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Google Home improves with scene control and native support for more gadgets

Google Home improves with scene control and native support for more gadgets
Some new tricks with Google Home were recently added to improve the voice command experience, like a scene that allows users to group their lighting devices and adjust colors or brightness with one command.

While many lighting companies or smart home platforms have long supported scenes, Google only started to catch up recently.

However, not many detailed instructions, such as where to set up the scenes and which smart lightings are supported, have been revealed. Lighting devices from LIFX and SmartThings appeared in the Home app and the scenes functioned normally there. But Google might bring something more advanced to its users.

With Apple HomeKit, for example, homeowners can say just one command to Siri like “Good Morning,” to turn on lights in the living room, activate the coffee machine and turn on the TV for news.

Google is also bringing native support to more smart home devices. Google Home has been limited to light bulb, thermostat, switch and security camera control. With the update, connected devices such as vacuums, washers, dryers and dishwashers are also added to the support list.

Samsung Smart Home is one of the first providers getting on board. Users can now simply say “Start the robot vacuum” or “How much time is left on my dryer?” to control devices or check their status using Google Assistant.

Up until now or for some unsupported devices, users will need to use very specific phrases to control third-party gadgets. For example, if they want to control a washing machine manufactured by LG, they are required first to say “Ok Google, talk to LG Smart” before asking for further control actions.

Google Assistant is catching up with Amazon Alexa in many ways, by rolling out non-stop feature updates as well as ramping up sales. For this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the US$49 Google Home Mini costs only US$29, and the deal will last until the end of 2017.

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