Google has joined the race of controlling smart home devices with its Google Assistant. The search engine giant has to contend with already established competitors like Apple’s HomeKit and Amazon’s Alexa. With Apple’s HomeKit app, people can control HomeKit enabled devices and Alexa allows users to manage Alexa-enabled products.
Once users install and set up the devices, they can easily command them with their voice – no need to stand up and reach out to toggle switches. Google Assistant has grown into a mature supporter, which was earlier friendly only to Google Home devices.
If you are using the latest Android version on your Pixel phones, you can smartly manage your devices by saying “Ok Google” and then a command ‘switch off bedroom lights’.
You can now use Pixel Phones to control smart home devices via Google Assistant; however, you can use Google Assistant with limited supported devices. Currently, there are limited devices that listen to Google Assistant commands; the devices include Honeywell, Nest, Philips Hue, SmartThings, WeMo etc.
Before you go ahead, you need to ensure that Google Pixel and Pixel XL phones are updated to the latest Android beta version 7.1.2. You can register your phone to beta programme by visiting Google sign up page. Also keep in mind that it is a beta version, not a final release; hence, you might face some issues while sending commands to Google Assistant.
How to Set Up Google Assistant to Control Smart Home Devices
Step #1: Tap and hold the virtual home button to launch Google Assistant; or simply say ‘Ok Google’.
Step #2: Next, tap on dots in upper right corner of Google Assistant’s pop-up card; this will fire up side menu. Here, you need to tap Settings.
You can see ‘Home Control’ option and you should select it. In case, you can’t see this menu, you should ask Google Assistant to ‘turn my lights off/on’; you will find a link to the Home Control menu.
Step #3: You will see devices and rooms in Home Control menu. You need to tap on floating ‘+’ icon in the bottom. This will show you a list of compatible manufactures (as mentioned above); you can add devices. Note that you will be prompted to sign in to related service.
Step #4: You can assign devices to a room and fix commands like “turn my bedroom lights on”.
Step #5: Once the commands are set, you can speak “Ok Google, turn on bedroom lights”. This will work!
Earlier, we mentioned that Settings on your Pixel phone’s Google Assistant may not have Home Control menu. There are some devices on which smart home control works, but there is difference between menus. If you don’t have access in the settings menu, you can ask Google Assistant to fire up the menu.
In case there is no device set up, your Google Assistant will suggest Home Control menu when you say ‘Ok Google, switch on bedroom lights’.
Again we would like to remind you that this is beta version and therefore, you may experience some problems while interacting with your Google Assistant.