- The Google Home app will receive a visual update and new features.
- Specifically, the automations are here that are more advanced and customizable routines.
- Soon you will be able to try a public preview of the new app.
Original article, Oct.4, 2022 (9 a.m. ET): The Google Home app is where you can search for everything related to your smart home. It has received a few visual revisions over the years, the most recent being in 2019. That update has brought it to where it is now, with a list of device controls with a Material Design aesthetic.
Today Google announces another huge overhaul of the app. Not only will it look and work differently than it does, it will also be more powerful and customizable for your specific smart home.
Google won’t be launching the new Google Home app for a while. However, you can try
today (this will be implemented “in the coming weeks,” according to updated information from Google) by signing up for the public preview, which is open in select areas. Just launch the Home app and find the information about the public preview. You can then try it out. If you don’t like it, you can always go back until Google fixes the issues.
New Google Home app – A visual update with new features
Google has rearranged things within the app and introduced some visual changes. If you’re using Android 12 or Android 13, you won’t be surprised at the overall look of the app. It aligns strongly with the Material You revision of Android 12 received in 2021.
On the reorganization front, there are now three categories of controls:
- Spaces – These are customizable collections of various smart home gadgets. Right now, the Home app lists things by room: kitchen, bedroom, living room, etc. That’s great, but it’s pretty limiting as you can’t easily control multiple devices in different rooms. Spaces allow you to classify devices as you see fit. For example, you might have a baby monitor in one room and a camera in another room focused on a place where your child plays often. You can now place these two items in a Spaces category called “Baby”. Now you can easily see all the smart baby products in one place.
- Favorites – This doesn’t really need an explanation. You can now bookmark some devices you use most often. This brings them to the fore within the Google Home app for easier access.
- average – At the bottom of the Home feed you will now see a media widget. This will automatically detect what media is happening in your home and give you the appropriate controls for that moment. If you’re playing music on the speakers, there would be song controls. If you are watching TV, there would be television remotes. It should offer you exactly what you need when you need it.
Google is also bringing some of the best Nest app features to Google Home. This includes a much better and much more intuitive camera feed for viewing what’s happening around the house. Now there are fewer taps to find what you need.
Finally, and this is huge, the Google Home app is coming to the web! This will allow you to view camera feeds from a web browser instead of from your phone. As a result, there will also be a Wear OS-based Google Home app debuting with the Google Pixel Watch.
In the Home app, as it is now, you have routines that help you with various conditions for multiple devices. For example, you might have a routine where you say “I’m going to have dinner,” which dims the lights, turns on some music, and locks the front door. Routines may seem powerful but are actually quite limiting.
For example, routines must be triggered by a voice command or one of Google’s preset triggers. The new automations, however, will be much more open. These will allow you to actually create routines based on any trigger you can imagine across the full range of smart devices.
Automations are a gift for experienced users.
For example, you could set up an automation triggered by a motion sensor outside your bedroom. When that sensor detects motion from 6pm to 10pm, it could turn on a bunch of lights, turn off more, and close the shutters on the lower level of the house. This type of granular control has been unheard of in the Google Home app so far.
As if this wasn’t enough power in the hands of smart homeowners, Google has promised a full script editor arriving in 2023. This would allow you to actually code automations throughout the home, which could finally fully realize the whole. idea of a “smart” home.