In late August, Google rolled out a pair of new features for Assistant Routines. Google’s Home and Away Routines for smart home devices now has a new arrive/leave location trigger.

Opening Routines (from Google Assistant settings or the Home app) and scrolling down to “Household Routines” reveals a new “Starter” for both “Home” and “Away.” “When I say to my Assistant” and “When everyone’s away” or “When someone comes home” are now joined by “When the user arrives/leaves.” It does not appear for other types of Routines.

The dedicated page lets you pick “Arrive” or “Leave” and then specify a specific location. This takes you to Assistant’s existing “Your places” menu where “Home” and “Work” are listed by default, and you can “Add a new place.” Back in settings you can “get notified on your phone when this routine starts.”

Compared to automated Presence Sensing, Google is giving users a more explicit setting for those that didn’t have luck with the existing capability. Meanwhile, more granular programming is now unlocked. With “Home,” you can make it so that the Assistant Routine doesn’t start until you’re closer to a point near your house, e.g. picking up kids from school. 

Location triggers for Google’s Home and Away Routines look to be widely rolled out today. They join:

More about Google Home:

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Abner Li

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