A feature that was revealed by Google back at CES 2020 is finally now coming to users in the latest update to Google Assistant. Users will now be able to schedule smart home actions at predetermined intervals using the voice assistant. Prior to this, users were not able to schedule smart home actions by using voice commands, a feature that most of us hoped could be possible at some point. You could still use the voice commands to perform specific functions in real time.
With the latest update, users can now issue commands such as “Hey Google, turn on the lights in thirty minutes” or turn on the lights at 8pm to switch on smart lights at the specified interval. Additionally, you can now schedule a task to repeat at specified times across the whole week, just like we usually schedule morning alarms to repeat every other weekday at set times.
While this functionality is set to bring the kind of convenience, we’ve been asking for from voice assistants on various platforms, true beneficiaries are those with a habit of forgetting to put off their lights late at night. It’ll also come in handy especially for those who wake up early in the morning as a complementary to wakeup alarms, where lights will just come on when it’s time to hit the road for work.
Although the functionality has been long overdue, there’s still some mileage that Google needs to cover first for it to be considered perfect or at least work seamlessly. At the moment, Google says the assistant will return an error if in fact the user doesn’t specify an exact time with some small exceptions. A command such as “switch on the lights tomorrow” effectively sets the schedule for the next day at 12AM.
We also have another drawback where users are not able to cancel a scheduled action, although Google states that users have the ability to use commands such as “Hey Google, cancel my scheduled actions” or “Hey Google remove my devices”. nonetheless, we expect the Google Assistant to receive more fixes as time goes by.