go through the recipe step by step and you can even ask it for conversions and ingredient substitutions.

8. Play 20 Questions

It is connected to Akinator, which is an online version of 20 questions. You simply think of something, and Akinator, via Google Home will ask questions to narrow it down. It’s perfect for when you are bored or want to keep your kids occupied.

9. Keep A Shopping List

Google Home has a lot of functionality in the kitchen. If you notice you’re missing something, simply ask Google Assistant to add the item to your shopping list. That shopping list is automatically sent to any integrated phone or smart device.

10. Integrate With Chromecast

If you have Chromecast, Google’s home TV option, then you can use Google Home and voice commands to control it. You can ask for specific videos, or tell it to rewind, forward, or skip to a specific time.

11. Know Your Traffic

By adding your home and work locations to its app, the Google Home Assistant can tell you about traffic conditions and possible alternate routes you can take to save time.

12. Impress Your Guests

It allows your guests to use it as well. All they have to do is pair their device with Google Home, a step that literally takes seconds. Once it is paired, they can issue commands and ask questions just as you can.

13. See Your Pics on TV
It can be given access to your photo accounts, like Google Photo and Photobucket. Once you do, you can use Chromecast to show your pictures on TV and even ask for specific pictures based on location and date.

14. Relax

It comes with over 15 ambient sounds, including forest ambiance and crashing waves, to help you relax or fall asleep.

15. Hear a Joke

It can even tell jokes. Just ask, and you shall receive.

With all these things you can do with Google Home and more features added soon, now is a great time to buy this fantastic home assistant.