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Google Assistant routines go live today with lots of limitations


2018-3-14 00:02 TechAndroid 13 0 0
Google Assistant routines go live today with lots of limitations



  • Routines, which enable you to perform multiple Google Assistant actions at once, are rolling out now to the Google Home app.

  • Using your smartphone and Google Home hardware, you can program multiple actions associated with various parts of your day, like waking up, going to work, etc.

  • However, the system appears to have a lot of limitations, and some of the features are vague; some trial and error will be needed.


Google has been hyping its routines feature for Google Assistant for months. Google promised that routines would enable Assistant users to do multiple things at once that coincide with different aspects of a given day, like waking up, going to work, coming home, going to bed, etc.


Routines are now live in the Google Home app and will work with your smart home hardware with Google Assistant support. However, there are a lot of limitations and restrictions in this initial rollout, so you might be in for some disappointment.


There are six available routines, four of which work with either your smartphone or Google Home hardware, and two of which only work on your smartphone. The routines are:


  • Good Morning

  • Bedtime

  • Leaving home

  • I’m home

  • Commuting to work (smartphone only)

  • Commuting home (smartphone only)

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Within each of the six routines, you can program certain things to happen. For example, your Good Morning routine could turn on the lights in your house, adjust the thermostat, and start some music, news, or a podcast playing. Google Assistant can also tell you the weather and what your calendar looks like for the day.


However, not all Google Assistant-enabled products are available. For example, you can’t program your Assistant-enabled washing machine to start up when you leave for work, nor can you tell your smart remote to turn on the TV when you get home. These limitations might be lifted in future updates to routines, but Google does not indicate as to if or when that might happen.


Here is the full list of options you have within each routine:


  • Good Morning:
    • take your phone off silent (only if initiated via an Android device) and adjust the media volume

    • adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more

    • tell you today’s weather, commute, calendar, reminders

    • play music or news or radio or podcasts (where you left off) or audiobooks (where you left off)


  • Bedtime:
    • put your phone on silent (only if initiated via an Android device) and adjust the media volume

    • tell you tomorrow’s weather and first calendar event

    • set an alarm

    • adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more

    • play music (with a sleep timer) or sleep sounds


  • Leaving home:
    • adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more


  • I’m home:
    • adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more

    • broadcast to your Home speakers that you’re home

    • tell you home reminders (location-based)

    • adjust media volume

    • play music, news, radio, podcasts, audiobooks


  • Commuting to work (only available on Android and iOS):
    • tell you about today’s commute, weather, calendar, reminders

    • adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more

    • adjust the media volume

    • play music, news, radio, podcasts


  • Commuting home (only available on Android and iOS):
    • tell you about your commute

    • adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, and more

    • send texts and read unread texts

    • broadcast to your Home speakers that you’re on the way

    • adjust the media volume

    • play music, news, radio, or podcasts.


You’ll probably notice that there are some strange choices here, as well. For example, it appears you can send a text to someone automatically when you are commuting home (“Honey, I’m leaving work now”) but you can’t do it when you’re commuting to work (“Hey guys, meet you at the coffee shop for some much-needed caffeine”). Why is that?


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In almost all the routine options, the term “and more” is used. What does this mean? Does this mean you can control other things like smart surveillance systems or smart locks? It’s all very vague right now.


The best way to figure out how routines will work for you is to try it out yourself. Just open up the Google Home app on your smartphone and navigate to More Settings and you should see a Routines option there. If you don’t, your Google Home app hasn’t received the update yet.


Let us know what kinds of experiences you have with routines in the comments!


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