Google Home is finally catching up to Alexa and HomeKit — here’s how

Google just announced two new smart home devices — a new $179 wired doorbell and a new $199 Wi-Fi 6e router, the latter of which will cover up to 2,200 square feet with just a single node. Both look like great devices — and good candidates for any best video doorbells and the best mesh routers lists. But the most interesting news from Google relates to the changes coming to the Google Home app.

For two years, I’ve bemoaned the fact that you can’t do nearly as much with Google Home as you can with HomeKit and Alexa. Those respective smart home platforms from Apple and Amazon allow you to create routines based on the status of your smart home devices. 

For example, if your smart thermostat hits a certain temperature, you can have your window shades come down and a fan turn on. Or, if it’s the morning and you turn the lights on, you can have a morning news briefing start and get the coffee maker going.

Google Home app

(Image credit: Google)

Until now, Google Home routines were limited to either triggers based on time or by saying a phrase — “Hey Google, I’m leaving home,” for instance. That’s a lot more limiting, and a lot farther from the fully automated house that we were promised in The Jetsons.

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