Google Assistant gets Custom and Scheduled Routines
Google Assistant routines realize their potential with full customization. Simply say one customizable command and your Google Assistant will do multiple things like play music, control your smart home and get a daily briefing.
Routines are a sequence of related commands that are launched with a simple phrase. Each routine focuses on a transition point that occurs during a typical day, and includes a varied list of commands that can be tuned to the user’s needs. As an example, here’s how a Routine can start your day.
Say “Hey Google, good morning”, and the Assistant can:
- Take your phone off silent (only when initiated via an Android device).
- Adjust lights, plugs, thermostats, start the coffee maker and more.
- Tell you about the weather and how your commute looks.
- Tell you what’s on your calendar and give you reminders.
- Adjust the volume on your smart speaker and play music, news, a radio station, pick up a podcast where you let off or do nothing.
Routines are probably one of the best features the Google Assistant team has rolled out. Earlier this year, Google launched six ready-made Routines to help you get multiple things done with a single command. Good morning, Bedtime, leaving home, I’m home, commuting to work and commuting home. Just say “Hey Google, good night” and the Assistant will shut down your lights and start playing some nature sounds to soothe you into deep sleep. One limitation so far was that you could only use Google’s preset routines (think “good morning,” “I’m home,” etc.) Each routine offered a handful of the above options, and you could only trigger the two commuting options from your phone. Now, you can add any element to any routine that you’d like, and you can customize the phrase that triggers it. Starting today, Google is rolling out Custom Routines, which allow you to create your own Routine with any of the Google Assistant’s one million Actions, and start your routine with a phrase that feels best for you. For example, you can create a Custom Routine for family dinner, and kick it off by saying
“Hey Google, dinner’s ready”
and the Assistant can turn on your favorite music, turn off the TV, and broadcast “dinner time!” to everyone in the house. Later this summer, you’ll be able to schedule Routines for a specific day or time either using the Assistant app or through the Google Clock app for Android to trigger automatically at certain times or as a response to certain apps like Google Clock. Handily, the clock app won’t trigger your morning routine if you hit snooze, just once you actually turn it off. You’ll also be to able to add third-party elements to Routines such as reading a to-do list or playing meditation music. And with that, even the Clock app now offers an AI-based tool.
At last, Google Assistant Routines can now be pretty much whatever you want them to be. Google Assistant routines are an easy way to automate your home. They’re an easy way to make your smart home devices play nicely together. Alexa has had customizable commands for a while. But, third-party integration could mean Google Assistant Routines will get a few tricks that could soon force Alexa to play catch-up.
Here’s how to create custom Routines:
- Open the Google Home app. Make sure your mobile device or tablet is connected to the same Wi-Fi as your Google Home device.
- In the top left corner of the Home screen, tap Menu.
- Verify that the Google Account that is listed is the one linked to Google Home. To switch accounts, click the triangle to the right of the account name.
- Tap More settings -> Routines -> +.
- Under “When…”
a. Tap Add commands -> + -> enter the phrase you want to say to trigger the Routine -> Ok.
b. Tap <-.
c. You can also set a time and day.
6. Under “ My Assistant should…”
a. Tap Add action -> Enter what the Assistant should do. You can enter any Google Assistant command or choose from popular actions -> Add. Note: You can’t assign multiple voice queries to an action.
7. [Optional] Under “And then play…”
a. Tap Add media.
b. Tap the circle next to the media source. Note: You can customize what plays by tapping next to the source.
c. Tap Add.
Note: Custom Routines are rolling out over the next few days and are currently available in the U.S. only.
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