The Google Home app is a central tool for controlling any device that works with Assistant, but it’s only available on smartphones. A fake Chrome extension that promised to bring “Google Home app for PC” to life fooled thousands of users, and it begs the question of why Google hasn’t actually released this officially.

The folks over at Android Police highlighted a Chrome extension simply titled “Google Home app for PC.” The extension borrowed the icon for the Google Home app from Android and iOS, but was otherwise pretty obviously fake. The extension — which has since been removed from the Chrome Web Store — had some poor PhotoShop going on as well as stealing Google Home screenshots directly from the Play Store.

When installed, the extension would only link users to a sketchy website (literally called “AllNigeriaNewspaper”) with instructions for enabling this app, but it only worked through the Bluestacks Android emulator. That technically works, but the extension itself doing nothing is not what people wanted.

As obviously sketchy as this extension was, it still fooled over 10,000 users, according to the Web Store listing, before being removed. Still, it shows that there’s clearly a lot of interest in bringing the Google Home app’s functionality to laptop and desktop computers.

Why hasn’t Google done this officially? Your guess is as good as ours, honestly. It seems like an obvious feature to offer, especially with Google’s interest in PWAs. It also seems inevitable as Google starts to pull Nest devices out of the legacy Nest app. The new Nest Thermostat, for example, can’t be controlled through the Nest web app, and it seems reasonable to expect that future Nest cameras will follow the same path. To keep feature parity, Google would have to launch a web client of the Google Home app so it can be used on a PC and other devices. Hopefully this situation only gives Google more of an excuse to launch one.

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Ben Schoon

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