If you’ve more than a few connected devices at home, then you’re probably jumping through different apps, with many passwords, and you’re the only one in the house that can make your home work. It can get overwhelming and complicated at times. Google has got you covered. Google turned Chromecast app to your new Google Home app. Google Home is to serve as the music and entertainment hub in your home, one that manages other speakers and TVs via Google Cast.
Google Cast is a foot in the door for Google’s smart home ambitions.
One app to rule them all: revamped Google Home app puts all of your devices and their controls in one place
Google Home App does more than just managing Chromecast, or act as a vehicle to set up your Nest Mini. Google Home app allows you to control all your smart home gadgets from one place easily, quickly and control smart devices whether they’re in your home or your parents’, so you can better play tech support from remote locations. No more sitting in a dark room because your roommate/family member can’t log in to Hue.
Google Home app gets smart home controls, intelligent actions, and household sharing.
Home app displays all your devices in one view and organizes them by room. You can access Google Assistant from the app and manage devices like your Nest thermostat or Hue smart lights without having to go into their respective apps.
Instead of opening separate apps to operate those devices (or relying on voice commands) Google moved many useful toggles and controls right into the Home app to control all of your compatible smart devices from one place, saving you from a few headaches along the way. Whether you’re trying to change the temperature in home, change music, check-in on your backyard camera or turn on the lights as you enter home, it’s all just a few taps away in the Google Home app.
Google Home app put a centralized hub right in your hand.
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Create Mood lighting with Google Home app
You can control lights and plugs from different manufacturers and integrate them into routines. For instance, you can change an entire room’s brightness through the app, even if every single bulb was from a different brand.
- In Google Home app, select the room or individual light you wish to change the color of smart lights
- Tap the “Color” setting in the Lights menu, then select the specific color you wish to switch to. “Color” menu will let you pick from 42 different shades. That’s plenty if you want to switch up the vibe.
If you’re an owner of smart lights, you may be familiar with scenes. Scenes allow you to save a predetermined brightness and color ahead of time so you can easily recall them. If you always want your lights at 50% and a little more yellow at night, you can set up a scene so you get that with one press of a button. Scenes are especially helpful when you want to use multiple lighting effects throughout the day.
The support page details the commands needed to control scenes. Right now, it only lists activating or deactivating scenes. Scene support is live for a few devices, though it’s pretty limited. SmartThings and LIFX scenes appear in the Home app and can be used like a normal light. For setup, https://support.google.com/googlehome/answer/7073578
A notification with player controls anytime a Cast session is active
If you begin casting something with a voice command, it’s not always ideal to have to use voice commands to control everything from that point on. Google made controlling cast media a bit easier on Android and iOS. A notification with player controls helps to manage all network media notifications on Chromecast and Google Home. Tap this notification to open up actual media controls either in the Google Home app, or in the corresponding media application. For e.g., if YouTube Music is being cast on your network, the notification will be a shortcut to open the YouTube Music app on your phone and immediately get access to the current queue, play controls, and any other shared information. The same goes for the likes of Netflix or YouTube.
Reverse device controls
Some users have taken to placing their Google Nest Minis on walls. To account for that setup, the Home app has settings to “Reverse device controls” that flip LEDs and the volume buttons.
Google Assistant gets native support for Heaters, smart air fresheners and fireplace
Google Assistant already works with a wide variety of smart home devices, but every once in a while, new product categories are added. According to to new developer documentation, Assistant will soon work with Heaters, smart air fresheners and fireplaces.
Heaters are similar to thermostats but do not support cooling and may not support setting temperature targets. Heaters may rely on modes, toggles, and fan speed settings. Air Freshener and Fireplace is exactly what it sounds like — Assistant will be able to turn them on and off, and “adjust various modes and toggles.”
Control washers, dryers, vacuums, and dishwashers directly with Google Home
Google Home is getting direct control over more smart devices. Up until now, the devices Home could directly control has been limited to things like lights, smart switches, thermostats, and security cameras.
Control smart home devices using Google Home. If you’ve a smart washer, dryer, vacuum, or dishwasher, Google Home can normally control these by using Actions on Google. Unless Google Home has direct control over a device, you have to ask it to talk to another service to perform an action. This means you have to remember the exact phrases that service uses instead of relying on Google’s natural language to relay your command. When Google Home is able to control a device, like a Nest thermostat, you can tell Home what you want and it’ll pass the command to the device (“Hey Google, turn the heat down”).
Now, companies will be able to build Home integration for their appliances. Once updated, you should be able to start the vacuum or change cycles for your washer a little bit easier.
Update: 08/06/2021 New Nest Cams, Doorbell are fully controllable by Google Home app
One of Nest’s first goals was to simplify home security, with new Nest Cams and doorbell require and are fully controllable by Google Home app. This one app to control every Nest product is something most customers are going to appreciate. With the new Nest Cams and a display, you can keep an eye on the backyard from your bedroom and get alerts when the doorbell rings. These new cameras are fully integrated with the Google Home app, giving you access to all your compatible home devices in one place.
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Works better, together.
It’s easy to see all of your events quickly, and your 24/7 live feed at any time in the Google Home app. If you’ve more than one Nest camera, view all of them in one place, alongside your other connected home devices. You can also filter by event type — for example, you can pull up every package delivery.
To see all live video, tap the blue “Cameras” shortcut at the top of the Google Home app. This presents a scrollable feed of video that starts with the 3:4 aspect ratio Nest Doorbell stream. For devices running on battery power, percentage will be noted in the top-left corner.
A new battery screen provides a time-based estimate with an “Automatic battery saver” that kicks in when there’s less than seven days of power remaining to restrict video recording settings. That ties into the three user-selectable “Battery usage” modes:
- More events: Uses more battery life, with max video quality, longer event videos, and shorter time between events
- Default: Balances battery life and event recordings, with high quality video, medium event video length, and longer time between events
- More battery life: Extends battery life, with high quality video, shorter event videos, and longer time between events
When viewing a particular camera feed, swiping right from the “Live” view takes you to a new “History” tab with a “Sightline 2.0” timeline for browsing through what was recorded.
There’s the recently revamped “More” tab with settings to turn a camera on/off, start battery saver, enter Quiet Time, play canned Responses, and call Emergency services if you’ve Nest Aware.
Set up Activity Zones to determine what area a Nest Cam focuses on in Google Home — instead of the Nest app, as well as enable recording with Home & Away Routines. Elsewhere in the app, you have the “Feed” to see priority events, while a total “Home history” from all your cameras is available.
Another upgrade sees all “seen” notifications for people, animals, and vehicles get directly sent from Google Home.
Extra secure with a Google account: Your devices are only as secure as your account. That’s why the new Nest Cam and Nest Doorbell require a Google account, which comes with added protections like suspicious activity detection, 2-step verification and password checkup.
Things you can do from here: