Announced last October, Google Assistant’s new routines feature is finally available. The feature allows devices like Google Home to perform multiple actions with a single voice command. Amazon added the same functionality to its lineup of Alexa devices last year.
There are only a handful of routines available at launch, but they’re incredibly useful. For example, saying, “Hey Google, good morning” will yield a number of helpful actions, such as taking your phone off silent, adjusting lights, and providing weather, commute, and calendar information.
Before the routines feature was made available, Google Assistant users had to ask multiple questions. What’s cool is users can setup the actions they think are most useful, tailoring the experience to fit their needs. Want Google Home to also read you the news in addition to turning off lights and providing traffic information? Simply pick the actions you want and Home will recite trending headlines.
Other routines include Bedtime, Leaving Home, and I’m Home. Each one is designed to fulfill a specific set of functions with only one verbal command.
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To access routines, open the Google Home app and navigate to Menu (the icon looks like a hamburger). Next, tap routines, select the routine you want to setup, and choose your desired actions. You can adjust the settings for individual actions by tapping the cog icon next to each action.
A few of Google’s routines, such as Commuting to Work and Commuting Home, require users to initiate their command through an Android or iOS device, but they’re no less useful. With something like Commuting Home, Assistant can provide traffic info, text a loved one, adjust lights, and more.
Routines, which can work with multiple users, is an ingenious feature that brings Google Assistant up to a par with Amazon’s Alexa. The feature is rolling out now in the U.S.