Google Home's latest update is all about easier controls on Android and WearOS

Several Google Nest security cameras next to a Pixel Tablet on a table
(Image credit: Google)

Google is rolling out the Spring 2024 update to Google Home, introducing new ways to control devices on a smart home network. The patch affects a wide range of hardware, from phones to smart watches and even the Pixel Tablet

Starting with Android, users will get a new Favorites widget for quick access to “compatible smart home devices.” The company states you’ll be able to turn off the lights and adjust the thermostat with just a single tap. Although, as handy as it sounds, you probably won’t see the widget after downloading the update as it’s only available through Google Home’s Public Preview. 

To join the program, you’ll need to launch the Google Home app on your smartphone , go to the Settings menu, and find the Public Preview option. 

What won’t be locked behind the program is the Android app’s slight redesign, though. It’s not a complete overhaul, but will display more information, like the battery life of a house sensor. Lastly, on Android, you can create clips from event videos downloaded from your video history on Google Home. All you have to do is pick a start time and “then choose a clip length from the list of options.” 

Google Home update on Android

(Image credit: Google)

Wear OS upgrade

Next, wearables running on Wear OS are given more robust control methods. New Google Home tiles will let you easily control a smart home gadget with a simple swipe on the screen. It's fairly similar to the Android widget but will be accessible on your wrist. Alternatively, if you prefer another method, you can make those adjustments directly by tapping one of the new device shortcuts.

Before your Wear OS smartwatch can perform any of these actions, you must meet a few requirements. Those include running Wear OS 3 or newer along with having a Google Account, working internet, and running the “latest version of the Google Home app” on your watch and smartphone.

Google Home update on Wear OS

(Image credit: Google)

Originally teased last summer, the Pixel Tablet can finally show you who’s at your front door via a feed from a Nest doorbell. It’s a little surprising this wasn’t a launch feature, but it's better late than never. 

Users can even talk to the other person through Two-way Talk or a Quick Response. Support for the feature is limited to one of three models: the first- and second-generation wired Nest Doorbell or the battery-powered Nest Doorbell

It’s important to mention that you must be a part of the Public Preview program to try out the Pixel Tablet livestream tool. Also, the device must be attached to its dock

24/7 playback

Alongside all the mobile changes, Google Home on the web is receiving its own small update. First, 24/7 video history playback has been added and lets you scroll back through your video doorbell’s recording history and see all the moments you may have missed. 

Google Home on web update

(Image credit: Google)

It comes with simple editing tools for making short clips and lets you download them for easy sharing. You will need a subscription to Nest Aware Plus to use this, though. Lastly, the company is expanding Public Preview to Google Home on the web where you can try out upcoming tools such as Script Editor.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the patch when it arrives, and if you're looking for ways to improve your setup, check out TechRadar's list of the best smart home devices for 2024.

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Cesar Cadenas

Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.