Improved Google Home App Launches With Support For Pixel Tablet, More Matter Devices

Compared to learning about brand new Pixel devices, including a Pixel Fold, this Google I/O announcement might not sound immediately exciting, but it's no less important to advancing Google's increasingly cohesive ecosystem. The Google Home platform is taking significant strides today with a more streamlined and efficient smart home experience that aims to eliminate connectivity dead ends and home hub confusion once and for all. The redesigned Google Home app, which has been in testing since October, is rolling out globally for Android and iOS starting May 11.

In addition to sweeping fundamental and design changes, the updated app boasts faster load times and camera speed, with live camera feeds loading 38% faster and camera clip access improved by 29% compared to the previous app. In total, Google has introduced over 50 improvements and new features, including the ability to reorder Favorites, a more helpful Activity tab, an inbox where you can find actionable notifications you may have missed, streamlined notification preferences, and easier vertical video scrubbing with improved event labels that give you a glanceable idea of who or what is brushing across your cameras.

Wear OS users will also benefit from these updates, with improved camera notifications, animated previews for camera events, and more powerful controllers rolling out on May 15. Google also announced plans to bring some of the original Nest cameras into the new Google Home app, starting with the first-generation Nest Cam Indoor and Nest Cam Outdoor in July.

Everything will work better together

Google Home is deepening its support for Matter, the open-source smart home connectivity standard that helps devices learn how to communicate with each other more effectively. The end game is allowing any Matter-enabled hub to control all compatible smart home devices you own. The Android platform started supporting Matter late last year, right alongside Google Home and Nest hardware. Matter support will arrive in the iOS version of the Google Home app with iOS 16.5.

We're also getting more than 60 combined changes and additions to the various Home controllers you can use with Matter and Works With Google Home devices. Google hasn't gone in depth regarding those, but generally, this means you can expect dedicated, adaptable controls for any properly certified device you buy.

Tablet users will see a more optimized version of the Google Home app, with improvements across all five tabs, support for landscape and portrait orientations, and compatibility for navigating the camera's timeline view and event list in landscape mode. These updates will be available for Pixel Tablet and Android tablet users in June and an iOS update will follow later in the summer. Another exciting development is the new home panel feature on Android devices, which will provide quick, one-tap access to Google Home functions directly from the lock screen or quick settings. This feature will initially roll out to Pixel devices, including the Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, and Pixel Tablet, next month.