The Google Home app is core to how you control and interact with dozens of different devices, so it’s understandably one of Google’s most feature-packed applications. It only got more interesting with version 2.28, as the new update hinted at the rebranding of Android TV, as well as adding some new features surrounding routines and home presence-sensing that were teased earlier this year. Now it seems like the new Home/Away routines powered by presence sensing are available to most users.
Presence sensing uses Google’s AI smarts to determine whether or not people are home based on their device activity. One of the interesting additions this info enables is support for new activities for setting up Home and Away routines. They make it easy to trigger specific smart home actions like turning lights off or on when leaving a house or returning to it. The Home app notes that the more devices that grant it location permissions through presence sensing, the more accurate it will be at predicting when to start these routines.
The setup process for Home & Away routines.
Along with new stuff surrounding routines, version 2.28 also added support for OnHub network management. (Remember the OnHub routers?) The network speed test now shows history for the past 30 days, which is valuable data to know when negotiating for a cheaper price with your wily Internet provider. Google also improved the experience for group Google Meet video calls by allowing users to invite participants directly from the Home feed. Finally, the update added new notification categories that you can enable/disable at your whim, including separate channels for People & devices, Account updates, and Calls & messages.
The new Home & Away routines powered by presence detection appear to be available for most people now — although the way Google is handling things is more than a little confusing. If you aren’t seeing them, try downloading the latest version of the Home app from APK Mirror or the Play Store and cross your fingers.