The Google Home app keeps getting better


With the Google Assistant integration, ecobee customers can now use the Assistant on their phones and Google Home to make everyday tasks simpler and more convenient. Like a modern-day intercom system, you can speak a message to the Assistant on your phone, and relay it on connected Google Home speakers elsewhere in your abode.

If you plan to use this new capability, you may want to make sure that you don't have Google Home units in both your office and your home. This is a handy feature and allows you to let other family members know it's time for dinner, notify them that the laundry is done, or whatever message you need to pass along. I'm talking about the NVIDIA Spot, the little Google Assistant-powered wall plug that has yet to go on sale for reasons we have yet to figure out.

The user must have Google Assistant on their phones and at least one Google Home device. The Google support page on the feature now states that you need Google Home devices with firmware 1.26.93937 or higher to use broadcasting. You could also say "Ok Google, broadcast/shout/tell/announce..." then add your own message. Once done, the message will be played on all the devices tied to the account. Just say "Ok Google, broadcast it's dinner time" and a dinner bell will ring on all your Google Homes. It's joining a bunch of other IoT platforms, such as Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, and IFTTT, so you have quite a few smart assistant options if you own one of these thermostats.

Recently, Google taught Assistant more than 50 new family-friendly games, stories, and activities. For now, the update is rolling out to only the English language in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, while other language support will be coming soon according to Google.