Google Assistant Routines: What You Need to Know
The Google Assistant and your Google Home are about to get a lot more helpful. We’ve heard about “Routines” since October of last year, but now we know exactly what’s coming. To start, Google Assistant will have six routines and here’s what you need to know.
Being able to ask your Google Home smart speaker one thing and have it automatically do a whole bunch of commands is pretty neat. And while we can’t fully customize and tweak routines yet, it’s a very promising new feature coming to any and all Google Assistant devices.
Google has been silent about Routines since the announcement back in 2017. However, a new guide to setting up and managing routines essentially confirmed the feature is almost ready. And while Google didn’t share an exact release date yet, here are how Routines will work and a few more important details.
What Are Google Assistant Routines?
If you’re wondering what Routines are for your Google Assistant, get ready to love your smart speaker all over again. Routines will let a single command do a bunch of different things, all automatically.
Basically, it automates the entire process of asking your Google Home or Assistant for certain things or tasks. Instead, Google will bundle an entire list of actions and let a single command or hotword perform all of them at once.
If you say, “Good Morning” to your Google Assistant it will turn on the lights, adjust any plugs you’ve set up, change the thermostat, check the weather and tell you the results. Then, give you information about your upcoming commute to work, calendar, reminders, and maybe change the volume if you have music or podcasts going to start your day. Not to mention take your phone off silent or Do-Not-Disturb mode. Awesome, right?
What Routines Are Available?
So far, it looks like Google will offer six Routines to start, but we can expect more at a later date. However, they aren’t as customizable as we expected.
The six Routines users can choose from include: Good Morning, Bedtime, Leaving Home, I’m Home, Commuting to Work, and Commuting Home.
Each one of these commands will start its very own routines with a certain set of commands that will fire off. You can add or remove some of them, or set what they have access to, so each routine fits your needs. That way when you leave to work your Assistant doesn’t turn off every smart outlet, and only the ones you choose. We’ll have more information about each Routine and what they do in a moment.
How to Start Google Assistant Routines
Your next question is likely how can you access these Routines. Well, according to Google they’re available for users in the United States as we speak.
To initiate a Routine simply say, “Ok Google, I’m Home”.
From here, it will adjust the lights, plugs, thermostat, TV or media devices, fire up YouTube, play some music to set the mood or a few other things. The possibilities here are endless, as soon as Google expands the functionality further and for more commands or devices.
Google Assistant Routines Release Date
According to Google’s newly published support page, Routines are available starting March 13th, 2018. Google said that Routines are available in the United States, and will continuously roll out and be available to more users in the coming days.
So, if you don’t see them simply check back soon or ensure you have the latest Google Home update from the Google Play or iTunes store.
Available Actions for Each Routine
Each Routine for the Google Assistant and Google Home are similar, but they do have a few differences. Obviously, based on what’s happening, some actions or commands will get skipped. We have a list of actions that are available or will start after your Home hears a certain Routine command.
- Good Morning:
This will take your phone off silent and instantly adjust the media volume of your phone. Then, your Assistant will adjust the lights, plugs, thermostats and more. Next, it will tell you today’s weather, commute information, calendar entries, and reminders. And finally, if you’d like, Assistant will play music, news, or where you left off on your favorite podcast or audiobook.
This will put your phone on silent (if initiated via an Android device) and adjust the media volume. Next, you’ll hear tomorrow’s weather and first calendar event so you know what’s going on, followed by setting an alarm. Then, your Assistant will adjust the lights, plugs, thermostats and more. Next, it will tell you today’s weather, commute information, calendar entries, and reminders. Lastly, you can add music or sleep sounds with a timer, so it’s not going all night.
- Leaving home:
When you say you’re leaving home things are more casual. Google Assistant will simply adjust your lights, plugs, thermostats, and a few other things so you can leave without worry.
- I’m home:
I’m Home will adjust or turn on the lights, plugs, thermostats and any other smart home devices like your garage door opener. Next, you’ll hear a broadcast to your home speakers that you’re actually home. This is helpful if you have family members or children. You’ll get home location-based reminders, then any music, news, radio or podcasts will start playing. And finally, the media volume will adjust to appropriate levels.
- Commuting to work (only available on Android and iOS):
If you’re commuting to work you’ll get information about your commute, weather alerts, calendar entries, and recent reminds. Then, Assistant will adjust the lights, plugs, thermostats and other smart connected devices. Followed by adjustments to media volume and continued playing of music, news, radio, or podcasts.
- Commuting home (only available on Android and iOS):
As expected, commuting home is similar but with a few other things. You’ll get information about your commute, weather alerts, calendar entries, and recent reminds. Then, Assistant will adjust the lights, plugs, thermostats and other smart connected devices. Next, Google’s page states it will “send texts and unread texts” but we’re not sure what that means. Followed by broadcasting to your home speaker that you’re on the way home. And finally, adjustments to media volume and Assistant will start playing music, news, radio or podcasts.
In closing, it’s worth stating that we’re not seeing Routines yet on our Google Home devices. Another important thing is how to actually start these routines. According to 9to5Google, you can set up multiple different commands for Routines. That way you don’t have to remember exactly the right word, or phrase, to get everything started.
Basically, that means you can choose a certain command that’s easier to remember or say to start the Routine you’d like to use.
This is all pretty exciting and turns our Google Home devices into even more powerful assistants. As soon as we know more we’ll update with all the details.