Google Home is out, the reviews all have a common trope; Google Home is great, lack third-party integrations when compared to the Amazon Echo, and it’s slightly awkward to say “Okay Google” or “Hey Google constantly.” While I agree with the former two, the latter stems from an underlying distrust of Google. One way or another Google Home is around to stay and compete with Amazon’s Alexa, and so far Google Assistant only works with Nest, SmartThings, and Phillips Hue Lights. Google Assistant claims it’s always learning, but the process requires an API that’s going to open up in December. Until then we’re stuck with the current smart home systems Google’s working with, at least that’s what they’d like you to think. At launch, Google integrated IFTTT, a bridge between the inconsistent and fragmented smart home ecosystem.
IFTTT can help Google Assistant control Wink lights, Lifx lights, Hunter Douglas Powerview Blinds, and even your BMW connected car. IFTTT is relatively easy to use and allows you to add thousands of features to Google Home. I’ve used the service to help Google Assitant control my GE Wink lights, send tweets, and add Trello cards. You can have IFTTT help Google control your smart blinds, Lifx lights, or your smart sprinklers.
First, you’ll need to create a new Applet.
Then you’ll want to search for Google Home, and then connect your Google account that you used with your Google Home.
Once connected IFTTT will prompt you to say a simple phrase, a phrase with a number, a phrase with a number or text ingredient, or a text ingredient. If you’re turning on the lights off or on you’ll want to pick the first one, “say a simple phrase.”
From there you say “turn on the lights,” and include multiple ways you could say it to Google Assistant. The idea is you won’t always say “turn on the lights,” but instead you might say lights on or even lumos. Then you’ll have Google Assistant say something back to “turning on the lights,” otherwise it’ll say “completing action which is vastly more mundane.
You’ll then get to choose “that” or what the function will do when you say turn on the lights.
In my case, I’m using Wink which means I’ll use a Wink shortcut to turn the lights on or off or change the color of the lights.
Once you choose the shortcut, you’ll need to finish up and confirm the action.
Once you’re all done, you can instantly test the action on your Google Home. There is usually no hitches or problems, and if you do run into something it’s because you didn’t say the right keywords. If you do run into a roadblock or problem, we’d be more than willing to help! Tell us the problem in the comments below!
Using IFTTT with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa allows more third party services even if developers aren’t developing for one of these voice assistants, or in Google’s case, they don’t have access to the API yet.
Tell us in the comments below if you’re using ITFFF to DYI together your smart home with Google Assistant!