Google Home app adds “Housekeeping” routines

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Ahead of its broader redesign aimed at the general public, the Google Home app is working on Routines, adding a new “Housekeeping” option for Routines as well as expanding device triggers to more users.

Rolling out now, the Google Home app now supports creating “household” routines that can be viewed and edited by anyone in a household group.

By default, the “Home” and “Away” routines are defined as “housekeeping” routines, which means that they can be modified by anyone in the house. But now users can also create new routines and make them accessible and editable by others at home. Previously, custom routines could only be edited by the person who created them.

This new option is available when setting up a new routine, as the Google Home app will ask you if you want to set up a “Household” or “Personal” routine.

No additional functionality appears to be unlocked by this change, but we noticed that Google has also slightly redesigned the app’s Routines page with a new icon style and a separation between home and personal routines. The new setup process also seems to be settling in, as it currently doesn’t honor the dark mode preferences on our device.

Alongside this, Google also appears to be rolling out support for device triggers more widely in the Home app. These started appearing last week in a limited capacity, but they are appearing more widely. Interestingly, we can only see this option when creating a home routine, which strength be intentional. After all, members of the household would likely end up triggering smart home devices, so there would be no way to actually separate this functionality from users. Either way, it’s great to see this option popping up for more.

There are also some cool perks we’ve noticed with this change now that we’ve spent some time with it.

First, robot vacuums and other smart home devices that previously couldn’t be controlled by the “adjust home devices” section of a routine have now been added.

Additionally, we also found that these new device triggers also support home and away states from the now discontinued Google Nest Secure system. This allows new Nest cameras to integrate with the old system the same way old Nest cameras did. This is a welcome change for those still using this system.

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