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Google Opens its Home API for Bespoke Smart Home Experiences

Google is opening up API access to its Google Home platform. This means that anyone will soon have access to the litany of devices connected to Google Home and be able to create bespoke home automations through the Google Home smart network, running on their own unique app.

This open API policy for Google Home also opens access to any Matter device or Works with Google Home device by proxy, allowing professionals to build custom smart home experiences that incorporate these devices as well, which is good news considering Matter just recently expanded device capabilities on its own standard.

It even opens the network to be usable on both iOS and Android.

Google Home APIs Open a Swathe of Possibilities for Home Automations

According to a blog post published during its Google I/O developer conference this week, the company stated so far, ADT and Eve have been the first to have access to Google’s open API.

With this access, ADT has already announced it will be launching a “Trusted Neighbor” feature that uses facial recognition to grant cleared parties’ temporary access into homes based on security footage.

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Google Home’s open APIs have also prompted Eve to finally bring its smart home ecosystem to Android OS. Eve has also stated it will be using the APIs to bridge smart home scheduling with Google Pixel devices, making phone features like “Bedtime Mode” trigger alternate scenes in access control, lighting and shading throughout the home.

While early access partners already have access to these new Google Home APIs, the company states anyone is free to sign up for it.

“We are opening up access on a rolling basis so they can begin building and testing within their apps,” said Anish Kattukaran, head of product at Google Home and Nest.

“The first apps using the home APIs will be able to publish to the Play and App stores in the fall.”

Google has also been quick to point out that the API change does not limit integrations to other smart home devices. According to Matt Van Der Staay, engineering director at Google Home, the new open approach to Google Home APIs will allow integrations to be made between smart home devices and fitness or delivery apps (as an example).

One such example he provided referenced having the lights turn on outside as a food delivery driver arrives at a home. Another example was making it so, once a user opened a specific workout app, a smart fan turns on to maintain a cool environment.

Google Transitions Smart TVs to Be Center of Smart Homes

In tandem with providing open access to its Home APIs, Google has also announced it is turning its Google TVs into Google Home Hubs. Any app using the APIs would need a Google hub in a customer’s home to control Matter devices locally, meaning this would serve as an expansion of options for users.

This update, coming later this year, will see Chromecast with Google TV, select panel TVs with Google TV running Android 14 or higher, and some LG TVs will be upgraded to become Google Home hubs.

Google is also planning on updating all its existing home hubs with a new ability called Home Runtime. With this new feature, all hubs for Google Home will be able to route commands from any app built with Home APIs to a customer’s Matter device when the home and device are on the same Wi-Fi network.

The new program is also designed to be private and secure, according to Google, with users needing to grant explicit access to custom apps before they can communicate with home devices, and users can revoke access at any given time from the Google Home app. Additionally, developers need to pass Google certification before APIs can be used.

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