Google Assistant lets you build macros that invoke multiple actions with a single command. Over the past day, a bug when creating new Assistant Routines prevents you from easily adding Home control actions. Fortunately, the underlying capability remains functional and a workaround exists.

Update 6/1: The three “Home control” actions have been restored, thus letting users add/edit new Assistant commands visually. This fix rolled out sometime over the last 24 hours.

You can create a new program by visiting Assistant Settings and opening “Routines.” On the “Add a routine” page, “Add action” lets you “Enter command” or “Browse popular actions.” The latter tab provides a useful list of what Assistant can do organized by category: Get info, Communication, Your devices, and Custom responses.

This new Assistant bug sees the “Home control” section under Routines empty and missing:

  • Adjust lights, plugs, and more
  • Adjust thermostat
  • Adjust screen

These items are gone for all users, regardless of what Nest or other third-party accessories they have connected to their Assistant. This issue looks to affect Google Assistant on both Android and iOS.

One workaround is switching to the first tab to manually type an action, just like you’re speaking out a command. Actions entered this way fully function and initiate the desired task. It gets the job done for those fully aware of Assistant’s capabilities, but a bad experience for newer users.

Meanwhile, existing Routines — specifically the six Ready-made macros — are not affected and you’re able to customize using the standard visual approach. There are widespread reports of this bug over the past 24 hours. It will hopefully get addressed in a server-side update.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: