Google Home just massively expanded its home automation capabilities

For most people, smart speakers will play music and tell you what the weather is like, and that’s about it, but Google Home’s latest software update might be exciting enough to turn casual Nest users into home automation geeks.

Google Home is the mobile app at the heart of Google’s Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. But realistically, even if you own a Google Nest thermostat, for example, you might have gone to the trouble of syncing it with the Google Home app, let alone pairing it with and in turn pairing it with a Nest smart speaker Pair the lamp with your WiFi-enabled device. But updates released this week by the Google Nest team are making this type of integration between devices more fruitful than ever. They enable new actions that combine the capabilities of different smart devices, exponentially multiplying the convenience — and wow factor — of your automated home.


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According to the blog post, Google Home offers nine new “starters” – states where an automation routine begins:

  • “Device is open or closed”

  • “Device is connected or charging”

  • “Temperature sensor changes”

  • “Volume is muted or not muted”

  • “Device is docked / undocked”

  • “Active Light Effect”

  • “Lock is blocked”

  • “Moisture Sensor Changes”

  • “presence detection”

There are also nine new “Actions”:

More advanced Google Home users who design automation routines with Home’s script editor got even more new options this week, including the ability to use “camera event types” as launchers, customize notifications, suppress launchers in certain circumstances, and make debugging easier their systems. For example, camera event types allow face recognition to be activated, and starter suppression prevents the same thing from happening over and over again when you really only wanted it to happen once.

It’s like a piano suddenly gets a few dozen extra keys: you can play the notes individually, but you’ll really understand their value when you play them combine them. For example, now you can program Google Home to mute your TV when the humidity in your home reaches 80 percent. I’m not saying you’d ever do that, but that’s how customizable this system can be.

Some of the more sensible routines that Google recommends include: “When the doorbell rings, pause my robotic vacuum” and “When I turn off my alarm, wake the lights up slowly over a period of one hour.” This is clear and understandable, but, of course, the most exciting automation options are those that are individually tailored to a person’s specific tastes and circumstances.

Chrissy Callahan

Chrissy Callahan is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Chrissy Callahan joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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