The Google Home app started displaying a potentially exciting new panel today.
In the Discover section of the app, a window has appeared that claims “Multiple users now supported”.
The function to support multiple users isn’t active, so it seems that the update, picked up on by Android Police, may have been a little premature. Nevertheless, it’s an addition we're keen to see.
Google Home, the speaker vessel for Google Assistant, has been available in the UK for a little less than a week, and while it’s already making waves, there are some issues.
Aside from the lack of multi-user support, one of the main problems we had with Google Home when we reviewed it was the lack of integration with Google’s own services. Being able to send an email or input a diary event feels like it should be a basic function of a Google device.
In the new app window, Google claims the update gives you and others in your home a more “personalised experience”, which hopefully includes the same level of interaction that Google Assistant gives you in its phone form.
The main reasons for the lack of interactivity at the moment are security and privacy, with Google not wanting to leave accounts vulnerable to abuse via the Google Home. So it looks like the multiple-user issue and the Google services issue could be connected, albeit tenuously.
Now for the good news: there is a possible fix to this problem hidden in the code for the app.
As we previously reported, the Google Home app has code that refers to identifying individual users by voice. We can’t say with any certainty when this function will appear, but we’re hoping that it could be part of this update.
It would certainly be a good time, and would make multiple user interaction a lot more user-friendly than on the Amazon Echo, where you currently have to ask Alexa to 'Switch accounts' before using individual services.
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Andrew London is a writer at Velocity Partners. Prior to Velocity Partners, he was a staff writer at Future plc.