What Are Google Assistant Routines and How To Set Them Up

Google Assistant routines are an automated set of actions Google Assistant will do for you whenever you say a specific phrase.

You can start using this feature now with very little effort by using one of the six ready-made Google Assistant routines. But if you want to get creative, you can set up custom Google Assistant routines that carry out a series of any actions Google Assistant is capable of.

In this article, we’ll explore the six ready-made routines, and then show you how to set up your own custom Google Assistant routines to automate your day.

How To Access Google Assistant Routines

  • Accessing Google Assistant routines is easy. Just open the Google Assistant app on your phone and tap the compass icon at the lower right corner of the screen.
  • In the Explore window, tap your profile photo at the upper right corner and select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  • On the Settings screen, tap the Assistant tab and then select Routines.
  • On the Google Assistant Routines screen, you’ll see all of the ready-made routines you can start using right away.

Ready-Made Google Assistant Routines

The six ready-made Google Assistant routines include actions that occur when you say specific statements out loud.

  • Good morning: Say “Good morning”, “Tell me about my day”, or “I’m up”.
  • Bedtime: Say “Bedtime”, “Good night”, or “Time to hit the hay”.
  • Leaving home: Just say “I’m leaving”, or “I’m heading out”.
  • I’m home: Say “I’m home” or “I’m back”.
  • Commuting to work: Say “Let’s go to work”.
  • Commuting home: Say “Let’s go home”.

Even though these are pre-made routines, you can customize them however you wish. Let’s take a closer look at how each of these pre-made Google Assistant routines are configured.

Good Morning Routine

From the Ready-made menu of routines, tap the Good morning routine to see how it’s configured.

When this routine is triggered, the following actions take place automatically:

  1. Silent mode is disabled
  2. You’ll hear the day’s weather forecast
  3. You’ll hear traffic between your home and your work
  4. You’ll hear news reports from your registered news sources

As you can see from the list of actions, you can enable many more actions you may want for your morning routine.

  • Adjust any smart lights, smart plugs, or other smart devices in your house.
  • Adjust your smart thermostat
  • Create a “scene” using your smart light bulbs
  • Hear your day’s agenda from Google calendar
  • Hear any reminders you’ve asked Google Assistant to remember
  • Adjust media volume

You can also add any customized action from every command available with Google Assistant.

After all actions are finished, you can also configure this routine to play music, news, a radio station, podcasts, an audiobook, or nothing.

Bedtime Routine

From the Ready-made menu of routines, tap the Bedtime routine to see how it’s configured.

When this routine is triggered, the following actions take place automatically:

  1. Silent mode is enabled
  2. You’ll hear tomorrow’s weather forecast
  3. You’ll be prompted to set an alarm for the next day

You can also enable additional actions.

  • Hear about your first calendar event the next morning
  • Adjust any smart home devices
  • Adjust your smart thermostat
  • Create a “scene” using your smart light bulbs
  • Arm your security system and enable any smart locks you own
  • Adjust your phone’s media volume

Just like with other routines, you can also add any other actions you want. After all actions are finished, you can configure this routine to play music, sleep sounds, or nothing.

Leaving Or Arriving Home Routines

From the Ready-made menu of routines, tap the Leaving home routine to see how it’s configured.

By default, there aren’t any actions enabled for the leaving home routine. However all of the following actions are available:

  • Adjust smart devices
  • Adjust your smart thermostat
  • Adjust smart bulb themes
  • Arm your security system
  • Lock your smart locks

Add any other actions you like. There aren’t any media options pre-set either, but you can select Add media to enable any of the media options you like as well.

The I’m Home routine only has the action to play music when you tell Google Assistant you’re home. However you can also add any of the same actions available in the Leaving home routine, as well as a few extras:

  • Broadcast “I’m home” to all Google Home speakers in the house
  • Hear the reminders you asked Google Assistant to tell you when you arrived home

You can also play any type of media source you like.

