Now you can control your smart devices from your Pixel, no Google Home required

A new option in the Google Assistant settings lets you adjust your lights, thermostats, and cameras with your phone.

google assistant home
Credit: Greenbot

One of the best features of Google Home is the ability to control all of the smart devices in your house, letting you turn on the lights or set the thermostat without fiddling with any apps or controls. Now you can use Google Assistant on your Pixel phone to do the same thing.

First spotted by Android Police, the settings menu in Google Assistant on the Pixel adds a new tab for Home control, letting you talk to your various devices without lifting a finger. And you don’t need you have a Google Home to do it. Previously, the Pixel could interact with the Home to operate Nest smart devices, but now your phone can do it all on its own.

That means you can control all of your Home-enabled smart devices, not just the ones that are owned by Alphabet. According to Android Police, the requirements appear to be version 6.12.19 of the Google app and Play Services 10.2.98. The new feature is a server-side one, however, so if you’re not seeing it on your phone, you may have to wait for Google to flip the switch.

OK, Google, now what: Slowly but surely, Google Assistant on the Pixel is gaining feature parity with Google Home. While the overarching strategy for Google's voice-operated AI is still hazy, it appears that we're building toward some kind of a unified system, where saying "OK, Google" does the same things across all of our devices. 

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