The Google Home is getting a useful update to set a smart plug’s device type. While that might not sound all that useful, if you live in a voice-controlled smart home, it will make those commands easier to use. That’s because you’ll be able to group your plug with other smart devices, like smart lights.
If you’re properly grouping your smart devices for the best voice commands, you can tell a Google Home to “turn off the lights,” and it will only turn off the lights room you’re occupying. But the problem is that only works for smart lights, like bulbs and switches. If you have a dumb lamp plugged into a smart plug, it doesn’t count.
That’s because Google Home doesn’t know what you have connected to a smart plug. And while you probably want the lamp to turn off, you may not want the entertainment system on its smart plug turned off too. You just wanted to dim the lights for movie night.
It looks like Google is working on the problem. 9to5Google spotted a change in the iOS Google Home app that lets you set a smart plug’s device type. With that option, you can designate a smart plug as a light, fan, tv, coffee maker, and more. That’s perfect for grouping your smart devices in sensible fashions.
But most of all, it will help with your voice commands. As it is, Google Home will try to guess a smart plug’s type by its name, but if it got it wrong (or didn’t try), you couldn’t correct it.
So far, the update doesn’t seem to have hit Android. We can only hope it hits soon because smart homes are all about convenience. And that only happens if everything works together correctly.