Earlier in April, the Google Assistant gained a new ability to natively control smart sprinkler and pipe leak detector products from Rachio, Rain Bird, LeakSmart, and Flo by Moen. However, until now, sprinklers didn't properly display inside the Google Home app and couldn't be controlled from it. That's been addressed now.
Previously, the Google Home app showed a sprinkler as a generic square icon with a settings cog on the top right. You couldn't run or stop it from the app; all actions had to be performed with a voice command to the Assistant. Now, there's a spiffy sprinkler icon that opens a page where you can control it — the same way you control lights or thermostats.
This is certainly good news for sprinkler owners as they now have an additional means of controlling their systems, and more importantly, a way of letting family members perform some actions without loading the sprinkler's app on their devices. Based on these screenshots, however, the control offered by the Google Assistant seems to be very rudimentary with just an "On" and "Off" command available. For manual and automatic scheduling, the main app will continue to be needed.
The change has showed up for users running the Google Home app v220.127.116.11 and v18.104.22.168 (APK Mirror), but it seems to be triggered server-side, so you may need to be patient before you see it. Both owners of Rachio and Orbit's BHyve systems have noticed the change, so it should affect all sprinklers that have been properly integrated with the Assistant by their manufacturers.
- Jeremy Haas,
- Anthony Haug