Commuting to Work Routine

From the Ready-made menu of routines, tap the Commuting to work routine.

This routine has all of the following actions enabled by default:

  1. Hear about traffic conditions from your home to your work location
  2. Hear the weather forecast for the day
  3. Automatically adjust your phone’s media volume.
  4. Play music

In addition to these actions, you can also enable any of the following:

  • Hear your Google Calendar agenda for the day
  • Hear the day’s reminders 
  • Adjust any smart devices in your home
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Adjust any smart bulb scenes
  • Set your phone’s media volume

Play music is set by default, but you can change this to play any of the media options you’d like to hear during your commute to work.

Commuting Home Routine

From the Ready-made menu of routines, tap the Commuting home routine.

This routine has all of the following actions enabled by default:

  1. Hear about traffic conditions from your work location to your home
  2. Send a customized text to anyone you like
  3. Automatically adjust your phone’s media volume
  4. Play music

In addition to these actions, you can also enable any of the following:

  • Hear any unread texts you might have missed while you were at work
  • Broadcast “I’m on my way home” to all Google Home speakers at your house
  • Adjust any smart devices in your home
  • Adjust the thermostat
  • Adjust any smart bulb scenes
  • Set your phone’s media volume

Play music is set by default, but you can change this to play any of the media options you’d like to hear during your commute home.

Creating Custom Google Assistant Routines

You can create unlimited Google Assistant routines for any possibility. To do this, back on the main Routines window, just select Add a routine to start your new custom routine.

Your custom routine has three parts you can configure.

  • Set the trigger to be specific command words, or have the routine trigger on a specific day and time.
  • Add all of the actions you want to occur when you speak the command words.
  • Add any media you want to play when you speak the command words.

When you select Add action, you can add any actions that are supported by the long list of Google Assistant command words

If you don’t know many Google Assistant commands, you can select the Browse popular actions tab to choose from common commands. You’ll find three pages of very useful actions you can add to any of your custom Google Assistant routines.

When you select Add media, you can select from music, news, radio stations, podcasts, audiobooks, or sleep sounds.

Most of these will require that you configure your preferred media sources from third party sources that are compatible with Google Assistant.

If you chose sleep sounds, there’s a list of nine pre-configured sounds available, from rain and ocean to forest sounds or just plain white noise.

By combining any voice command with all of these actions and media, you can program Google Assistant routines that do just about anything for you, at any time of day.

How to fix the font not changing in PowerShell on Windows 10

PowerShell lets you customize the font that it displays text in. It has a few specific fonts that you can choose from so you don’t have your entire fonts library at your disposal but these fonts are meant to work with a terminal which not all fonts are. Changing the font is easy and whatever you select can be set as the default font in PowerShell. If you’re trying to change the default font, and it won’t change, you might wonder what you’re doing wrong. This problem is actually a problem with the font you’re selecting.

Fix the font not changing in PowerShell

You can change the font that PowerShell uses by right-clicking the title bar and going to Properties or Default. There’s a Font tab in the window that opens where you can select a font and its size. If the changes you’re making on this window are not sticking i.e., PowerShell won’t remember them the next time you open the app, you will have to select a different font. When you do, PowerShell will remember it. This could be a problem with any font so try whichever one works and go with that. You can also install other fonts but make sure they will work with PowerShell before you install them.

To fix the font itself, you might have to download and install it all over again. It’s hard to say what might cause the problem with the font. When I had this problem, the font worked fine in other apps and PowerShell was able to use it for the current session. It only failed to use it when I quit the app and ran it again.

There’s also the fact that the font may not be available for download. These fonts tend to come pre-installed so you can’t go to popular font repositories and get them from there. What you can do is, if you have access to another Windows 10 PC, you can export the font from the other system and install it on the one you’re having PowerShell trouble with. It might work.

