Google Assistant on (certain) Pixel phones gains native home control

It sounds like Google needs to rapidly step up its voice assistant game, not only to catch up to Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana smarts and versatility, but also to fend off Samsung’s fast-approaching and mighty promising Bixby AI for the Galaxy S8.

Recently added to a pair of hot new Android Wear devices, and soon headed to many wrist oldies, Google Assistant is starting to show encouraging signs of long overdue smartphone improvements as well.

Namely, certain Pixel and Pixel XL users report, there’s a “Home control” menu now that enables, well, various home controls on the two aforementioned phones without having to separately buy a Google Home speaker/automation hub. No need for partially functional workarounds anymore, and no third-party app accumulation either.

Simply add all your devices to the new Google Assistant subsection… if you can see it, and enjoy native Nest, Philips Hue, SmartThings or WeMo support neatly organized by services or rooms in your automated house.

Fingers crossed the feature gets expanded soon to all Pixel and Pixel XL units, not just random ones presumably offered early access here, and it’d also be nice to see Home control settings activated out the box on the LG G6 in April.

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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).