Google promised us earlier this year that Home and Away 'presence sensing' Routines would soon be possible with its smart home platform, and now that functionality has started rolling out.
Home and Away Routines within the Google Home / Assistant ecosystem have been sorely lacking - especially since Google pulled the plug on the Works with Nest program.
When Google killed Works with Nest it effectively took some of the ‚Äúsmart‚ÄĚ out of the smart home. Nest still had its Home/Away Assist mode, which used geofencing to operate your Nest devices, but the integrations with other devices, such as turning your Hue lights off when your Nest went into Away mode, were gone.
Ultimate guide: Setting up Google Home Routines
The good news is that it's now coming back. Users should see the option to Set up Home & Away Routines‚ÄĚ pop up at the top of their Google Home app homescreen and a new option for Presence sensing will appear in the settings menu.
Currently, you can control the following devices with Home and Away routines in the Home app. This list of devices will continue to grow to include other devices that are compatible with Google Assistant over time:
- Nest thermostats
- Nest cameras
- Smart lights
- Smart plugs
- Smart switches
Presence sensing - i.e. determining whether you (and your household members) are at home or out and about - uses both your smartphone (using GPS and Wi-Fi) and smart home devices with motion sensors to configure the Home or Away status.
Google says it will use the following devices for the latter:
- Nest Guard
- Nest Secure tag
- Nest Thermostats
- Nest Protect (Wired)
- Nest √ó Yale lock
One thing to be aware of though - you will have to migrate from a Nest to a Google account, if you haven‚Äôt already done so.
Unfortunately, there's still no word from Google on users being able to create routines based from third-party smart sensors; a feature we know is high on a lot of users' wishlist.