Another trick that’s worth trying is running PowerShell with admin rights and then changing its font. Strictly speaking, you don’t need admin rights to customize the look of PowerShell but it’s possible a problem with the font, now requires that you can change it only when you have admin access in PowerShell.

This does seem to be a recurring problem in PowerShell and it almost always turns out to be a problem with the font.

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How to change default settings in GIMP on Windows 10

GIMP is a complex app and as such, it has quite a few settings that you can change. These settings tend to be file specific. If you were to enable a certain non-default behavior while you had a file open, it would stick for that one file but not for all other files. Any other file you open in GIMP will still have the default settings. A common example of this is the brush size. To get the change to persist across all files, you need to change default settings in GIMP.

Before we start, you should know that there will be some limitations to this. Not all default settings can be changed. If you’re unable to find a particular setting, that means you will have to enable/change it for each file.

Change default settings in GIMP

For this, we’re going with the ‘Snap to canvas edges’ option. You can enable this under the View menu and it’s a setting that, if you enable it from the app’s UI, it is only enabled for the current file.

To enable this option for all files automatically, go to Edit>Preferences. This is where it gets a little tricky. You need to be able to find the setting in Preferences. If you find it, you can customize it however you like, and when you click OK, the setting will be set as the default one. All files that you open will open with the setting set the way you chose it.

If you can’t find a setting in the Preferences, you’re out of luck. You will be able to customize it on a per-file basis but there is no way to change the default behavior of it in GIMP.

A quick Google search should tell you whether or not a certain setting exists in the Preference pane, and where you can find it.

GIMP’s behavior is going to come off as unusual if you’re coming from Photoshop. Photoshop always retains the last setting within the app. Its settings, regardless of how minor they are, are automatically retained. This makes it easy for users of the app to get right to work instead of having to set up the app to suit them each time they open a file. Of all the ways that GIMP differs from Photoshop, this is one area where it doesn’t make sense. The app is as complex as Photoshop and it is a waste of time to have to enable various settings before you can get to work.

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How to turn off tap to wake on the iPhone

iPhones that do not have the home button i.e., the ones with the new bezel-less design all support Tap to wake. It’s a feature that was recently added to iOS but isn’t supported on all devices that can run iOS 13. It’s useful for when you want to look at your screen but don’t want to pick up your phone and click the wake button. It does tend to consume more battery and in some cases, you might even wake the screen by accident. If you don’t like the feature, you can disable it. Here’s how.

Disable Tap to wake

Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap on Accessibility and then tap on Touch.

Go through the options on the Touch screen and you will find a switch called ‘Tap to Wake’. Turn it Off and tap to wake will be disabled on the iPhone.

Tap to Wake on the iPhone works with a single tap. On non-iOS phones i.e. Android phones that support the feature, it normally takes two taps on the screen to wake it. It makes it less likely to accidentally wake your screen when you don’t mean to. As far as iOS 13 and the newer iPhone models are concerned, a single tap can do the job and there’s no way to change or customize it.

Tap to wake with the newer iPhones also means that the device will start scanning for your face if you have FaceID set up and if it detects you’re looking at the phone, it will unlock it. The feature itself is great but the execution needs to be worked on a bit since iPhones have really good, really fast facial recognition. Since users are unlikely to turn off FaceID, it makes more sense to turn off Tap to Wake. If you aren’t using FaceID though, tap to wake is great for peaking at your screen and also for quickly getting to the passcode screen.

Tap to wake is popular among most iPhone users and those with older iPhone models i.e., ones that still have a Home button look for ways to add the feature to their devices. The only way to do that is to jailbreak the device which is an odd restriction from Apple considering older Android devices can/do support the feature. It’s a lot like 3D touch which can be mimicked with a long-press on the screen but Apple restricted it for certain older devices.

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How to edit photo Exif data on Linux

Exif data is metadata embedded inside photos. This metadata includes ISO speed, shutter speed, camera information, the dimensions of the photograph, where it was taken, and so on.

