04.12.17

Google Home now can multi-task

google home smart speaker placed on book in user's home

The smart speaker stakes may be currently be more competitive than ever, but Google aims to impress by now handling two requests from users at once – making the lives of owners everywhere considerably easier.

“Okay, Google, turn on the lights and play rap music” is now a feasible way to start the day for owners of Google Home devices as they now have the functionality to process two commands as once.

Of course, this is nothing new, the Josh.ai home automation system has long offered this capability, yet it’s good to see a feature that can have a tangible impact on user’s lives hit the mainstream.

How is this feature different from what Amazon Alexa currently offers I hear you ask? Well, Alexa's Routines are limited to supporting smart home controls, traffic, weather and news – essentially meaning you can’t start streaming a song or play an audiobook within that routine.

Alternatively, owners of a Google Home product will allow users to group multiple (limited to two at the moment – try to make more than that and Google is less than helpful…) commands together under a custom phrase.

What make this recently-rolled out update particularly time-saving for users is the fact you can handily store your favourite stringed commands (e.g. “Okay, Google, play soul music and set the volume to 10” or “Okay, Google, turn off all the lights and turn on the TV”) in the Shortcuts section of your Android of iOS device. Simply go to ‘More settings’ then ‘Shortcuts’ to do this.

As yet it’s not clear how this feature relates to the Routines functionality Google promised at its Pixel 2 event earlier in the year.