Google Home is more than just an internet-connected speaker with a voice assistant. It also works as a smart home hub.
Google Assistant on Google Home can control smart home devices, although it's fair to say it doesn't support as many products as its main rival, Amazon Echo.
However, Amazon has been working with third-party manufacturers for a much longer period, whereas Google Home is only just approaching its first birthday, and has only just been launched in the UK.
That's not to say Google Home should be discounted as a viable option to control your home, so, for those of you want to partner up with Google's speaker over Amazon's, here's a list of devices that respond to "OK Google".
- What is Google Assistant, how does it work, and which devices offer it?
- Google Assistant tips and tricks: Master your Android assistant
With Google Assistant on Google Home, you can use your voice to control the temperature in your home, switch between heating and cooling modes, and more. It therefore of course works with Nest Thermostat, a product from Google-owned Nest, which actually sells smart devices other than thermostats. But, for now, Google Home only interfaces with Nest Thermostat.
To adjust the temperature, say “Make it warmer/cooler" or “Raise/lower the temp" or “Raise/lower temp 2 degrees" or "Set the temperature to 72". To switch heating or cooling modes, say “Turn on the heat/cooling" or “Set the thermostat to cooling/heating" or “Turn thermostat to heat-cool mode”. And to set the mode and temperature, say “Set the heat to 68” or “Set the air conditioning to 70”.
Buy the Honeywell Lyric T6R for £198 from Amazon UK
Google Home works with the Total Connect Comfort line of thermostats. If you want to use Lyric thermostats, like the Honeywell Lyric T6R smart thermostat, you'll need to use a smart hub (like SmartThings) to connect. Check out Google's FAQ page for more details about using smart hubs with Honeywell products.
Oh, and all the same commands you can use with the Nest Thermostat also work with Honeywell thermostats.
Speaking of SmartThings, Samsung's family of smart home devices offer compatibility with Google Home. That includes several smart lightbulbs, which you can turn on and off, brighten, and dim, as well as motion sensors, which interface with IFTTT so you can really level-up your home automation. As for the SmartThings hub, it opens Google Home up to even more connected devices.
SmartThings hub devices work with a wide variety of smart home products from brands like Philips, Osram, Leviton, Honeywell, and Ecobee, and because Google Home is compatible with this platform, it ensures that SmartThings users have a non-Echo option for a smart home assistant and speaker device. All you have to do is say “Ok Google” to seamlessly turn on lights, adjust thermostats, and more.
Philips Hue Lights
You can use your voice to control the Philips Hue lights around your house without touching a switch. You have the ability to turn lights on or off throughout a house, as well as the option of adjusting their brightness. You can say things like "Turn on <light name>", "Dim the <light name>", "Brighten the <light name>", "Set <light name> to 50 per cent", "Turn <light name> green", etc.
Browse the Belkin WeMo family of products on Amazon US
If you hook up a compatible hub (again, like SmartThings), the entire WeMo family of devices can be controlled through Google Home. Those of you without a hub will be limited to a few smart plugs and switches.
Buy the Tado starter kit for £192 from Amazon UK
Tado has announced compatibility with Google Home too. The smart heating system works with geofencing, so when it detects that everybody has left the house it will automatically switch off. It will then spring into action when it notices someone coming home and is within a defined radius.
Google Home owners will be able to control the heating using your voice, including being able to control independent rooms thanks to Tado's smart radiator thermostats.
Logitech's range of Harmony devices are already well established as home control devices. While they don't have voice control, they can be used to control all manner of smarthome devices, can you can create 'recipes' using IFTTT.
For example, you can set a 'good morning' recipe that will open your blinds, switch on your coffee machine and turn your TV to a specified channel.
Google Home doesn't currently support all the service that Harmony does, so now with the two services integrating, you can bark voice commands such as "Ok, Google, ask Harmony to turn on my good morning activity".
Is that it?
Google Home also works with some smart TVs and streaming devices, including its own Chromecast devices, as well as products from brands like Toshiba, Philips, Sony, Bang & Olufsen, B&O Play, Grundig, and Polk Audio.