What you need to know
- The Google Home app now lets you designate what is plugged into a smart plug through "device types."
- The feature is now live in the Google Home app for iOS.
- It is expected to make its way to the Android app in the coming weeks.
Smart plugs can turn any "dumb" device such as your fan, coffee maker, or table lamp into a smart device. What they cannot do, however, is detect what device is plugged into them. To solve this problem, the Google Home app (opens in new tab) now allows users to manually select a device type by heading over to a smart plug's settings page.
The feature is now available in the Google Home app for iOS and is expected to be rolled out to Android users as well in the coming weeks. As noted by the folks at 9to5Google, however, any changes that you make via the iOS app will reflect on Android immediately.
On the iOS app, you can now tap on a smart plug and select the gear icon in the top-right corner to choose a device type. When you select the "Type" option, you will be presented with a list of "popular device types." The options available include Smart Light, Air conditioner, Coffee maker, Dehumidifier, Fan, Heater, Humidifier, Kettle, TV, and Smart Plug.
Needless to say, the feature will make it easier for users to control the "dumb" devices connected to smart plugs using the Google Assistant. For example, when you ask the Assistant to turn on all fans, it can now recognize all fans connected to the smart plugs in your home and turn them all on.
I wish the added "fireplace."
So wait, iOS gets a feature on Google Home before Android does? Sounds like something Microsoft would do..... Anyway, device name changes will help with some things, for a while now. I have a smart things plug on my living room lamp, and named it "corner lamp". When I say, " Hey Google": "Turn on/off the lights" (in that room), or "Turn on/off the living room lights" (anywhere in the house), it will turn that lamp on/off. When I was using Cortana I had to specifically say "corner lamp". I can even say "All Lights", and it will turn on/off. So is this just adding it for other things? I haven't tried a fan or anything yet.
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