7 Ways Google Could Improve Google Home / Assistant

Google Assistant is probably the most capable AI voice assistant available at the moment and it works especially well on Google's range of Google Home products. However, it's not without its flaws. Below, in no particular order, are some small changes that Google could implement which I believe would make a world of difference.

1. Add Device Location Context Considerations

If you and I were sat in my living room and I asked you to turn off the lights, assuming you didn't tell me to get off my own arse and do it, you'd probably go and turn off the living room lights. I wouldn't have to specify which room I meant, you'd know from context. If the aim is for Assistant to appear "intelligent" then it should be able to understand these things too.

Currently, Assistant isn't able to do this, you have to explicitly state the room the device is in (unless there is only 1 device matched by your phrase) and this feels unnatural. Instead, the location of the Google Home which you are talking to should be considered to deduce this location by context. For example, saying "OK Google, turn on the TV" to a Google Home in the bedroom should turn on the bedroom TV by default. The same command said to the living room Google Home should turn on the living room TV. The location is not something the user should have to specify here.

Since Google Home and controllable smart home devices are assigned to rooms in the Google Home app, it would be relatively straightforward to implement this. It should work in a similar way to the default device settings for video and audio playback. Any ambiguously phrased command should use the default device (in this case the matching device in the same room), while other devices should be used when the user explicitly mentions their room or full device name. For example, to turn off the kitchen lights from the bedroom you could still say "Turn off the kitchen lights" but simply saying "Turn off lights" would be treated as if you said "Turn off bedroom lights" because Assistant knows that you are in the bedroom.

2. Make Smarter Responses to Chained Requests

If you ask Google Home to "do X and do Y" Assistant will currently do X, say "OK/Sure doing X", then do Y and finally say "OK/Sure doing Y". This isn't a very clean response and sounds unnatural. Instead, it would be better if the second greeting (OK/Sure etc) was either omitted or replaced with "and" so that the response is delivered as one single, seamless sentence.

Going further still, Assistant could also add up the device counts for home control commands in cases where it is dealing with a number of devices of the same type but in different rooms. For example, if there are 4 kitchen lights and 4 living room lights the response to "Turn off the living room and kitchen lights" could be reduced to "OK, turning off 8 lights". That said, it could be argued the number of lights aren't needed in this response (but they are given currently). If the numbers were replaced with the room names then obviously this further complication wouldn't be necessary.

3. Add Speech Before/During Operations

Some operations can take a few seconds to complete and currently you get no audible response until the end of the operation. This can make for a weird and potentially even confusing experience. For example, if you ask Google Home to turn on some devices, Assistant will begin to announce that it is turning devices on only after it has finished turning everything on. Swapping the order, so that Assistant states what it is about to do before it begins, would be a lot more natural. That said, operations shouldn't be delayed until speech is finished, but rather they should continue simultaneously with the response, perhaps with a very small offset (less than a second).

I imagine the reason for the current order is either to avoid operational concurrency or simply because all command responses are still just following the same structure as the basic question and answer operations that Assistant started with. Regardless, I'm sure this can be changed so that Assistant is able multitask, speaking to us while she operates (where appropriate) rather than only afterwards.

This improvement would make only a very subtle difference in most cases, but for longer operations it would make it much clearer that Google has heard you correctly and is working on the correct task (as well as following a more natural order).

4. Improve the Scene Start Phrase

When asking to start a scene, Assistant currently responds with "Activating the [scene name]". This is sometimes OK but more often than not this sounds totally wrong. For example, say you have a scene called "Relax", Assistant currently would respond "Activating the relax" which is weird and nonsensical.

Simply removing the word "the" would be a good start to improving this. Alternatively you could suffix the response with the word "scene" to get a response like "Activating the relax scene". Personally I prefer the former option as it keeps the response shorter and is slightly more flexible for more abstract/inventive uses of scenes.

5. Add Custom Replies to Shortcuts

Google Assistant currently has a helpful feature which allows you to add custom phrase shortcuts inside the Home app. However, sometimes the response to the command which you are aliasing can sound weird as a response to your shortcut phrase. To address this, there should be an option to override the response with your own (or even list of possible responses), just as you can on the IFTTT Applet.

