The new Google Home app rocks and it's finally available for everyone

The new Google Home app 2023 redesign in dark mode on a Google Pixel 7a
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The new Google Home app redesign is rolling out to everyone starting May 11.
  • Old Nest cameras are now available in the app, and all supported cameras now have a vertical events timeline.
  • A brand new UI is launching for big-screen devices and Wear OS watches, as well.
  • Matter devices now work in the Google Home app on iOS.

The wait is finally over! The new redesigned Google Home app is finally available for everyone starting May 11, 2023. This huge redesign isn't just about making the UI prettier or more efficient, it's about making it more customizable and personable for you, starting with the favorites feed that acts as the new home panel in the Google Home app.

Google originally launched the redesign to a select group of early adopters last Fall and has been using feedback to improve it ever since. Now that the new UI is available for everyone, Google took time at Google I/O 2023 to outline some additional new features that folks can look forward to with the new app.

First up, Wear OS users can now expect to use their favorite Google Home smart home devices right on their wrist with the new customizable favorites view. In the preview, the list of devices was alphabetized and not particularly useful for quick actions. Now, the favorites list carries over from your phone and makes tapping the most common devices nearly instant.

New Google Home features on Wear OS using a Pixel Watch

(Image credit: Google)

Camera controls are now also coming to the best smartwatches, meaning you can finally see who is at your door or what's in your yard without having to take your phone out of your pocket or bag. Light colors can also be adjusted right from your wrist in addition to the previous method of just adjusting a light's brightness.

On devices like the Pixel Tablet, the Google Home app is seeing huge changes that work better on larger screens starting in June. In addition to using the space more intelligently, the customizable layout makes it easy to control your entire smart home without having to scroll.

Plus, the Pixel Home Panel is a new Pixel-exclusive Google Home feature that lets users quickly control their smart home right from the lock screen. In fact, Pixel Tablet is getting its own exclusive lock screen UI called Hub Mode that works when the Pixel Tablet is docked, making smart home controls as instant as using your voice.

Older Nest Cams are finally getting a new lease on life with the new Google Home app, as well. Starting in July, folks who are still enjoying the use of the Nest Cam Indoor can finally migrate over from the old Nest app and enjoy full functionality including a fan-favorite return of the vertical events list. Nest Cam Outdoor migration is coming soon.

Google showed us how the new interface works and demonstrated just how easy to was to transfer the old cameras over to the new software. You'll just tap the migrate button in the app and, within a few seconds, the firmware on your Nest cameras will be updated and they'll automatically start working with the new Google Home app.

There's still no way to manually make clips from the new Google Home app but Google is working on adding that functionality in the future. Some third-party cameras, like Eufy Security cameras, also don't work with the new app just yet.

Google will eventually sunset the old Nest app so this move will be mandatory. However, Google isn't committing to a timeline for that move just yet as it still has a few Nest cameras to migrate before then. Google said they were "committed to ensuring your old cameras still work," which is a nice thing to see in the smart home industry when so many other companies drop support for old cameras after a few years.

Scrolling through the new vertical event timeline for cameras in the 2023 Google Home app

(Image credit: Google)

All Nest cameras are faster than ever in the new Google Home app thanks to some serious improvements in optimization. These cameras are now 38% faster overall in the new Google Home app when compared to the old one, and accessing individual clips is now 29% faster.

Lastly, Google is adding full Matter device support to the iOS Google Home app, meaning everyone in your household can enjoy the use of the same smart home devices no matter what device they prefer.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu