Google Assistant Routines Upgrades Naming and Timing Customization
Google Assistant has made its Routines feature more flexible in timing and naming in a quiet series of upgrades. Users can rename the Routines differently from the command given to initiate them, and set triggers down to the second, instead of by the minute.
Timing and Naming
Google Assistant gave the option for setting delays on routines last year. They could be timed to sunrise and sunset, or to specific times on the clock. The time for the start would always be at the beginning of a minute on the clock. Now, those start times can be set down to the second, should a user desire that level of temporal precision.
The greater flexibility applies to how the Routines are named as well. When a Routine is set up, it has to have a trigger phrase like “Good Morning” or “I’m Home” that matched the name of the Routine. Now, there’s an option to edit the name of the Routine to be whatever the user wants, without changing the trigger to activate it. The name and time customizations further tie together because time-based Routines don’t need a phrase to activate. The Routine’s list of actions can be named in the app, and set for “when the time is” whenever the user wants it to begin. The only limitation is that the default Google Assistant Routines can’t be renamed.
These subtle updates may presage a bigger revamp for the feature by Google in the near future. Both Google and Amazon have continually augmented their respective Routines features to make them easier and more intuitive to use. For instance, Google Assistant has grown increasingly proactive in advising users how to craft the Routines, making suggestions based on popular actions like a battery percentage check and the local weather. Meanwhile, Amazon recently deployed Custom Tasks in Routines as an option for developers. That followed the addition of movement and sound activation for routines and command customization allowing users to write out additions independently, along with the ability to share routines with friends.