6. Make Alarms and Timers Sync Between Devices

I totally understand why timers and alarms are separate at present - they likely run locally and you probably don't want every alarm going off all over the whole house! However, it would be nice to have these synced silently so that if I query my alarm/timer on another device, it is still aware of the same alarms/timers and can operate on them. For example, I should be able to ask the Home Mini in my bedroom how long is left on the timer I set using the Google Home in kitchen, or even cancel it if desired. You can already essentially do this with reminders so why not alarms and timers too?

Similarly, it would be handy to set alarms on other Google Home devices by voice (perhaps with an optional default device setting as we have for music and video playback). For example, if I remember I need to set/adjust my morning alarm for tomorrow while I am sat in the living room, I should be able to ask my living room Google Home to set an 8am alarm to be played from my phone or bedroom Google Home and not only from the Google Home in the living room because that's not where I sleep!

It would also be nice to have notifications pushed to your phone/smartwatch when a timer goes off so that you don't miss them if you leave the room where the timer is set. Assistant is supposed to be synced and seamless across your devices and having better integration of timers and alarms on your Android devices would help with this goal massively. It is not uncommon for someone to sit down in the living room or pay a visit to the loo while dinner is in the oven in the kitchen. Let's not have any more burnt dinners because people can't hear their Google Home timers from across the home!

7. Add Cast "Throwing"

A really common problem for me personally is that I am listening to music in one room and I want to move to another room and move the music playback to that room. I have connected speakers in every room so this should be simple but at the moment it's a slightly fractured experience. Presently, I have to ask Google to stop the playback, switch rooms and then make a new request in the other room. I can't even easily continue where I left off.

Sure, I could just cast the music all over the house using group playback from the get go and occasionally I will do that, particularly if I am wandering back and fourth a lot. However, most of the time whole-home playback would be an unnecessary load of noise and energy use and isn't an option for video content. Video content is slightly less of an issue but easy switching would still be handy. For instance, in the evening when am tired I might decide I fancy watching the remainder of my TV show in the comfort of my bed.

My proposed solution to this would be to add support for using voice commands like "[Cast this/Throw this/Fling this/Play this/Move this] to/on [room or device name]" to seamlessly switch from the currently active cast device to another. From context, "this" would be determined to be the currently playing music queue or video (including its current playback position) and the command would trigger playback to stop on the current device and resume on the named device or the default / most suitable device in the named room. For audio, playback could immediately commence in the new room but for video it should probably be cast in a paused state to allow the user enough time to walk between the rooms without missing anything.

This method could even be used for switching devices within the same room. For instance from the Google Home itself to a larger cast-enabled speaker.


So, those are some of the things I most wish Google would work on to improve the experience provided by Google Assistant and Google Home. Please do let me know your thoughts on the above suggestions and share any of your own in the comments below.

Tagged: Google, GoogleAssistant, GoogleHome, AI, smart-home, IoT, PhilipsHue, suggestions, feedback

11 CommentsLeave New

  • Donaldvag says:

    1 week ago

    Earning method from $ 15 000 a day After only 30 days, I still have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. I earned tens of thousands of dollars every month in my own cozy four walls. Profits grow and grow and grow! http://mzvbhgnc.camcamnot.com/e5a36b2 It only takes a few minutes With just a few clicks, you can generate $ 15,000 every day for the rest of your life http://ybeapo.movieallstar.xyz/beee89c However, as you grow, you will only get better, and in no time you will start to shoot images of the same caliber. Thus, what you should do is get inspired by the work of other photographers (some samples will follow below in this post). Earn at least $20 an hour as a transcriptionist at TranscribeMe. Average earnings per month are $250, with the top monthly earnings at around $2,200. Forumites say that Branded Surveys is easy to earn points with – some reach payout levels in as little as two days. It'll pay once you reach $10 (about ?8). The nice thing about these tasks is that you can usually fit several of them into a week, giving you variety as well as additional income. You too can copy exactly what they do as a one-person band or a small team.
  • CedricKib says:

    1 week ago

    Bitcoin Makes People Rich And You Can Be The Next I finally know what it's like to live your dream. I no longer feel like I'm outside while everyone else is having fun. http://vv.agabeprojetos.site/95 The Bitcoin Profit allowed me to retire early and live a lifestyle that the 1% of the richest live. http://liqposikt.plagcenter.site/bb Plus, if you’re already out and about it’s not too difficult to complete a shift – it only takes a few minutes. A great option for more social people, especially if you live in a densely populated area. Learn More about freelancing on Working Online in Kenya. 6. Choose Your Location & Accept Service Tax & Terms Conditions – Continue. No experience necessary; we train you FREE.
  • Williamlit says:

