Google is rolling out a new update for Google Assistant that will enable users to control and adjust smart home hardware at a specific time. With the latest Scheduled Actions feature, users can specify a duration to Assistant with commands such as, “Hey Google, turn on the lights in five minutes,” to control smart home appliances. Google, in a post on developers’ support page also highlights that commands can be scheduled for the current day or another day, that is, within the next seven day period. At the moment, the Assistant feature works with limited to smart home commands, and Google is yet to share details over its availability.
Google further notes that in case of a user specifies a temporal adverb (for example, tomorrow or next week) without providing an exact time, the Scheduled Actions feature will not function properly. According to 9to5Google, this feature is limited to smart home devices, and new commands do not support actions like playing music. Currently, Google and even Amazon allow users to schedule routines; however, both Assistant and Alexa lack the ability to control smart home appliances in advance. Google further states that developer “do not need to make any code changes” or resubmit smart home Action to enable scheduling.
Notably, end users can cancel scheduled Actions with commands such as, “Hey Google, cancel my scheduled Actions” or “Hey Google, remove my ‘devices’ schedule.” Google will return a list of the user’s scheduled Actions and prompts them to specify the one they want to be cancelled.
Last month, the Google Home app added a new feature that allows users to set up routines for its Nest products. The feature enables Nest devices to adjust automatically when the user is at home or outdoors. Google had said the feature works by using the smartphone’s location (if user opts-in) and sensors within the Nest smart devices. Before this, users had to set up routines manually for the home appliances but now rely on AI to function without any manual inputs. Google had dubbed the feature as ‘Home & Away Routines.’