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Google Assistant can set times for controlling internet-connected devices

You can now use timers or set when lights will go on or off.


Google Assistant, found in devices like the Nest Audio smart speaker, are getting smarter. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Smart assistants like Google Assistant, Amazon's Alexa and Apple's Siri have been able to handle home automation tasks for years. In a new update, however, it now looks like at least Google's virtual helper has recently been learning a new trick. 

Spotted by Android Police and Reddit, Google appears to have added additional functionality to Assistant when controlling internet-connected lights. As opposed to only being able to have the lights go on or off immediately, you can now say "Hey Google, turn on the lights in 5 minutes" or "Hey Google, turn on the lights at 7 a.m."

A Google Developer page suggests that the functionality can handle more than just lights, with the site listing an option to ask the Assistant to "turn on my coffee maker at 8 a.m. tomorrow" and "run my sprinkler in a week at 5 p.m."

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Android Police notes that if you are asking for it to do something tomorrow you will still need to specify an exact time, with there also being no clear way to cancel upcoming requests. For the latter at least you can always just tell the Assistant to stop or turn off the lights as you would normally do.