Back in July, Google said it was bringing over a key Nest feature to Assistant with “presence sensing.” After detailing late last month, the Home & Away Routines are now rolling out to the Google Home app.

Update 10/21: The “Set up Home & Away Routines” prompt is appearing for more users at the top of the Home app. Google officially mentioned the feature with the new Nest Thermostat last week, but has yet to announce an official launch.

Original 10/7: Home & Away Routines let you “automate home devices and take care of everyday tasks.” Google highlights the following use cases — which can be flipped — during the setup process:

  • Automatically use Eco Temperatures when everyone leaves
  • Turn on the lights when someone comes home
  • Turn off your indoor cameras when a home member comes home

Besides having actions occur simultaneously, they can automatically be triggered with “presence sensing” using the location of a paired phone. Multiple can be added, with Google encouraging that all members of your household opt in. Cellular and Wi-Fi data is leveraged to determine whether you’ve crossed a virtual geofence perimeter around the given address of your home.

As an alternative, device sensors on the Nest Guard, Secure Tag, Thermostats, Protect (Wired), and the Yale Lock can be used to determine whether anybody is around. Presence sensing can be configured at any time from settings.

Another way to set Home/Away status is manually through the Google Home client. A new pill-shaped button appears at the top of the app above the quick action rows. Tapping opens a pop-up that identifies what home you’re controlling. Both options are accompanied by icons that visually reflect each trigger.

Once live, users will be prompted to “Set up Home & Away Routines” at the top of Google Home app. It’s already rolling out for a handful of users, but it is not yet widely available.

More about Google Home:

Thanks Anthony

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Abner Li

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