How nice would it be to walk through the front door and say “Hey Google, I’m home” to have the lights turn on, the thermostat set, and the TV turn on and fire up Netflix? With the upcoming “Routines” feature for Google Assistant, that will be a reality.
The idea of having a digital assistant that can take a simple command and execute several steps from it is nothing new—Amazon’s Alexa can already do it. But if you’re not in the Echo crowd, that doesn’t mean much to you. So, what does it mean for Google Assistant? It means complex tasks are going to get a lot simpler once Routines are available.
How Will Routines Work?
Basically, the scenario laid out earlier is exactly how this this should play out. You’ll define a simple command—“I’m home” in our hypothetical situation—and attach a string of commands to it. You should be able to use whatever you want here—if Google Assistant can do it, then it will be available to use as part of a Routine.
For example, if you have smart bulbs, turning them on will be available as part of a routine. The same goes for smart thermostats, TVs, or literally anything else you currently use with Google Assistant. Native Assistant features will also be available, like playing a podcast or specific song.
What Devices Will Support Routines?
When it comes to hardware, this feature appears to be completely rooted in the Assistant itself, meaning that it’s not limited to just Google Home products. It will be available on every device you own that has Google Assistant, be that your phone or TV.
You’ll be limited to six routines at a time, so you’ll have to pick and choose what’s important to you as Assistant’s catalog of available features and compatible devices grows.
Cool, How Can I Get It?
Routines for Assistant will be rolling out “in the coming weeks” according to Google, so really the only thing you can do is wait. This will likely come as a behind-the-scenes update for Assistant itself, but accompanied by an update for the Google Home app, which is where you’ll define your routines.
And, of course, we’ll be testing it out and keeping you updated as the feature rolls out.