Google Home update could let you change who controls what in your smart home

Google Nest Hub
(Image credit: Google)

Having multiple people use the smart speakers in your home with their own accounts is one of the best features offered by Google Nest and the tech giant’s other smart speakers and displays. Everyone can access their own calendars, news briefings and playlists, without worrying they’ve been given information for someone else. 

However, it also means that everyone has full access to all of the devices. That means you can’t stop the kids from using the smart speaker to play their favourite songs at full volume when you want some peace.

Google may be about to make this a thing of the past.  AndroidPolice discovered a new section in Google Home with what appears to be access controls. The app is used to set-up the Google Nest Audio, Google Nest Hub Max and other smart speakers and devices with Google Assistant built-in. 

Household settings

The new section can be found under Household in the Settings Menu. As you’d expect, you can see a list of people that have been given access to your smart home devices, but now you’re able to select one of these names to see more information. 

Selecting a person will display two options: there's 'Access details', which shows the level of access that person has, and 'Devices access' that displays a list of the smart home gadgets they have access too. At present, we found every member of the household is given ‘Manager’ access level. This means they can access all devices and settings. Similarly, under Device access, all of the gadgets in the home appear no matter which user you’ve selected. It’s not possible to remove any devices at present. 

“We’re not able to give a comment on this,” Google told TechRadar. However, we don’t believe Google introduced the options for no reason at all and can only hope the more granular controls are launched soon.  

Carrie-Ann Skinner

Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.