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Google Assistant can now control your lights with more specificity. A step up from simply turning on or off bulbs, the voice-activated aide allows users to schedule a smart home command to trigger at a later time.
Scheduled Actions, spotted by Android Police and Reddit, responds to orders like, “Hey Google, turn on the lights in five minutes” or “Hey Google, turn on the lights at 7 a.m.” Folks have also discovered features like sunrise/sunset triggers (“turn on the lights at sunset”) and duration times (“turn on the lights for 15 minutes”).
The feature, which allegedly works with more than just smart lights, allows users to schedule commands for the current day, or any time within the next seven. Try, for example, asking Google Assistant to “turn on my coffee maker at 8 a.m. tomorrow” or “run my sprinkler in a week at 5 p.m.” When asking the Assistant to do something “tomorrow” or “next week,” you must provide an exact time or Google will return an error.
There are still a few kinks to work out, though, according to Android Police reporter Hagop Kavafian, who put Scheduled Actions to the test. “I’ve been able to schedule events for the following day, but haven’t succeeded in scheduling them several days in advance,” he wrote.
Based on a Google Developers page, it appears events may be terminated with a simple request: “Hey Google, cancel my scheduled actions” or “remove my [insert device name]’s schedule.” The virtual secretary will then read a list of actions and prompt the user to specify which one they want rescinded.
This function, as noted by Kavafian, also appears to be pending: “If for whatever reason [Google Assistant] misunderstands you and decides to turn your home into a disco in the middle of the night, there doesn’t seem to be a way to cancel the request,” he said, adding that “you can always ask it to turn the lights off a minute later.”
Google did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.
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