Google didn’t just offer the Home Hub to connected households at its Pixel 3 event — it also had a new version of the Home app for your phone. The revamped Android and iOSsoftware promises both a much more organized approach to smart home control and more flexibility for where you take control. Similar to the Home Hub’s new Home View dashboard, you now have a clear view of your various Home-friendly devices in one place, rather than making you jump from app to app. It also organizes devices by room, so you won’t have to remember which speaker is in the living room.
And crucially, you’re not chained to your home or any one device. You can check on your home from wherever you are, and make adjustments on compatible devices. If it’s unusually chilly, you can tell your thermostat to warm up before you set foot inside. Also, everyone inside the home can control smart devices (including adding and removing them) just by having the app installed on their phones and tablets. You can even manage multiple homes, such as your parents’ place or a connected cottage.
You’ll also have less work to do. The app will automatically generate quick actions based on features in your home, and you now have access to Google Assistant directly from inside the app.
The updated Home app is available now for iOS and is rolling out to Android users over the course of the next week. Some of these updates could be considered overdue (Apple’s Home app already organizes devices by room), but they’re more than welcome if you want one straightforward app to govern as much of your house as possible.