The original Google Home smart speaker, pictured above, may now be used as a Bluetooth speaker due to firmware and Google Home app updates in 2017. In this post, we illustrate how to connect your tablet or phone to this speaker via Bluetooth, and transmit audio to the speaker for room-filling, awesome sounding playback.
We’d like to be able to connect (pair) the Google Home smart speaker to an iPad Air tablet, such that the speaker becomes a Bluetooth speaker, allowing us to play any audio that the iPad is playing, through the Google Home speaker. You might 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. You wish to enjoy the full sound of your Google speaker for all this content.
This futuristic procedure assumes that would be connecting the same iPad to the Google Home speaker as what you’re running the Google Home app on.
Pairing the Google Home Speaker with an iPad
1. Connect all devices to the internet. Make sure that both your tablet and your Google Home speaker are online and connected to the Internet.
2. Turn Bluetooth ON, on the source device that you’re pairing with the Google Home speaker (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 my 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.
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 arrow pointing to it. You then see the Device Settings screen for the specific Google Home speaker device displayed on the previous screen, whose specific setting options are shown on the screen shown next. In our case, that device is named Living Room Home.
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 could 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.
10. Next, you would tap the device in this list that you wish to pair with your Google speaker. In our case here, that would be the Living Room device, as circled above.
Then, if all goes well, your speaker would play 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 pairing with an iOS device, as shown next for our case; the purple circled Living Room device.
Finally, the Google Home App adds the source device to its known Bluetooth devices list, as shown next.
At this point, all your tablet’s generated sounds would play on your Google Home 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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- 2017-10-29: Originally published.