Regardless of what it tells you, it is possible to send a text message via Google Assistant on Google Home/Nest smart speakers using the free app IFTTT, as we’ll explain below.
There are a couple of catches to this method:
• All text messages are sent from the phone number of the primary Google account holder associated with your Google Home, regardless of whether you have set up multiple user accounts. (This has led to some very interesting text conversations with myself.)
• You’ll need to set up an IFTTT applet for each contact you want to be able to text via Google Home, so it’s best used for your most frequent contacts rather than everyone in your address book.
Note that Google no longer accepts the phrases ‘send a text’ or anything similar to this, which appear to be triggering an actual thing that it recognises but does not yet support. However, we have found that substituting this with the phrase ‘ping’ (as in ‘ping Michael $’) works just fine.
Send a text on Google Home using IFTTT
1. You’ll need to download the free IFTTT app from Google Play and then either sign into an existing account or create one using your Facebook or Google account or your email address.
2. Launch IFTTT and select Get more at the bottom of the home screen, then tap the plus sign next to ‘Make your own Applets from scratch’. You’ll then need to select the ‘+this’ link to continue. IFTTT will serve up a bunch of apps it can integrate with. Search for and select Google Assistant.
3. In the window that pops up choose ‘Say a phrase with a text ingredient’.
4. In the text field below ‘What do you want to say?’ enter the phrase you will use as your command, for example ‘Ping Michael’. You might want to add a variation to this phrase, which you can pop in the field below.
In both cases end your phrase with the $ symbol. This tells IFTTT that more information will be given in place of this dollar symbol.
At the bottom of the page you can specify a response Google Home should say in order to confirm it has understood your request, for example ‘Okay’, select the language you’ll be using, then tap Continue.
5. Now choose the link that says ‘+that’ and search for and select Android SMS. When prompted to select an action, choose ‘Send an SMS’.
6. Enter the phone number to which you want to send the text message, including the country code. The field below this should be prefilled with the message ‘TextField’; if it is not then you did not select the option to ‘Say a phrase with a text ingredient’ in step 3. Tap the tick icon at the top of the screen when you’re done.
7. IFTTT will provide a summary of your applet. Disable the slider to ‘Receive notifications when this applet runs’ (unless you particularly want to get a message every time someone uses it), then tap Finish. You will be given the option to ‘Check now’ to ensure you have set up the app correctly.
8. In order to send a text message from Google Home, you now simply say “Okay Google” followed by the phrase you specified in step 4. In our case, we say “Okay Google, ping Michael.”
You should then immediately relay the message you want to send – if you pause too long Google Home will tell you it doesn’t know how to do that yet. It should respond with the message “Okay” or whatever you specified in step 4, then send the text message to your contact.