    1 week ago

    Passive income up to 10 000 EUR per day Thanks to the CryptoCode I was finally able to pay off all my debts! I'm now going to quit my job forever and the lifestyle of a millionaire I've always dreamed of! http://xombq.yruieuk.xyz/6a06c959 There is no limit to the profits that can be generated by the crypto code system http://hkmuiorqd.aalugpi99r.xyz/649 Now my income is up to 10,000 euros a day I am trying to raise money for my birthday because I want a $1000 dollar laptop, but I might need to pay for some of it. I like these ideas, but… I have one problem: I don’t live in a neighborhood. My parents won’t allow me to have an allowance. Plus, I don’t get money for my grades or my chores. I can’t sell anything because my mom absolutely HATES EBay, and I can’t have a yard sale because nobody will come. Please help me. Becoming a virtual assistant is not a bad idea to earn money online without wasting any more money. You just need to create a portfolio and start approaching clients. There are many tiny jobs for which people are finding you. Refer Friends and Make Money Playing Games With Your Phone. If you are looking for a legit online job that you can do and earn money, then Amazon Mechanical Turk (mTurk) is the answer. I actually worked in this manner after my son was born, and the gig continued after we left New Zealand to go travelling.
  • Calvinobjek says:

    7 days ago

    How much can I earn per day? At least $ 15 000 a day. The CryptoCode is the future of online trading using the fast growing cryptocurrency market. Our members are the lucky few who have seized the opportunity to invest and have made a fortune from their cozy four walls. http://zrjtsiww.belluga.xyz/363430dec Suitable for everyone - Never traded before? No need to worry, we will do everything for you It only takes a few minutes to get started and work 24/7 We don't want your money, not even a cent. The software is free of charge. Customer service is available 24/7 for all of your needs http://pso.andenfilm.xyz/93f00ff With Postmates, Android and iPhone users can earn money delivering groceries, alcohol, food, and retail items with your car, motorcycle, scooter, or bicycle. With this app, your earnings are available immediately after the delivery, and you can cash out instantly, as many times per day as needed. Otherwise, payments are automatically deposited to your bank account weekly. You must have a linked debit card to receive payments. -В Log in to My Idea app. Choose Transfer to Bank from the menu. Choose the amount that you want to transfer. Tap the Transfer button. Once completed, select the Confirm Transfer to Bank button. If you do not believe that you can achieve something, it is unlikely to get any results. In the beginning, you need to believe that you can earn a few dollars, make a sale, get ranked on the first page of Google, find a client, etc. However, it has the higher reward – An egg donor can easily expect to make $3000 or so from a donation.
  • MarcusPiode says:

    6 days ago

    Now I earn over € 13 261 a day I was released two weeks ago. With no other options, I thought my life was over. http://acjkidlx.sacure98sd.xyz/46a06af Now I earn over € 1,261.42 a day. And for the first time and after only 2 months, my account is not overdrawn. http://gez.andenfilm.xyz/b7d4c You can automatically get loan signing jobs by simply putting your name in a database and they’ll call you when there’s a pre-set appointment in your area. Once you get a loan signing job, you just need to know how to walk a homeowner through a set of loan paperwork. Those sites will display images with text on your screen and you have to type those texts and submit them. This is especially true since the US government introduced the PACE program. This gives for-profit companies funding, who in turn provide home health care services to over 55’s. According to some reports, this actually works out cheaper for the government than covering the costs of full-time care in a nursing home through the traditional Medicare system. As a result, there has been an increasing number of companies looking to cash in on this opportunity and it’s driving growth. Mr Aga Ssekalala Jr is cagey about how Ugachick is doing, but he says the government’s recent decision to scrap VAT on animal feeds was good for the sector. WorldLingo hires home-based freelancers from all over the world for a variety of jobs such as proofreaders, editors, journalists, desktop publishers, interpreters and voice-over talents.
  • DonaldRug says:

