The Google Assistant has been able to switch smart lights on and off for some time, by using commands like "Hey Google, turn on the kitchen lights".
But there was no way to schedule the lights, such as asking them to be switched on in an hour's time, at a certain time, or at sunset. Now though, the assistant has got a little smarter and can schedule smart lights – albeit with a few limitations still in place for now.
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Discovered by Android Police this week, and confirmed by this developer-facing Google Assistant page, the new function makes it easy to have the Assistant turn lights on for a set amount of time, or at a certain time.
The feature is called Scheduled Actions and Google's documentation suggests how it should also soon work with other smart home items, such as plugs, garden irrigation systems, and connected coffee machines.
Google suggests how scheduling commands spoken to the Assistant could include:
- "Hey Google, turn on the lights in five minutes"
- "Hey Google, turn on the lights at 7am"
The system can also be used to ask for something to be switched on in the future, by naming or describing the day you want the action to take place. Although fairly limited, as repeated actions aren't possible yet, we can see use in asking the Assistant to switch on a garden sprinkler later in the week if you are away on vacation. You can also ask lights to be switched on or off at sunrise and sunset.
Further examples from Google include:
- "Hey Google, turn on my coffee maker at 8am tomorrow"
- "Hey Google, run my sprinkler in a week at 5pm"
These actions can be cancelled by asking the assistant to "cancel my scheduled actions", or if you want to cancel the actions of a specific device, say: "Hey Google, remove my <device>'s schedule."
The feature feels a little half-baked for now, but hopefully Google will quickly fill in the holes and turn the Assistant into a useful way to schedule all manner of smart home devices.
GearBrain shows Alexa and Google Assistant controlling the Philips Hue Go www.youtube.com