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Google Home app loses ability to manually and quietly trigger Assistant Routines

Recent versions of the Home companion client have added a slew of new features. A server-side update now appears to remove the interface for triggering Assistant Routines from the Google Home app.

The row of quick actions at the top of the Google Home app has long featured a purple shortcut for “Routines.” Tapping would slide up a panel that shows all your set Routines, with one-tap invocation. There’s also a “Play routines on” device picker to fire on any of your Assistant smart home devices.

It made for a very convenient way to launch without using a voice command. More importantly, it could be done very discreetly.

A server-side update (on both Android and iOS) in the past day has removed this slide-up panel. Instead, clicking the Routines shortcut now launches a fullscreen page that introduces the capability and lists all your “Personal” macros. Tapping only lets you customize, while there’s a FAB in the bottom-right corner to create more.

Removing the launching capability with this new editing screen is odd given how you’ve long been able to do this from Assistant Settings. Google likely wanted to put editing front-and-center in the Home app, while the “Personal” category points to the premade ones from third-parties that were teased earlier this year.

As a quiet alternative, users can always launch Assistant and type out the command using keyboard input. Actions Blocks is also available to get one-tap, homescreen access to Routines.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

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