Google Home automation just got more powerful

The new starters in the Home app include the ability to trigger routines when devices open or close, in response to temperature or humidity changes or occupancy sensing, if devices are plugged in, start charging, or dock or undock, or if the volume is muted or unmuted.

The new automations go a long way toward making Google Home an actual smart home platform.
Image: Google

New actions include opening or closing devices (like shades), pausing or unpausing media, starting / pausing / resuming timers, docking devices, enabling lighting effects, rebooting devices, setting target humidity percentages, etc. You can see the full list of new starters and actions in Google’s blog post.

When you add those to the starters and actions Google Home already supports, you can enable some pretty neat automations, like:

The script editor is where Google previews new actions and starters before rolling them out to the Home app. You need to enroll in Public Preview to access it.
Image: Google

Dog detected: When a dog is detected, you can play calming music to help your dog relax. You can also set up your Chromecast with Google TV to play a dog-friendly TV show.

Now, your dog can turn on the TV. What a world!

More practical for home automation tinkerers is the ability to create custom phone notifications (so you can get a notification when your dog turns on the TV or your robot vacuum finishes vacuuming) and starter suppression (so the TV only turns on the first time your dog walks in front of a camera today).

I’m pretty excited about that last bit. When I first got access to the script editor, I set the lights in my office to turn on when motion was detected in the office. That worked well until the first time I walked into the office in the evening to turn off the lights, only to have them turn right back on when I walked out. Starter suppression is going to be real handy.

Google says the new Home and script editor features are rolling out starting today; I haven’t seen either yet on my account, on Android, iOS, or the web, but rolling out means rolling out.

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