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Google Assistant smart home

A hands-free solution for automating your smart home.

Updated

What is Google Assistant?

Google Assistant is a voice-activated virtual assistant developed by Google as part of its expansion into hands-free technology. Launched alongside the Google Home smart speaker, Google Assistant listens for the activation phrase “OK Google” before responding to your questions and commands.

Google Assistant requires a constant Internet connection so that it’s able to look up answers to your questions online, interface with your various Google accounts and control other smart devices connected on the same Wi-Fi network. You can ask Google Assistant to read traffic reports, manage your calendar appointments and even control your TV with a simple voice command.

While Google Assistant was originally exclusive to Google Home and the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, it’s now available on a range of other devices, including Android phones running Marshmallow and up, Android Wear 2.0 devices and iOS devices through the standalone Google Home app.

How can Google Assistant control my smart home?

Whether it’s on your smartphone or your Google Home smart speaker, Google Assistant can be used to control compatible smart home devices using voice commands. Open the Google Home app on your phone, navigate to the Home control settings page and tap Add on the devices tab to see a list of the compatible smart home devices currently installed on your Wi-Fi network. Tap the name of the device to connect it to Google Assistant.

Once you’ve connected your smart devices to the Google Home app, you can give them unique nicknames to simplify your voice commands. For example, you could name the light in your living room “main light,” so a quick “OK Google, turn off the main light” prepares your living room for a late-night movie marathon.

For even finer control of your smart home, Google Assistant lets you group multiple devices using the Rooms feature. You could create a Room for your kitchen, for instance, and add the different lights and lamps in that room. Then, you could turn them all on with a single command.

Google Assistant is also compatible with custom voice commands created through the IFTTT (If This, Then That) automation platform. IFTTT lets you create Applets, which are groups of instructions triggered by a single command. You could, for instance, create an Applet that starts your coffee maker, cranks up your thermostat and turns on your TV when you tell Google Assistant “It’s time for breakfast.”

To access Applets through Google Assistant, you’ll need to connect IFTTT to your Google Account either through the IFTTT website or mobile app.

What smart devices does Google Assistant work with?

Google Assistant can control a variety of smart lights, power outlets, thermostats, entertainment systems and other Wi-Fi-enabled home electronics products. Some of the most popular product lines include:

Google Home

Google Home from Best Buy

Ready for a smart home? Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant. Compatible with Android and iOS, and able to control compatible smart devices like Nest or Chromecast.

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