Smart Home

The best Google Home-compatible devices for 2020

Google Home and Nest devices are smart speakers that do your bidding, including playing music from almost any streaming service, searching for answers to questions, working in tandem with Chromecast to display photos and videos on a TV, and controlling a bevy of smart-home devices.  Google Home Mini, Google Home Max, and Google Assistant-powered smart displays like Lenovo Smart Display have come a long way since the first Google Home was released. There are lots of lights, switches, and thermostats you can control with your voice using Google. Here are some of our favorite Google Home-compatible devices.

Thermostats

Connect Google Home to your smart thermostat to control the temperature and other settings with your voice. Even though the Ecobee4 has Alexa built-in, you can still connect it to Google Home. Pair your Ecobee4 ($249) thermostat with its room sensors for even more intelligent, voice-activated temperature control.

The Honeywell Color thermostat ($119) is another solid option. It’s aesthetically pleasing in your home, and once you link your Honeywell Total Connect Comfort account to Google Home, you can use your voice to adjust the temperature, ask how cool or warm it is in the house and more. The Honeywell Color will also provide you with alerts like air filter change reminders and high and low temperature warnings.

If you want a thermostat that learns and adjusts to your lifestyle, the Nest Learning Thermostat ($220 retail) is a great pick. It figures out how you like your home temperature settings, and adjusts itself accordingly. You can also read the display from across the room. If you connect it to Google Home, you can use your voice to make it cooler, warmer, set a specific temperature, and more.

Lighting

If you connect your Philips Hue lights to Google Assistant, you can do more than just switch the lights on and off. You can also ask Google if you left the lights on, adjust dimming, change colors in certain rooms, sync your lights, and set scenes (like “concentrate” or “tropical twilight”). You have a variety of Hue options to choose from including light strips, individual bulbs, white bulbs, and multicolor bulbs. Keep in mind, unless you get a starter kit (which includes everything you need), you’ll need to buy a bridge.

Sengled’s Element series has a lot to offer too. You can connect your Sengled Element lights to Google Assistant using an Element hub. You can also connect bulbs directly to an Echo Plus, SmartThings, or Wink smart home hub. If you have the Element Hub, you can do things like turn lights on and off, dim, and set schedules. You can choose between a variety of dim white and multicolor bulbs.

Cameras

When Google switched its branding to Nest and updated its privacy policies, not all security cameras retained compatibility. Some, like the original Arlo, are no longer compatible with Google devices the way they once were. However, there are still a number of reliable security cameras that will work with Google Home or Nest. The Wyze Cam 2 is one good option that includes free 14-day cloud storage, night vision, motion sensors, and other important modern security tech.

Or you could stick with Google’s own Nest devices. The Nest Cam is a reliable indoor cam device that’s great for simple surveillance and guaranteed to work with Home/Nest. There are also outdoor versions of this cam if you want to expand your security options. Or you could combine security and door monitoring with the Nest Hello, Google’s latest security doorbell that lets you check who’s at the door and when you get a package.

Switches and Plugs

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You can find tons of smart light switches on Amazon these days, and many of them don’t even require a hub. The Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Light Switch by TP-Link (you can usually find it for around $20) works with Google Assistant, and you can set schedules to automatically turn on and off your lights while you’re home or away. If you’re looking for a solid, yet affordable smart switch, the Gosund 15A Smart Wifi Light Switch with Remote Control and Timer also works with Google Assistant, and it’ll only cost you less than $15.

In the market for a smart plug? The Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug ($20) is affordable, easy to set up, and it lets you control your lights and appliances using your voice. There is also no hub or subscription required. The Kasa Wifi Smart Plug by TP-Link is yet another good option for Google Home. Plus, you can usually find it for around $20 to $30.

Security and Locks

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Retrofitting with your existing lock, August’s Smart Lock Pro + Connect lets you lock your door with your voice via Google Home. The Smart Lock Pro + Connect locks behind you automatically, and unlocks when you approach. It also has DoorSense, which can tell you if your door is securely closed and locked. Want to let a repair person into your home? You can let someone have access for a few weeks, a few hours, or even a few minutes.

The Nest X Yale Lock is a key‑free deadbolt with a keypad. Sleek in its design, the Nest X Yale Lock works with Google Assistant. You can use your voice to lock the door, or check and see if the door is locked. Your Nest camera will also work with Google Home. You can tell Google Home to play your Nest cam’s live video on a TV with Chromecast.

Google Home works with your Vivint Home Security System. You can say things like, “Hey Google, arm my system to (stay or away).” or “Hey Google, is my system armed?”

Hubs

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Having a smart home hub takes your smart home to the next level. It makes it so you can centralize all of your smart home products, instead of controlling a bunch of devices through several different apps. Some devices require a hub to even work.

Samsung SmartThings Hub 3rd Generation grants access to a veritable smorgasbord of devices. (You can find a comprehensive list here). It makes your devices work in harmony, so you can set routines that fit your individual lifestyle. For instance, your “good morning” routine could turn on the lights, adjust the thermostat, and turn on the TV. Like SmartThings, Wink’s hub 2 ($197) works with lots of products, so items from different manufacturers can work together.

You can also take advantage of IFTTT, which is another way to get all your apps and devices talking to each other. If you don’t know what IFTTT is and how it works, check out our rundown here. Once you’re familiar with the free online service, you’ll see it offers all sorts of neat features such as turning on the heat when you leave the office or starting your coffee when your head leaves the pillow. It’s a little confusing at first, but you’ll start using recipes like a pro in no time.

Major and small appliances

Google Home works with a boatload of appliance brands, ranging from iRobot to Shark to Frigidaire to LG. Whirlpool’s Smart Slide-in Electric Range with Scan-to-Cook Technology ($1,699) connects to Google Home. You can say “OK Google, preheat the oven to 350 degrees,” and your oven is ready to go before you even leave the couch. You can connect Google Assistant to the GE Café Series fridge ($3,086), which has a built-in Keurig, electronic temp-controlled drawers with colored LED lights, and special climates to help keep foods fresh for longer. Google Home can help with other devices in the kitchen too, like the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker ($160). You can use your voice to do things like start cooking, stop cooking, set the timer, increase or decrease the temperature, and check the current temperature.

You don’t have to lift a finger to vacuum when you connect Google Home to your Shark Ion R85 robot vacuum ($250). You can just say “OK Google, tell Shark to start cleaning,” and your vacuum will start. If you want to have your vacuum absolutely do all the work, even empty itself, the Roomba i7+ ($980) has automatic dirt disposal. You can use your voice to start it and dock it. Then, it automatically dumps the dust and dirt into an enclosed, disposable bag that holds 30 robot bins.

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