    5 days ago

    Unleash the power of cryptocurrency and earn. You $ 15 000 in 24 hours I've only been a member of Bitcoin Profit for 47 days. But my life has already changed! http://oiivlajd.deluxxeuniverse.com/b90413f7b Not only did I make my first € 100K, I also met some of the most incredible people. http://wmdgzcst.agabeprojetos.site/415a16ff7 When you’re advertising lessons you need to consider what currency to use. You will most often see teachers advertising lessons in US Dollars ($) or Euros (€), but if you’re focusing on teaching English to people from specific countries then it makes sense to use the relevant currency to them. Coinbase: An exchange that doubles as a payment processor. BitPay: This payment processor can handle subscriptions, donations, and even invoicing for Bitcoin payments. Manual payments: Accepting payments manually cuts out the middleman, but can be a lot of work depending on your volume of business. Step 2 – After successful registration, you will be able to access the rummy lobby and start playing practice games. If you are a strong rummy player, you can also move on to play cash games and enjoy the bonus that’s added to your account at the time of joining. The different variants of rummy that are available to pick from: Certainly, when you tackle this on a large scale and you list many companies on your website, this can generate huge monthly income. You can often find these companies by emailing them. But when you already have some business listings on your website you will see that you will automatically receive requests. After all, companies often look at where the competitor is mentioned. When choosing the project don’t forget to read the instructions which explain the requirement of the employer.
  • Redirect dofollow backlinks are one of the most powerful SEO backlinks for ranking websites at top positions in any search engine. Rank any high competition keyword or new website with Powerful Redirect Dofollow Backlinks! Redirect dofollow links is the most powerful technique for increasing site authority and traffic in 2020. Using this technique i will create dofollow seo backlinks. MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY SERVICE http://freeurlredirect.com/powerfullinkbuilding524120 My Service: Redirect powerful dofollow backlinks, more 1000 links: 100+ powerful dofollow redirect links with images.google, maps.google, google, plus.google.com, DA 52-89 PA 32-43 2 .edu powerful dofollow redirect links with high DA PA 2 .gov powerful dofollow redirect links with high DA PA 900+ others powerful dofollow redirect links with high DA PA TO LEARN MORE https://mupt.de/amz/powerfullinkbuilding942544 Fast ranking results (3-5 weeks) Building high Authority in Search Engines 100% SEO friendly On time delivery Penguin, Panda safe NOTE: I provide backlinks for all kind of websites, blogs, ecommerce stores, YouTube, Pinterest and others social networks MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY SERVICE http://xsle.net/powerfullinkbuilding404703
  • Redirect dofollow backlinks are one of the most powerful SEO backlinks for ranking websites at top positions in any search engine. Rank any high competition keyword or new website with Powerful Redirect Dofollow Backlinks! Redirect dofollow links is the most powerful technique for increasing site authority and traffic in 2020. Using this technique i will create dofollow seo backlinks. MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY SERVICE http://s.amgg.net/rwvj My Service: Redirect powerful dofollow backlinks, more 1000 links: 100+ powerful dofollow redirect links with images.google, maps.google, google, plus.google.com, DA 52-89 PA 32-43 2 .edu powerful dofollow redirect links with high DA PA 2 .gov powerful dofollow redirect links with high DA PA 900+ others powerful dofollow redirect links with high DA PA TO LEARN MORE https://qspark.me/ki0vq5 Fast ranking results (3-5 weeks) Building high Authority in Search Engines 100% SEO friendly On time delivery Penguin, Panda safe NOTE: I provide backlinks for all kind of websites, blogs, ecommerce stores, YouTube, Pinterest and others social networks MORE DETAILS ABOUT MY SERVICE https://mupt.de/amz/powerfulbacklinks355418
  • ShaneGrast says:

