You probably already know that Google Assistant, the artificial intelligence-powered voice assistant found on Android and a slew of smart home devices, can be really helpful. It can tell you the weather, answer questions, and even provide you with directions. You may not have known that your Google Assistant can also do a lot of other really useful things, but now you're going to wonder how you lived without them. 

1. Identify Songs

Want to know what you're listening to? Google Assistant can help with that. Ask, "Hey Google, what song is this?" and it'll be happy to tell you. In my experience, it wasn't quite as reliable as Shazam, but was pretty close, which means that it recognized most popular songs, and even alternative recordings of those songs. 

2. Share Your Location

Heading to an important appointment, or meeting up with friends for dinner? Google Assistant can share your location or an ETA just by using your voice from within the Maps app. 

3. Location-Based Reminders

To be honest, I'm a Mac guy, and this is one of my favorite productivity tools in iOS. The combination of Siri and Reminders is awesome for keeping organized and remembering important tasks--especially when you can ask it to remind you of a specific task when you leave or arrive at a specific location. Well, it turns out Google Assistant can do the same thing, and it's incredibly useful.

4. Control What's on Your TV

"Hey Google, play the Super Bowl on the living room TV." If your Google Home account is connected to a YouTube TV account, and your living room TV has a Chromecast attached, it's that simple. 

5. Set Up Routines

In addition to giving Google Assistant commands or asking it questions, you can set up routines, which are a string of commands that you can activate with just one phrase. For example, "Hey Google, wake up the kids" could turn on the lights and start playing the Star Wars theme song on the speaker in their room. 

6. Real-Time Translate Your Conversation

Last year, Google previewed a feature that allowed a Google Nest Hub to serve as a translator. That was pretty cool, but not super practical unless you managed to find yourself in need of a translator while you happened to be standing near an appropriate device.

Now, however, this feature is available on any device with Google Assistant. Say, "Hey Google, be my Spanish translator," and it'll speak the translated language, and display a written translation as well (assuming you're using an Android device, or Google Nest device with a display). 

7. Change Your Privacy Settings

If you're using a device with a display, like a Pixel smartphone or a Google Nest Hub, you can say, "Hey Google, tell me about my privacy settings," and it'll take you directly to where you can make changes. It's especially useful since companies like Google haven't always been known for making it easy to find privacy settings within the maze of menus and options. 

8. Delete Information 

Did you say something you didn't want Google to hear, or accidentally activate the assistant? Simply say "Hey Google, that wasn't for you," and she'll delete the last interaction from your history. You can also say, "Hey Google, delete everything from last week," or any time frame you choose, and it will.  

9. Read Longform Websites

At CES, Google previewed a new addition to the Google Assistant list of tricks: the ability to read longform content. Google Assistant can even translate that content into 42 languages in real-time and displays a set of controls that allow you to speed up or slow down the pace, as well as scrub through the timeline.

The biggest highlight here is the advanced speech technology Google has packed into this feature, which makes playback far more natural sounding than what we're used to from a computer voice. While Google hasn't said exactly when it will be available, it's such a great trick, it seemed worth mentioning now. 

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Published on: Jan 23, 2020
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.