Enhancements to the Google Home app, camera integration, Matter-enabled devices, Wear OS support, and a new home panel for Pixel devices
Google Home has announced a series of exciting updates designed to streamline the management of smart homes. These new features aim to provide users with improved control and accessibility. Here are the five updates to look forward to:
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Redesigned App for Seamless Smart Home Control:
The Google Home app has undergone a significant redesign, featuring a new layout with five tabs for easier device management. The Favorites tab allows users to pin their most frequently used devices, actions, and automations. The Spaces tab automatically groups devices into categories such as lights, cameras, Wi-Fi, and climate. Additionally, the Activity tab provides a chronological overview of device and camera history, making it easy to track events within the home.
Enhanced Camera Integration:
The new Google Home app now offers effortless access to Nest cameras. Users can access all their camera feeds in one place by tapping the Cameras Space. They can also add cameras to the Favorites tab for quick and easy access. A new feature called vertical video history scrubbing allows users to scroll through hours of recorded footage quickly. Important events are labeled and organized by type, such as person, package, vehicle, or activity.
Expanded Support for Matter-enabled Devices:
The Devices tab in the Google Home app now serves as a centralized hub for managing all smart home devices, including those compatible with Matter. Google has introduced new and improved controllers for over 60 device types that are either Matter-enabled or certified Works with Google Home. This means users can control a wide range of smart devices, including garage door openers, shades, washing machines, and lawnmowers, all from one convenient location. Furthermore, Matter support is being expanded to iOS devices, allowing users to set up and control Matter devices using the Google Home app on iOS.
Enhanced Accessibility on Wear OS and Tablets:
Users of Wear OS devices will enjoy expanded capabilities within the Google Home app. They can now access their Favorites for quick adjustments and receive camera notifications with animated previews. The Google Home app has also been optimized for tablets, providing an improved experience in both landscape and portrait orientations. Tablet users, including those with Pixel Tablets and Android tablets, will benefit from features such as navigating camera timelines and event lists in landscape mode.
Introducing the New Home Panel for Pixel Devices:
Pixel users will have convenient access to Google Home directly from their Android devices’ lock screen or quick settings. This feature will initially roll out to Pixel phones such as Pixel 7a and Pixel Fold, as well as the Pixel Tablet. Users will be able to control devices, adjust settings, and view cameras without the need to unlock their devices. When the Pixel Tablet is docked and in Hub Mode, the home icon on the screensaver allows easy access to the panel for seamless device management by any member of the household.
With these updates, Google Home aims to provide users with effortless control over their smart homes, delivering a more convenient and intuitive experience. By focusing on improved device management, camera integration, Matter support, accessibility on Wear OS and tablets, and a new home panel for Pixel devices, Google Home continues to enhance the smart home experience for users.