June 2017 update: This doesn’t work anymore, Google made major changes to how shopping lists work on Google Home. See this updated post.
I love my Google Home! I switched from the Echo a while back, largely for two things:
- Chromecast integration
- A much better shopping list app
(I could go on a looooong rant about how much I hate the Echo’s companion Android app.)
But lately the Home’s shopping list functionality started failing me. It worked fine until about a month ago, when it got very confused:
I kicked it off with the usual “Hey Google, add cheese to my shopping list”. After a 5-10 second pause, Home almost always told me it didn’t understand what I was asking. If I tried again, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.
To make matters worse, sometimes the Home was actually adding items to my shopping list when it told me it wasn’t.
Here’s how I fixed it:
- In Google Keep, delete the note that Home uses for your shopping list.
- Use a voice command to add something to your shopping list.
- Home will re-create the shopping list note
- Now it works just fine! No more lengthy delay or failed commands.
Important note: This will obviously delete all the items on your original shopping list.
I still don’t have any hard evidence for what causes this, but here’s my theory:
I had more than 350 items that I’d added to that list and then checked off as I bought things. All of those items were technically still part of the list, just hidden from view. Maybe that got too large for Home to handle?
Who knows. But I’m going to delete the list every couple months from now on.
As I’ve written before, I like to document tech fixes – especially when my usual searches for help failed me. With a little luck this’ll fill in some Google gaps.