Google primes Home for a major new feature: multiple account support

Google appears to be allowing different family members to access their own calendars and music libraries on the speaker.

google home answer on another device
Jon Phillips

While Google Home might be a great first-gen product, there’s a lot about it that still frustrates us. We’re still waiting for it to get support for reminders. We can’t yet add events to our Google Calendars. And we’d like it to integrate with more of the smart devices in our home.

But it looks like one of our biggest gripes is finally being addressed. Inside the app’s Discovery tab users will now see a message that says, “Multiple users now supported. Now, you and others in your home can get a personalized experience from your Assistant on your Google Home.” The feature doesn't appear to be live yet, but it shouldn’t be long before we can set up multiple accounts for our Google Home, breaking down a major barrier to its usefulness as a family organizing tool.

Support for more than one account was previously discovered by Android Police in its teardown of the most recent Google Home app APK, but this is the first time we’ve gotten any sort of confirmation from Google that it’s on the way. It’s unclear how the feature would work on the device, but presumably it would function in a similar way to how Amazon handles it on the Echo. When you want to access a different account, you would simply say, “OK, Google, switch to Lynn’s account,” and it would use Lynn's music library, calendar, email account, etc., to answer any queries.

Seemingly related to this imminent change is Google’s decision to move shopping lists from Google Keep to the Google Home app. Now, when you ask Google Assistant to add a new item to your list it will store it inside the Google Home or Google Express app, where you can easily purchase one of the items just by asking.

The ability to set up multiple accounts opens the door to creating master lists and reminders, and it also raises the possibility that Google could add individual voice recognition to the device so it could distinguish between family members who try to ask questions. As It stands, anyone who says “OK, Google” can summon Google Home.

The impact at home: Google Home is certainly a cool device that expands the presence of Google Assistant beyond our pockets, but we’re still waiting for it to do as much as it can on our phones. The ability to add multiple accounts is a great step toward turning it into a versatile device that can handle all of our family’s needs.

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