Google Assistant is alive in a few different forms. There's the Google Assistant in Allo, it's in the Google Pixel/Pixel XL smartphones and also in the Google Home speaker. And unsurprisingly, they all work somewhat differently. Google Home has had the ability to control your Nest thermostat via your voice, since launch. This wasn't a surprise, seeing as Google does own Nest, it makes plenty of sense to integrate it with their other products. But, Google Assistant on the Pixel and Pixel XL were unable to control your Nest thermostat, that was until today.
While unconfirmed, this change appears to be dependent on having set up Nest integration with Google Home. As the Google Assistant settings have not changed for the Pixel. Meaning, there's no option for 'Home Control' and many other features, on the Pixel side of things. But it does work, for those that have both a Google Home and a Google Pixel in their home. Some that have tested it with just a Pixel and no Google Home on their account, have stated that it is not yet working. However, this could mean that Google will have the integration working in the near future. This will be good news for those with a Google Pixel and don't want to pick up a Google Home just yet.
Nest likely won't be the only smart thermostat integration added to the Google Assistant, especially if Google is looking to compete with Amazon's Alexa who already integrates with a number of thermostats including the Nest Learning Thermostat. Google will also likely be adding support for other popular smart home systems like Samsung's SmartThings, Belkin's WeMo and Philips' Hue. Remember that the Google Assistant is still fairly new, so Google is working on adding new features to it all the time.
Google Home is Google's competitor to the Amazon Echo, which has been selling very well for Amazon lately. The Google Home is a tad cheaper, coming in at $129 versus Amazon Echo's normal price of $179. The Google Home looks a bit like an air freshener, and Google does have interchangeable bases, so you can give your living room a new look, if you wish to do so.