Google Home Mini (now known as Google Nest Mini) users wonder if they can enjoy its exciting features without connecting to the internet.
Let me get straight to the point. You can enjoy limited features on your Google Home Mini without a wifi connection. The keyword here is “limited.”
Note that this device does not come with an ethernet port. To connect Google Home Mini to the internet, you will need an access point with proper settings for the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless standard.
Do not worry if you are late on the internet bill payment. Or your neighborhood is facing a power outage. A few key features of your Google Home Mini will work fine as long as the battery is sufficiently charged.
So, can you use Google Home Mini offline? Yes, you can enjoy some important features. Google Assistant cannot process your voice by itself. It sends the voice commands to a remote server where it is converted to text and then processed.
In this post, I share what you can and cannot do with your Google Home Mini in offline mode. Furthermore, I will also discuss “how to set up Google Home Mini without wifi.”
You Can Enjoy the Following Features on Google Home Mini Offline
#1 Set, Snooze and Cancel General Alarms
With Google Home Mini, you get to set three types of alarms: general, media, and character. You can set a general alarm in the offline mode. Note that there is no option to change the alarm tone for general alarms.
An active internet connection is a must to set media and character alarms. Although, you can snooze or cancel them in offline mode.
Media alarms include your favorite songs and ringtones. The device will need to be connected to the server to download the mp3 files.
Likewise, the character alarms play popular dialogues and slogans. Both need to be downloaded via the internet.
#2 Inform You About Your Routines
Apart from the current weather forecast and breaking news, the Google Home Mini will perform its routines as usual while the wifi is down. Google Assistant’s device firmware has significantly evolved in recent years.
It knows what kind of news you like to hear in the morning. The news and weather information is downloaded well before you wake up in the morning.
The Google Home Mini will generally tell you the latest news. But in case of failure to connect to the internet, it will use the previously saved information.
Also, note that the device does not require a wifi connection to tell you about your commute, calendar, and reminder (unless you want it to pull information from email).
That said, the Google Home Mini cannot understand commands without an active internet connection. So, do not try to set a routine. It will simply say “I can’t connect to the internet right now.” It can only tell you about the routines set while the wifi was active.
#3 You Can Use the Google Home Mini as a Bluetooth Speaker
You don’t need an active wifi connection to pair up your Google Home Mini device with a Bluetooth-enabled phone or a laptop. The Google Home Mini is equipped with an in-built hotspot that turns on, the moment the wifi connection fails.
Google Home Mini functions just like any other Bluetooth speaker. Look for it by turning on the Bluetooth in your mobile phone. Hit connect and you are good to go.
Note that this offline configuration is temporary. The Google Home device prioritizes wifi over a hotspot.
Also, you cannot give a voice command to the Google Home mini while it is connected to your mobile device via Bluetooth. You will need an internet connection for that.
You Cannot Enjoy the Following Features on Google Home Mini Offline
#1 You Cannot Perform Voice Matching
You can train Google Assistant to recognize your voice so it will only accept commands sent by you (or five other users). You can begin voice matching only when the device is connected to an active internet connection.
Without an active wifi connection, you won’t be able to link your voice with a smartwatch or a smart display. Furthermore, you will also need your Google Account to be linked with the Google Assistant device.
#2 The Calculator Won’t Work Offline
You will need to connect the Google Home Mini to wifi to perform complex calculations and unit conversions. The program — to complete the mentioned tasks — is not saved in the local memory.
The Google Home Mini relays the command to the server when you ask it to perform complex mathematics tasks.
#3 You Cannot Use the Dictionary
Just like you cannot ask Google Home Mini to perform calculations offline, you cannot use the dictionary while the internet is down. The device will simply ignore your command by replying “I can’t connect to the internet right now.”
#4 The Device Won’t Tell You the Local Time
Most people incorrectly assume that the Google Home Mini must have an inbuilt clock. Unfortunately, there is no internal clock or timer within the device.
The Google Home Mini is simply a speaker box with the ability to talk to the internet. Although when connected to the internet you can know the current time by saying “Ok Google, what time is it now?”
#4 You Cannot Set Reminders
You cannot set reminders with your Assistant in offline mode. Unfortunately, you need the internet or access to the Google Home app to do that. Also, your smartphone won’t receive notifications if your home wifi goes down.
If a user is unaware of this fact they may rely on Google Assistant to send them reminders or important notes on the go. Without a stable home wifi connection, they may miss a meeting or get late for an event.
#5 The Entertainment Services Won’t Work
It is common for people to use Google Home Mini as an entertainment device. It can lighten up your day by playing your favorite music, tell funny jokes, and test your knowledge with smart trivia games.
Unfortunately, none of the previously mentioned features work in the offline mode. There is no option to download a song offline as the device does not come with a local storage facility.
Having said that, you can use Google Home mini offline as a Bluetooth speaker. Connect your smartphone or a computer to the Google Home Mini and play mp3 files of your choice.
In a Nutshell
Just like a Chromebook, Google Home Mini needs an active wifi connection to operate. Google Home Mini is merely a box with a speaker and a microphone.
Your voice commands are related to Google’s servers located in a remote place. They do not get processed locally.
Without an active internet connection, it is merely a low functioning device capable of performing a few minuscule functions. You may use Google Home Mini offline only when the home wifi is down.
Also, do not worry if the wifi connection gets interrupted while you are asleep. As long as the device is powered up, the alarm will go off at its scheduled time.