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Big update for Google Home: Finally a practical widget for Android use

Big update for Google Home
Big update for Google Home

Google Home, like Apple HomeKit, is a way to control your smart home. Google has now announced a number of updates that are designed to make it easier to operate your smart home via its own app control center. This not only affects the app for mobile devices with Android, but also the connection to smartwatches with Wear OS and the web interface.

According to the update , Google Home on Android will receive a new widget for favorites. This means you can access your most frequently used functions and favorites directly from your home screen. For example, you can turn on the lights, access the heating, and more with just one tap. This feature is initially in public preview and does not yet include any more complex quick access routines.

Google Home displays more information about compatible devices.
Google Home displays more information about compatible devices. | Image: Google

Another welcome innovation is that Google Home now shows you more information about compatible devices. For example, you also get information about the battery level of sensors. Ultimately, this may save you having to open the separate manufacturer app every now and then. Another new feature is the ability to extract shorter clips from video recordings from your security cameras. You can also select the start and end time to download only excerpts. This can be helpful if you want to quickly view certain events in isolation. This now also works in the web interface, outside of the app.

Google Home for Wear OS gets improvements

Google Home for Wear OS is also getting improvements. Firstly, you can access your favourites more easily, as favourites are also being added here, and you can even use a shortcut to go directly to Google Home from the watch face. This means you can remotely control devices directly on your smartwatch. More device functions are also to follow. For example, you will be able to control a humidifier or fan directly on a smartwatch with Wear OS.

With Google Home you can always keep an eye on your security cameras or video doorbells.
With Google Home you can always keep an eye on your security cameras or video doorbells. | Image: Google

On Pixel tablets, you can now also access video doorbells and have two-way conversations if your device supports it. This feature will initially be available in public preview. The latter, also called “Public Preview,” is now also available for Google Home on the web. As the name suggests, this allows you to try out new features before anyone else.

The functions of the public preview include the ability to create scripts for automation or routines using the script editor. You can register for the public preview by clicking the corresponding icon in the top right of home.google.com to activate the preview. Last but not least, Google also points out the function with which you can now connect your Bluetooth headphones more quickly to the Chromecast with Google TV via Fast Pair .