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Google Home and Nest Hub will now answer certain commands with a chime

Nest Hub Max Hands-On Review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Smart assistants are supposed to be exactly that: Smart. You want coherent responses to your questions and confirmation that your commands have been heard. Unfortunately, some smart assistants talk too much. That has been the case with the Google Assistant. When you ask Google to turn off the lights, you’ll receive a response along the lines of, “OK, turning off living room lights.” And that response is often just a bit louder than you would like.

Google heard customer complaints and made a few changes. Now the Google Home and Nest Hub will be a bit less chatty when responding to your commands, as long as the lights are in the same room as the device. For example, if your Google Home is in the bedroom and you ask it to turn off the bedroom lights, the device will issue a soft chime rather than a verbal response. If you ask it to turn off the living room lights, on the other hand, it will give the same, drawn-out answer.

This news comes courtesy of a Google Nest thread posted by employee Rachel Chambers. She says this new feature will work not only for lights, but also for switches and plugs that are identified as lights. The key lies in the naming process. To give her example, a smart plug called “desk lamp” will issue a chime, but a plug called “desk” would prompt Google Assistant to give the normal response.

The chime will also be used to confirm other commands, like adjusting the brightness. The feature is not yet available worldwide but will be rolled out over time. The forum post will be updated when Google “can confirm it’s available to everyone.”

Although the details of the rollout were not given, the feature has already been implemented for some of us. It works exactly as described: The Google Home issues a short chime when controlling a smart device in the same room as it. The chime has a different tone to confirm turning a device on rather than turning it off, and the overall volume of the chime is based on the master volume of the Google Home or Nest Hub.

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