Next Google Home version to permit control by third-party devices, improve reminders
Why it matters to you
Google Home will have to work hard to catch up to Alexa and Amazon Echo, but version 2.3 of the app may help make up some of that ground.
It’s been a year since Google Assistant and Google Home first entered the smart home space, competing with the more established Amazon Alexa and the Echo suite. And now, as Google I/O 2017 draws ever nearer, we’re getting a sense of just what the Silicon Valley company has up its sleeve that will give Amazon a run for its money. It would appear that the APK file of the newest update to the Google Home app (version 2.3) adds quite a few new features, including support for third-party Google Assistant speaker devices, listing reminders in the Google Home app, and more.
As outlined by the folks over at XDA, it looks as though you’ll soon be able to control Google Assistant on a third-party device, much as you can with Alexa. While Google recently released the Google Assistant SDK, allowing non-Home devices to integrate Assistant, there aren’t that many companies taking advantage of this offering. But now, it would appear that Google is making that easier. XDA predicts that the Google Home app will soon recognize third-party devices and let you configure them.
Then, there are smaller (though just as necessary) updates like the ability of users to see all their reminders in one place. While you’re currently able to see your shopping list (or any other list) by opening the sidebar of the Google Home app, you can’t actually see everything on various lists. That ought to change with the updated app.
Similarly, it seems as though you’ll soon be able to clear your search history straight from the Google Home app, so if you’ve been Googling some questionable queries, you don’t have to go to your account via a web browser — you can just rid yourself of the evidence straight from the app.
XDA also suggests that the Google Home app may be preparing for Bluetooth device management activity, and may allow you to change notification sounds, and begin sending customers surveys asking them to rate their experience.
In any case, we ought to have more clarity around these updates at Google I/O 2017.