How to control smart home devices using Google Home

Google Home does more than play streamed music, make phone calls, provide information, and help you shop. It can also serve as a home lifestyle hub by combining the power of the built-in Google Assistant with additional compatible products in the following categories such as such as Chromecast, Chromecast Ultra, Chromecast for Audio and products with Chromecast built-in.

In addition, Lifewire says smart Home devices from more than 150 partner companies that include over 1,000 products, such as security cameras, doorbells, locks, thermostats, lights, switches, power outlets/plugs, work with Google Home.

 Using Google Home with Chromecast

Google Chromecast devices are media streamers that need to connect to an HDMI-equipped TV or stereo/home theatre receiver. Typically, you need to use a smartphone to stream content through the Chromecast device to see it on a TV or hear it through an audio system. However, if you pair a Chromecast with Google Home, a smartphone may not be needed to control the Chromecast.

 Using Google Home with products that have Chromecast built-in

There are a number of TVs, stereo/home theatre receivers, and wireless speakers that have Google Chromecast Built-in. This allows Google Home to play streaming content on such a TV or audio device, including volume control, without the need to plug in an external Chromecast.

However, Google Home can’t turn TVs or audio devices on or off that have Google Chromecast Built-in.

 What to look out for in a Google compatible product

Google Partner products come with what you need to get started. For example, for TVs, a Chromecast has an HDMI connection and power adapter. Products with Google Chromecast built-in are already set to go.

For stereo/home theatre receivers and powered speakers, Chromecast for Audio has an analogue 3.5 mm output for connection to the speaker. If you have a receiver or speaker that has Chromecast built-in already, you can pair it with Google Home directly.

For Google Home compatible thermostats, smart switches, and plugs (outlets), you supply your own heating/cooling system, lights, or other plug-in devices. If you want a complete package, look for kits which contain several smart control items in a single package, along with a hub or bridge that allows communication with a Google Home. For example, a Philips HUE starter kit includes four lights and a bridge, and with Samsung SmartThings, you can start with a hub and then add compatible devices of your own choice.

Even though products or kits may be compatible with Google Home and Assistant, they may also require the installation of their own smartphone app, which enables your smartphone to perform initial set-up and also provides alternate control method should you not be near a Google Home. However, if you have multiple compatible devices, it is more convenient to use Google Home to control them all, rather than having to open up each individual smartphone app.

 How to link Google Home with partner devices

To pair a compatible device with Google Home, first, make sure that the product is powered up and on the same home network as your Google Home.

Also, you may have to download a smartphone app for that specific product and perform additional set-up, after which, you can link it to your Google Home device in the following manner:

  • Open the Google Home App on your smartphone.
  • Tap Home Control.
  • Go to Devices and tap Add (or the + icon on the bottom right of the screen).
  • Select the device you want to link/pair with your Google Home and follow any additional setup instructions. Also, you can use Nickname to label your device, and Rooms to assign one or more devices to a specific location.
  • When linking/pairing is completed, just tap Done. You can then control the device through Google Home via verbal commands.

 Products with Google Assistant built-in

In addition to Google Home, there are a select group of non-Google Home products that also have Google Assistant built-in.

These devices perform most, or all, of the functions of a Google Home, including the ability to interact/control Google Partner products without having an actual Google Home unit present. Products with Google Assistant built-in include: Nvidia Shield TV media streamer, Sony and LG Smart TVs (2018 models), and select smart speakers from Anker, Best Buy/Insignia, Harman/JBL, Panasonic, Onkyo, and Sony.

Starting later in 2018, Google Assistant will also be built into a new product category ‘smart displays’ from three companies, Harman/JBL, Lenovo, and LG. These devices are similar to the Amazon Echo Show, but with Google Assistant, rather than Alexa.

 Google Home and Amazon Alexa

Many of the brands and products that can be used with Google Home can also be used with Amazon Echo products and other branded Alexa-enabled smart speakers and Fire TV streamers, via Alexa Skills.

#Takeaway

Bug

in the computer world, a bug is an error in a software program. It may cause a program to unexpectedly quit or behave in an unintended manner. For example, a small bug may cause a button within a program’s interface not to respond when you click it.

According to www.techterms.com, a more serious bug may cause the program to hang or crash due to an infinite calculation or memory leak.

From a developer perspective, bugs can be syntax or logic errors within the source code of a program. These errors can often be fixed using a development tool aptly named a debugger. However, if errors are not caught before the program is compiled into the final application, the bugs will be noticed by the user.

Because bugs can negatively affect the usability of a program, most programs typically go through a lot of testing before they are released to the public. For example, commercial software often goes through a beta phase, where multiple users thoroughly test all aspects of the program to make sure it functions correctly. Once the program is determined to be stable and free from errors, it is released the public.

Of course, as we all know, most programs are not completely error-free, even after they have been thoroughly tested. For this reason, software developers often release “point updates,” (e.g. version 1.0.1), which include bug fixes for errors that were found after the software was released. Programs that are especially “buggy” may require multiple point updates (1.0.2, 1.0.3, etc.) to get rid of all the bugs.

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