Google Home App Update Brings New Design, Multiple Device Control; Home Speaker Gets Playback Speed Controls
Google launched the new Google Home Hub at the event in New York yesterday, and now the company is rolling out a redesigned Google Home app for its Android and iOS users both. Furthermore, Google Home users are getting the ability to increase or decrease playback speed of news and podcasts, a feature that was only available for audiobooks previously. The Google Home app has been updated to control multiple devices more easily and remotely, and access Google Assistant in-app as well. Android and iOS users are both are getting the update this week in a phased manner.
Starting with the Google Home app, the redesign brings all compatible smart devices in one place, and enables controlling them more easily, without having to go to each device's app separately. The app sorts all your smart devices as per rooms as well, and lets you control each of them in a simple manner. "It also generates quick actions for important features across your home with immediate access to key experiences like turning on and off smart lights, viewing your cameras, and broadcasting messages to your other Google Home devices, Google notes on its blog. It also allows users to check on all compatible smart devices even when they're away from home, and the new multi-user support allows everyone under the same roof to control smart devices in the house via the Google Home app. Lastly, as mentioned previously, Google Assistant is now accessible from the Google Home app itself.
Separately, the Google Home support page has been updated to support playback speed controls for news and podcasts. The page notes that Google Home now allows users to 'play at 2x speed', 'play slower/faster', or 'play at half the speed'. These actions were already available for audiobooks and now it has been introduced for news and podcasts as well. If the feature doesn't work for you, then Google may be rolling it out in phases, and the support for increase/ decrease playback speed should arrive for all users soon. Notably, the support page also suggests that users can now ask Google Home to read news about a topic, for example "Listen to news about North Korea," or "Play the latest on Donald Trump."