All current Google Home smart speakers may now be used as Bluetooth speakers, thanks to firmware and Google Home app updates in 2017. Here, we demonstrate how to connect your tablet or phone to a Google Home smart speaker via Bluetooth, and transmit audio to that speaker for room-filling, astonishingly awesome sounding playback given how small these smart speakers are. While this demo illustrates the process using the Google Home Mini, a similar process also works with the original Google Home smart speaker, and will likely also work with the upcoming Google Home Max speaker.
We wish to connect (pair) a Google Home smart speaker to an iPad Air tablet, such that the speaker becomes a Bluetooth speaker, allowing play of any audio that the iPad is playing, through that speaker, wirelessly. You might want to do this if you’re watching a Netflix movie or playing your Amazon music library on your iPhone, but wish to have louder, and over all better sound for it than what you get via the speakers built into your phone / tablet.
Pairing Google Home Smart Speakers with an iPad
1. Connect all devices to the internet. Make sure that both your tablet and your Google Home based speaker are online and connected to the Internet.
2. Turn Bluetooth ON, on the source device that you’re pairing with the Google Mini (in our case, we’re pairing from an iPad Air), and assure that you see the “Now discoverable as” message, as shown next.
3. Next, on the tablet, run the Google Home app. On our iPad, this app appears on the third home page, as pictured next.
The Google Home app home screen then displays, as pictured next.
4. Then, tap the hamburger item up at the top left corner of the Google Home app home screen. This brings up the main menu window, as shown next.
5. Tap the Devices menu item. This brings up the list of Google Home devices that the app knows about, as shown next. We’ve scrolled down the list of in-network devices and located our Mini, as shown.
6. Tap the hamburger menu link for the speaker you’re pairing; the item pointed at by the purple arrow in the previous picture. The hamburger menu opens, as shown in the next picture.
7. Tap the Settings item in the hamburger menu as displayed in the previous picture, with the purple circle around it. You then see the Device Settings screen for the specific Google Home speaker device, similar to as displayed on the previous screen, whose specific setting options appear on the screen shown next. In our case, that device, the Google Home Mini, is named Office Speaker.
Note that we’ve scrolled down to the Device Settings section on this screen to find the Paired Bluetooth Devices option, as circled in the next picture.
8. Tap the Paired Bluetooth Devices item, as circled in the previous picture. The Paired Bluetooth Devices screen then appears as shown next, where we can select a Bluetooth device from a list of devices that we’ve previously paired with, had we ever paired with any before. Since we have not, the screen is almost entirely blank.
9. Tap the Enable Pairing Mode link. This puts the Google Home device we’re working with into Bluetooth discovery mode. That is, it will now show up when other in-range devices scan for Bluetooth Devices. Confirmation of this is shown by a black bar momentarily appearing at the bottom of the Paired Bluetooth Devices screen, as shown next.
10. Go to the Bluetooth Settings screen in the Settings app on your phone or tablet. On our iPad Air, we hit the home button, tapped the Settings app, and then tapped Bluetooth on the left side of the screen, to reveal the following screen.
11. Next, tap the desired device in this list that you wish to pair with. In our case here, that would be the Office Speaker device, as circled above.
Then, if all goes well, your Mini plays a short burst of musical chord, and pairing then occurs. Your paired device then moves up from the Other Devices list to My Devices if you’re using the pairing feature on an iOS device, as shown next for our case; the purple circled Office Speaker device.
12. Return to the Paired Bluetooth Devices screen in the Google Home app. There, you’ll now find that the Google Home App had added the source device (your phone or tablet) to its known Bluetooth devices list, as illustrated in the next picture. Our pairing source device is called Tom’s iPad.
At this point, all your tablet’s generated sounds would play on your Google Home smart speaker. Pairing is complete.
You would unpair your speaker from a source Bluetooth device by saying, “Okay Google, disconnect” or “Hey Google, disconnect.” Google Home allows you to unpair your speaker from the source by either issuing these voice commands to it, or by going into the Bluetooth settings on your source device, and breaking the connection from there.
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- 2017-12-11: Originally published.