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Google Expands Smart Home Platform: Google TVs to Serve as Home Hubs

API access to its Google Home platform

In a significant move for the smart home industry, Google has announced the opening of API access to its Google Home platform. This decision allows developers from any sector to integrate with the over 600 million devices connected to Google Home, enabling them to utilize Google’s automation engine to create innovative solutions within their apps on both iOS and Android.

The newly available Home APIs can interact with any Matter device or Works with Google Home device. This expansion follows the shutdown of the Works with Nest program in 2019 and marks a major shift in Google’s approach to smart home integration.

At the recent Google I/O developer conference, Google revealed that ADT and Eve are among the first partners to use the Home APIs. ADT is set to launch a Trusted Neighbor feature, leveraging Google’s smart home products to grant secure, temporary access to homes. Eve plans to use the APIs to introduce its app to Android, enabling automations such as lowering blinds at night. Google Pixel devices will also benefit from these APIs, with features like bedtime mode now capable of dimming lights, lowering shades, and locking doors.

Currently, the Home APIs are available to Google’s early access partners, with a waitlist open for other developers. Anish Kattukaran, head of product at Google Home and Nest, stated that access is being rolled out progressively, with the first apps expected to publish in the fall.

The APIs extend beyond traditional smart home applications. Matt Van Der Staay, engineering director at Google Home, suggested potential uses such as fitness apps that control fans during workouts or delivery apps that turn on lights before arrivals. These APIs enable apps to manage devices like Matter light bulbs or the Nest Learning Thermostat and leverage Google Home’s automation signals.

Additionally, Google announced a substantial expansion of its Matter infrastructure by converting Google TVs into Google Home hubs and Matter controllers. Later this year, Chromecast with Google TV and select panel TVs will be upgraded to serve as hubs. Existing devices like the Nest Hub and Google Wifi will also support local control of Matter devices. This upgrade is facilitated by Home runtime, which enables direct command routing and reduces latency.

This development represents a significant advancement for Google Home, providing developers with tools to create powerful smart home solutions and potentially transforming the industry from niche to mainstream.

Emily Parker is a tech enthusiast and freelance writer based in San Francisco, California. With a background in electrical engineering and a passion for smart home technology, Emily has spent the last decade exploring and writing about the latest innovations in home automation. Her articles have been featured in numerous tech magazines and blogs, where she shares her insights on how smart home devices can enhance everyday living. When she's not writing, Emily enjoys experimenting with new gadgets, hiking in the Bay Area, and volunteering at local STEM education programs. Her deep understanding of technology, combined with her engaging writing style, makes her a trusted voice in the smart home community.

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