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Google's smart speakers get a new feature I can actually get excited about



Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)

Google has continuously improved its smart speaker with updates that allow for more fluid conversations as well as addition of routines for connecting multiple tasks with a single command. Now, Google adds planning to the mix, which means that tomorrow can start just the way you want them at the same time each time – as long as you do not mind sticking to a strict schedule.

Google's routines allow you to snatch more actions together using custom voice commands. That means asking Google to "set the table" can trigger a variety of actions, including reducing lights, turning off your Chromecast, and playing some calming music to mastering.

The new scheduling feature appears to roll out to Google Home Devices now, so you trigger the same routines at certain times. You can still use custom voice commands on these routines, but the addition of scheduling means that every morning you can greet you with your weather, favorite playlist and a dazzling light beam from your smart bulbs.

Planning is a welcome addition, but the function is quite stiff today. Why are not there any options for adjusting routines based on your local sunrise or sunset, or planning schedules to enable when traveling or coming to predetermined locations? I, for one, would love it if the air conditioner kicked into the equipment 15 minutes before I got home.

Some Google Home owners have not yet gotten hands on basic routines Google's functionality released earlier this year, presumably a prerequisite for taking advantage of the new scheduling feature. Also, the Google Assistant itself is not available globally. A Google spokeswoman tells Gizmodo that the scheduling feature will come to all home devices in the US next week.

You can check if you have the new feature yourself by opening the Google Home app on your smartphone. Touch the menu icon, and then click More Settings and scroll down to select Routines. You can press the plus icon to create a new routine, hopefully you will see the "Set a time and date" option.

[ Droid Life]


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