Google Home app adds ‘Household’ routines

Ahead of its larger redesign heading out to the general public, the Google Home app is doing some work with routines, adding a new “Household” option for routines as well as expanding device triggers to more users.

Rolling out now, the Google Home app now supports creating “household” routines that can be seen and edited by anyone in a household group.

By default the “Home” and “Away” routines are set as “household” routines, meaning they can be edited by anyone in the home. But now users can also create new routines and have those accessible and editable by others in the home. Previously, custom routines could only be edited by the person who created them.

This new option is available when setting up a new routine, as the Google Home app will ask if you want to set up a “Household” or “Personal” routine.

No additional functionality seems to be unlocked by this change, but we did notice that Google has also slightly redesigned the Routines page in the app with new icon styling and a split between household and personal routines. The new setup process seems to still be settling in as well, as it currently doesn’t respect dark mode preferences on our device.

Alongside this, Google also appears to be more widely rolling out support for device triggers in the Home app. These first started appearing last week in a limited capacity, but they’re showing up more widely. Interestingly, we can only see this option when creating a household routine, which might be intentional. After all, household members would likely end up triggering smart home devices so there would be no way to actually separate this functionality by users. In any case, it’s great to see this option showing up for more.

There are also a couple of nice perks we’ve noticed with this change now that we’ve spent some hands-on time with it.

Firstly, robot vacuums and other smart home devices that previously couldn’t be controlled by the “adjust home devices” section of a routine have now been added.

Further, we also found that these new device triggers also support the “home” and “away” states of the since-discontinued Google Nest Secure system. This allows newer Nest cameras to integrate with the older system similar to how legacy Nest cameras could. It’s a welcome change for those still using that system.

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