This metadata, for the most part, is automatically added by the camera. Usually, the Exif photo data is accurate, but mistakes can happen. If you’re a Linux user and avid photographer and want to know how to edit this metadata, follow along with this guide. In it, we’ll show you how to edit photo Exif data on Linux!

Installing XnViewMP

A lot of the photo editors that come on Linux desktop environments can edit Exif data in photos. However, accessing these editing features can be confusing, and each desktop has a different photo app. So, rather than explaining how to edit Exif metadata in photos in 5 different image applications, we’ll instead turn to the XnViewMP program. It’s a universal Linux tool that makes changing photo metadata simple.

Installing XnViewMP on Linux is quite easy, as the developers have a DEB package (for Debian/Ubuntu) and an AppImage (for generic Linux users). To start the installation of XnViewMP on your Linux PC, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard.

With the terminal window open and ready to go, follow the command-line installation instructions below that correspond with the Linux distribution you use.


To install XnViewMP on your Ubuntu PC, you will first need to download the DEB release of the app. To do this, use the following wget downloader command in a terminal window.

wget https://download.xnview.com/XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb

After downloading the XnViewMP DEB package from the internet, the installation can begin. Using the Apt command, load up the program.

sudo apt install ./XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb -y


To get XnViewMP working on a Debian Linux system, start by downloading the DEB release of the program. To download the DEB package, use the following wget command down below.

wget https://download.xnview.com/XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb

When the DEB release of XnViewMP is done downloading, use the dpkg command to set it up on your system. However, be warned that dependency issues may occur.

sudo dpkg -i XnViewMP-linux-x64.deb

The dpkg command should install the program fine. If any errors appear, please follow our guide on Debian dependency errors to learn how to correct the problem.

Arch Linux

The developers of XnViewMP do not have an official Arch Linux release. That said, the program is in the AUR, so we will demonstrate how to install it.

To start, you must install the “Git” and “Base-devel” packages on your system.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

With both “Git” and “Base-devel” packages installed, use the commands below to install the Trizen AUR helper. This app will make setting up apps like XnViewMP from the AUR much easier.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

cd trizen

makepkg -sri

When Trizen is set up, use the trizen -S command to install XnViewMP

trizen -S xnviewmp

Fedora/OpenSUSE/Generic Linux

XnViewMP has an AppImage release, which is perfect for Fedora users, OpenSUSE users, and those on lesser-known Linux distributions. To get the AppImage app working, enter the commands below.

mkdir -p ~/AppImages

cd ~/AppImages

wget https://download.xnview.com/XnView_MP.glibc2.17-x86_64.AppImage

sudo chmod +x XnView_MP.glibc2.17-x86_64.AppImage


Edit photo Exif data

To edit your photo’s Exif data, start by launching the XnViewMP app on your Linux desktop. When the app is open, follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: Locate the “Folders” side-bar on the left-hand section of the app. Scroll through the list of folders and locate the Home directory.

Step 2: Click on the arrow next to “Home” to reveal it’s sub-folders. Then, look through the sub-folders till you find the directory that has the photos you would like to edit and click on it with the mouse.

Step 3: After selecting your photo folder, XnViewMP will show you the photos inside of that folder in a descending list. Look through this list and choose the image you wish to edit.

Step 4: Right-click on the selected photo with the mouse to bring up the right-click menu.

Step 5: Look through the right-click menu for the option “Edit ITPC/XMP” and select it with the mouse. Upon selecting this option, a metadata editor window will pop-up on the screen.

Step 6: In the metadata editor window, you will see several tabs. These tabs are “Caption,” “Keywords,” “Categories,” “Credits,” “Status,” “Date/Time,” “Source,” and “Options.”

Look through the different tabs to edit (or add) metadata to the photo.

Step 7: Click the “Write” button at the bottom-right section of the metadata editor window to save your changes.

Repeat this process as many times as desired to modify your photo’s Exif metadata.

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