Google and Nest-branded smart home devices are now receiving an update to make alarms and timers much less inconvenient. That’s according to recent reports that note users no longer need to be in the same room as the alert to shut it off.
More succinctly, that means users can kill an alarm or timer on any speaker managed by the Google Home app. That’s without having to ensure they’re talking to the same speaker the timer or alarm was set on. Conversely, that’s without talking to the same speaker that is sounding the alert.
So, for example, a user can now set a timer or alarm to sound on their living room or kitchen speaker. Then, when the alarm goes off, they can tell Google to turn off the alarm from the other room’s speaker.
Are than any caveats to this new feature for Google smart home alarms and timers?
This isn’t necessarily the most innovative feature. Let alone for Google smart home speakers or for alarms and timers. But it will likely be a welcome one all the same. Alexa speakers, Google’s chief rival, have been able to do the same thing almost since launch.
The ability to simply say “stop” without a hot word to stop timers or alarms is arguably more impactful. And so was the update that allowed users to stop the speaker talking back every time a light switch was turned on or off. Or at least those were more innovative at the surface.
It’s not immediately clear whether or not the hot word — “Ok” or “Hey Google” — needs to be used first. Most likely, users standing in the same room as the speaker can simply say “stop” to bring an end to the noise. Conversely, turning off the alarm or timer in another room will likely require users to say the hot word first. Then they’ll need to tell Google Assistant to stop either the timer or the alarm.
Regardless, the update does address a significant problem. Prior to the change, users were forced to physically move near the speaker that was sounding an alarm to shut it off. The same held true for timers. And that’s no longer the case.
This has been verified as working but probably not for everybody
Now, the new feature has been verified working across Google’s entire line of AI-powered speakers. So it should be appearing for everybody sooner than later. But it may not be available in every region and it is arriving unannounced. So there’s no way to determine, for now, exactly which regions this update is available in or in which languages it will work.