Controlling connected devices with our voices is probably the easiest way to get any simple task done. Asking Google to turn off the lights, lower the music volume in the house, or even just to set a timer is generally followed by a verbal confirmation from Assistant when it recognizes a command. When it’s midnight and you’re just trying to get to bed, it’s not always pleasant to hear a loud “Sure, turning off the lights” coming from the Google Home unit in the middle of your house.
That’s all going away now thanks to a small quality-of-life update on Google’s part. Recognizing that this long of a confirmation command really isn’t needed, Google is now pushing out an update to all Google Home and Nest Hub units to remove this additional wordy response when the Home or Hub unit is in the same room as the requested light.
Google is replacing this verbal confirmation with a simple, pleasant “ding” sound, instead. This way you know Assistant understood your command without all the nonsense since you can see the light physically turning down.
Note that being in the same room is important because it means that Google Assistant will still verbally confirm your commands when it’s in a different room than the light that’s being turned off. So if you forget to turn your living room light off and ask the Google Home in your room to do it, it’s still going to yell at you if the volume is raised higher than you would like.
On another positive note, this new change will also work for other products that are seen as lights, including smart switches and plugs. The caveat here is that the switch or plug needs to be labeled as something along the lines of “lamp” or “light” in order for this new behavior to apply.
This means if you’ve got a smart plug, like an Awair Glow C or something from Wemo or Kasa that gives power to a “dumb” lamp, issuing the “off” command to the plug or switch in the same room as the Google Home or Nest Hub will also follow the new behavior. A slight “ding” is certainly more palpable than hearing Assistant talk to you all the time.
What’s even cooler is that this new behavior also applies to other light commands like increasing the brightness, dimming the lights, or even changing the color of that cool ambient bulb you’ve got in your lamp.
This follows a number of other quality-of-life improvements that Google has been making lately as well. Google recently removed the need to say “Hey Google” or “OK Google” before stopping a timer that’s loudly ringing. It’s yet another reason why Google Assistant is regularly called the smartest assistant around, and regularly performs better than every other virtual assistant on the market.
Google has significantly beefed up its smart home presence lately and is working on rebranding its products in a way that are more user friendly and require less technical know-how to get things working the way you want.