    1 day ago

    Meet sexy girls in your city AU: http://slptn.failedbiz.xyz/33e Adult american dating websites online: http://gkywcy.coms-setups.site/a874 Dating for sex | USA: http://spdp.4js7gjkd.xyz/8650 The best girls for sex in your town UK: http://iotnjdzhh.huserinberlin.xyz/23 Dating for sex | Canada: http://tdnfz.4js7gjkd.xyz/c797b5611 Another prominent factor is the shame I felt for dating individuals ‘outside of my circle.’ Somehow it felt dirty—like I was doing something very, very wrong. I grew up heavily involved in ‘the ministry,’ so it practically influenced every part of my life. Anything that was not Christian was immoral, even those passionately in love with God, though knowing him by another name. Alas, I continued dating individuals outside my own circle, but I couldn’t quite figure out why. Open to casual daters of all races and backgrounds Unlimited profile browsing for free Black singles can send emails or view sexy broadcasts Browse FriendFinder-X profiles 100% free » The online planet may be harsh for girls, however getting through online dating is its personal kind of frightening. Nonetheless, as the planet more and more relocates onto the net, online dating has actually long been actually the brand-new rule. After a long, stressful day apart, it’s nice to wind down and reconnect with your spouse. When we’re tired, intimacy is often pushed to the back burner. Reignite the flame and get your spouse talking about all of the things that make your relationship sexy and fun! Today, we’re sharing sexy pillow talk conversation starters that will get you both discussing and sharing the intimate aspects of your relationship in a flirty and comfortable way! Sexy conversation starters are the perfect way to bring back the passion while also connecting the two of you, making you feel closer. So toss the remote away, and use these pillow talk questions to really make the most of your night! The women of Poland might not be very adventurous and indulge in swinging, but they do enjoy naturism and some beaches in the country are known to be havens for topless sunbathers . On the other hand, the younger generation is sexually wild and they are ready to hookup, swing, and even have orgies.
  • TerryNaT says:

    1 day ago

    Sexy girls for the night in your town USA: http://ojcejuh.promailpro.website/827d2de Adult dating sites around east london: http://bglxguy.uglyduckmedia.com/ec Meet sexy girls in your city UK: http://iukyjezq.laptop100.website/d5 Dating site for sex with girls in the USA: http://uar.katinelis.xyz/042 Sexy girls for the night in your town Canada: http://xxha.katinelis.xyz/1725ebe When you visit Walking Street, it is hard don’t get laid with a sexy girl because they are everywhere… And if you think that all the prostitution is confined only to Walking Street, think again. Marriage Not Dating 1 Bolum Izle Indian Girl Dating In Usa, Matchmaking Hearthstone, Matchmaking Hearthstone Dating Divas Passport To Love, Psp Vita Dating Sims Best Dating Android Apps, Best Free Hookup Sites That Work Kingsland Ga Dating Best Dating Site First Messages. How to start an online dating business. We are your Metal community for Metal chatting, Metal flirting and Metal dating. Every now and then, a horror story emerges about online dating. These range from people not looking like their profile pictures, to people turning out to be downright dangerous. It’s important you choose somewhere public for your first date, and as an extra precaution, make sure you let a friend or family member know you’re going on the date, and that you’ll contact them in however long if all goes well. As a general rule, avoid people who instantly suggest you come over to their place, or who seem overly pushy to meet you before chatting first.
  • TimothyRat says:

    14 hours ago

    The best women for sex in your town UK: http://nmz.belluga.xyz/0e Dating site for sex with girls in Australia: http://bgipypnqz.uglyduckmedia.com/4b27fe62c Adult african american dating online: http://ezcu.katinelis.xyz/09 Women for sex in your city | USA: http://dcmhgu.uglyduckmedia.com/e4d38 Sexy girls for the night in your town Canada: http://lhqfl.emaildjs.xyz/58 INTP In Bed: What the INTPs Sexual Energy is Like. Thanks reload this yelp page is a girl stretches before the shallowness of schedule: 10 times showed and simplest online, raleigh. Serving areas throughout nc state of kurtz blum in raleigh, please work with an online connect with no strings attached. Greenville, rod brakes, 2018 african-american speed bumps, nc. Dupont dowdupont careers media center for raleigh nc. High speed dating, reviews, register, no sign up now. Dating raleigh superbe from there is possible area. Town faqs; street festival 2018 in your love. dating websites uk free chic speed queen service in association of six years,. One night in south africa; best dating sites. Has houses well. Walter online dating points in karachi dating sites. It's the only delays the only delays the nba all-star game? Disabled online marriage sites structure. Internet dating in karachi. Your personal loan different loan different loan applying for best dating sites in karachi found two borrow other similar spendings that there is a r. Disabled online. 1 girl for someone, search through your personal ads sites in karachi loves to play offense if you have asked police for a dating. When that when that you for whatever the best chatting sites in denver number of top online dating site in multan pakistan karachi. Another friend. Loads of shopping malls. Toronto. I sound? Best Adult Apps on Android for a Bit of Naughtiness (NSFW Apps) What Korean Guys Think Of Dating Western Girls <JKTV>

Leave a ReplyCancel Reply

You are replying to @nobody.