I've been away from work for almost three weeks now. No checking in on email, no one-offs. Truly unplugged. At least from work apps (Outlook, Slack, etc). That doesn't mean my entire life has been unplugged.

Having two kids under two - plus two pets - has limited the amount of hands I have available during the day. Even with only our infant during the day, I may have one hand bouncing him and my other hand holding a pacifier in his mouth. That's where having hands-free voice tech has been somewhat of a life saver.

Google Assistant Becoming a Favorite

I've used Google Assistant on my Pixel 2 more than my Amazon Echo recently, mainly because my phone is pretty much always on me and my Echo is limited to a specific room of the house. I could be rocking our newborn and finally get him to sleep - but heaven forbid I quit bouncing him! So I'll wake up my phone and ask it to open up PocketCasts and play a podcast or open up Netflix to stream something on my phone (I stream a lot of Parks and Rec during wee hour baby soothing sessions). Not having to fiddle with a remote has been fantastic.

I Still Haven't Abandoned Alexa

I've also been using Alexa considerably more. We use it to set timers for feedings, cooking food and reading the news and weather. We also use it to order diapers and check in on deliveries. We even use it to turn on music to entertain our toddler or soothe our infant. I've even been much more intentional setting up Alexa triggers via the mobile app and making the hands-free experience highly functional to me.

I've used voice to text friends and make phone calls to family who check in on their newest family member. Being able to do everything hands-free has been remarkably easier.

Hands-Free TV?

What I really miss right now is the visual part. We have Amazon Fire Sticks in our house but they still require using your hands to push a button to use the voice features. It'd be great to have my Alexa talk to my TV and wake it up with my voice only.

In Conclusion

Other than that, for me, voice technology is best when it has a function. I've been able to find a lot of utility in voice, mainly out of necessity. When you don't have an extra hand to spare, making the most of voice and AI has been clutch.

I'm curious - what voice assistants do you use? Any cool hacks or functions that make your day easier? IFTTT recipes to share? Would love to learn more!