The Google Assistant has seen a host of new features and capabilities added since launch, and as demoed at Google Developer Days earlier this week, there are a lot more new goodies to look forward to in the near future. Along with the announced upgrades, Google is also alerting users to prepare for new Assistant features regarding its integration with smart home devices.
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Last night, I received an email from Google letting me know that a software update was rolling out that would introduce new features for smart home gadgets connected to the Google Assistant/Google Home. Google says that a notification will be sent out via the Assistant and Home when the software update is ready, and part of the email reads as follows:
This upgrade will allow you to try new features and integrations that will be coming in the near future. In order to enjoy these features and keep all of tour devices synced with your Assistant, please complete the instructions below.
From here, Google walks you through a pretty clunky process for checking whether or not you’ve got updates waiting for your smart home devices.
You’ll need to first open the Google Home app on your phone, open up the menu, go to the Home Control tab, and tap on the “+” symbol. When you do this, you’ll see a list of all the smart services that are currently connected and what ones are available that you aren’t using.
If you see an “Upgrade!” message next to any of your services, tapping it will ask you to unlink said service and then relink it to your account.
As you might expect, doing this will require you to reconnect all of the smart home gadgets connected to that service and rename/re-add them to any rooms that you have set up with the Google Home app.
It’s a pain in the butt for sure, but unfortunately, there’s no way to get around it. For example, if there’s an update for the Philips Hue service and you ask Google to turn on the lights, you’ll get a message back saying that you need to check the Google Home app to upgrade that service.
I currently have an update for WeMo, but nothing for Philips Hue (the only two services I’ve got connected to Google Home/Assistant). Google hasn’t exactly said what specific features will come as a result of these new updates, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see if they’re worth the hassle of disconnecting and relinking everything.