The battle between Google Home and Amazon Echo to become the smart speaker that ultimately makes it into your home is a close one, but today Google is rolling out a new feature that might just give its speaker an edge. It seems that a new update has given Google Home the capacity to handle two commands at once. This is a handy ability, because before this update rolled out, each action you wanted Google Home to perform had to be delivered through individual voice commands.
CNET reports that you can now string a pair of actions together, saying something like “OK Google, play rock music and what’s the weather?” CNET goes on to say that it tested this new feature with a variety of different commands, and while most of them work, asking for traffic information could sometimes trip up Google Assistant.
Perhaps that’s why Google is launching this new feature without much in the way of fanfare? With traffic commands sometimes causing problems for Google Home, it could be that Google is still working on this functionality behind the scenes. Whether it’s considered finished or a work-in-progress over at Google HQ, it’s definitely a sign of things to come.
Keep in mind, Amazon offers a similar (but not entirely the same) feature for Alexa called Routines. With Alexa Routines, you can designate a group of actions to be carried out when you say a custom phrase to your smart speaker. Google has plans for its own implementation of Routines, but while we wait for that feature to arrive, the ability to double up on the number of commands each time you talk to Google Home serves as a decent stop-gap.
It’s also worth pointing out that at the moment, Google Home can only handle two commands at a time. If you try to give it a string of three, it will simply tell you that it can’t perform all of them, so you’re limited in how many commands you can put together for now. Perhaps we’ll see that expand as Google Assistant becomes a little more robust? Time will tell, but if you’ve got a Google Home of your own, go ahead and give this new functionality a try for yourself.