Google next week is hosting a “Hey Google” Smart Home Virtual Summit in lieu of the annual I/O conference. Aimed at the Assistant developer community, there will be a keynote and partner panel.
These quick toggles are a long time coming, and while they aren’t perfect, they’re off to a great start.
There’s plenty of new toys in the Android 11 Beta to play with, but one of my favorites this year is without a doubt the addition of smart home controls to the new power menu, allowing me to quickly adjust my smart lights or Nest thermostat without having to dig into an app or rattle off a Google Assistant command. These quick controls can work as on-off toggles for lights — and for Android TV devices, though not for Chromecast devices — and offer a quicker way to adjust your thermostat.
You don’t have to forgo a Google Home completely
Google Assistant speakers can be great tools, giving you an easy entry into voice-controlled home automation, but they can also feel like spies giving Google intimate insights into your life and daily routines. If you don’t want to do without all of the convenience an Assistant speaker provides, there are at least some things you can do to make it less invasive.
The Google Home app is, well, home to a sprawling number of settings and menus for controlling Smart Displays, speakers, Wi-Fi routers, and much more. Google is now redesigning the “Home settings” menu with better organization and the Material Theme.