Google Assistant finally gets support for smart device scheduling

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Google Assistant is an incredibly helpful tool. For people with a smart home, the digital assistant is even more useful. Google Assistant makes it possible to automate mundane tasks like turning on a light or pausing the TV.

However, it has been lacking a major feature. Until now, Google Assistant hasn’t been able to schedule smart devices and connected lighting to turn on and off at specific times. That is no longer a problem, according to Google developer documentation reviewed by Android Police. The new addition makes smart homes even smarter and gives consumers a new way to interact with their Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Smart Lights

Turning on a smart light with Google Assistant couldn’t be easier. Users simply say something along the lines of “Hey Google, turn on the living room light.”

Now, Google Assistant can do more than turning the lights on and off at that moment.

The feature allegedly lets Google Assistant respond to prompts like “Hey Google, turn on the lights on Tuesday at 7 a.m.” and “Hey Google, turn off the lights in five minutes.”

On top of this, users can also use keywords like “sunrise” and “sunset” in their scheduling prompts. Google Assistant will respond automatically by turning the lights on or off at that time. As the example above indicates, the feature also lets users specify a length of time to leave the lights on before turning them off. That could be useful before bedtime if you’re the type of person who likes to fall asleep with a lamp on but doesn’t want to wake up to blinding light.

Given the way that Google Assistant works with IoT devices, the new feature goes beyond lighting. It technically works with any gadget that is connected to a smart plug. That means you could say something like “Hey Google, turn on the coffee maker at 6 a.m. on Tuesday” and wake up to a freshly-brewed pot.

Since smart plugs can turn almost any device into a smart gadget, the possibilities with this are practically endless.

Not Perfect

It’s worth noting that the new scheduling feature is still a work in progress. As such, it isn’t perfect yet. Users have found that it has some quirks. For instance, you can’t say “Hey Google, turn on the lights tomorrow at 7 a.m.” Instead, you have to use a specific day of the week or numerical date.

Users will also need to be careful when setting up light scheduling with Google Assistant as there doesn’t appear to be a way to cancel the action once it is set. So, if you accidentally say the wrong thing, you’ll be stuck with it when it happens.

Fortunately, Google is working on addressing these issues and should roll them out rather quickly.

In the meantime, users can appreciate the latest addition to Google Assistant’s bag of tricks. It makes the digital helper much more convenient.

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