Home Automation: Google Assistant, Amazon Cloud Cam Pick Up New Abilities

As the smart home wars rage on, two of the biggest players on the scene — Google and Amazon — have just added new features to some of their popular offerings.

Google announced last year that its virtual assistant, Google Assistant, would be getting multistep routines that allow users to execute a number of actions by using only one voice command. The routines are going live now, The Verge reports.

Google Routines

These routines are playing catch-up to Amazon, which already offers similar functionality through its Alexa assistant. Now Google Assistant can launch into a series of actions by being given a voice command such as “Hey Google, good morning.” That particular command could: take your phone off silent; adjust lights, plugs, thermostats and more products to a certain setting; tell you about the day’s weather, commute, calendar, or reminders; and adjust media volume.

Google currently lists six routines: Good Morning, Bedtime, Leaving home, I’m home, Commuting to work, and Commuting home. Further details about these routines can be found on Google’s Set up & manage routines webpage. The routines can be set up for one person, or more than one person, to use through Google Home devices.

[If you’re a Google Assistant user, be sure to check out our recent article on Using IFTTT With Google Assistant to add even more functionality to your smart home setup.]

Cloud Cam Does More

amazon-cloud-cam
Amazon Cloud Cam in Hand

Amazon’s Cloud Cam has also gained a number of new features recently, as Android Police noted. The security camera now gives users the ability to view the Cloud Cam’s live feed from a computer — not just their smartphone. This is useful if your phone’s either not available or not connected to the internet, or if you just want a bigger screen to see what’s going on back home.

Additional features added to Cloud Cam include two-way audio through Amazon’s Echo Show and Echo Spot, detection alerts on Echo, and voice control through Alexa. The last addition allows users to turn on Cloud Cam through an Alexa command.

Want more information? Read our review on the Amazon Cloud Cam or our review of the best home security cameras. 

Phil Dzikiy

Phil Dzikiy

Phil Dzikiy is the former editor in chief of Security Baron. Before, he has worked as a freelance writer and editor at websites like Wirecutter.com and iLounge.com along with publications like the Lockport Union Sun & Journal and the Greater Niagara Newspapers. With digital and print experience under his belt, Phil has a passion for all things technology including home security, cyber security, and the smart home. His bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland College Park initially landed Phil his first job at the Beaver County Times, which has lead to over 15 years of experience as a journalist.

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