What you need to know
- The Google Home app has seemingly gained new in-app garage door controls.
- The app has also gained a new "Inbox" and revamped "Activity" tab.
- Some users have spotted an updated UI for lighting controls.
We're less than a week from Google I/O, where the company will surely talk about its latest smart home efforts. In the meantime, the Google Home app has seemingly picked up a new trick and has made a few changes in an effort to streamline the experience.
One feature users should be excited about is improved support for garage doors. While these devices have appeared in the Google Home app, users couldn't really do anything with them from within the app and have been relegated to voice controls. Now, it seems Google is testing button controls in the app, which will make it much easier to open and close your garages.
Comment from r/googlehome
In addition to the new functionality, it looks like the Google Home app is also going through a few changes. The first is a change to the Activity tab, which gets a new icon and now immediately shows your history. And taking on the role of showing your activity feed, as previously held by the Activity tab, is a new "Inbox." This appears on the Favorites tab as a notification bell icon next to your account thumbnail at the top.
These changes seem to be appearing for some users on the latest Google Home version 3.0 for users on the preview version of the app.
However, for those on the dogfood release (version 3.1), an additional change has been spotted when interacting with smart lights. Instead of the usual circular control for brightness, users are now met with a pill-shaped slider, which better matches the current Google Home aesthetic. It also shows a small selection of colors to choose from for the light, and users can access a more granular color wheel when tapping the palette icon.
It's not clear when these features will officially roll out more publicly across the Google Home app, and Google has yet to say anything about the feature. The company has been making fairly frequent tweaks to the app experience since it entered preview late last year, so we may hear more about these functionalities and more features at next week's big event.
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Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.