Google Assistant is getting better at assisting you with each passing week. Ever since the A.I.-powered helper stole the show at CES 2018 in January, it’s been proving that it’s a force to be reckoned with in the smart assistant realm, and the latest useful feature to be added to Assistant’s arsenal is called Routines.
As the name suggests, Routines will let you string together a number of actions with just one command. They’re similar to Apple HomeKit Scenes, or IFTTT (if this, then that) commands. Soon, for example, when you say, “Hey Google, I’m home,” you’ll be able to trigger Assistant to turn on the lights, share home reminders, play your favorite music, set your thermostat, and more. And if you can use four words to do what would normally require multiple commands (or physical actions), why not take advantage?
While it’s not yet entirely clear when these Routines will be making their debut, it certainly seems as though the date is drawing near. Google has now updated its Support page to provide even more instruction on how to use this new feature, and has noted that Routines should be coming in the next few days.
To take advantage of this new functionality, you’ll first need to set up personalization, the process you’ll want to follow for this depends upon whether you are a single person using your Google Home, or are sharing the smart speaker with friends and family members. Then, you can set up your Routines by choosing from a list of actions. Just be sure that your mobile device or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Google Home, then open up the Google Home app, tap Menu, and choose your Routines and actions. You can adjust the settings for each action by tapping the adjacent gear button.
A total of six routines that can “help with your morning, commutes to and from work, and evening at home” will be made available. The Routines will work on both your Google Home smart speakers and your Assistant-enabled phone for maximum efficiency.
Google Home will soon also gain support for location-based reminders, something that in the past was exclusively a phone feature. But now, your smart speakers will be able to receive and interpret those commands as well. For example, if you need to buy eggs at the grocery store, just ask Assistant on the Google Home, and once you’re at the market, Assistant on your phone will send you a reminder.
All of these new features follow a slew of improvements and integrations that Assistant has already announced in 2018. On Monday, March 12, Google also announced that Actions on Google will soon support 16 languages, and that Actions will have better geo capabilities and Android app integrations.
“With more languages, more features, and closer integrations with phone makers and carriers, the Assistant is getting better for you,” Google noted in a blog post. And from what we can see, as Assistant gets better, so, too, will your life.
Updated on March 13, 2018: Routines for Google Home will be available in the next few days.
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