This story was originally published and last updated .
Smart plugs are a great way to make simple electronics more intelligent — be it an old lamp with a non-removable light bulb, an older TV, or a coffee maker. However, outlets can't tell what's plugged into them, so any smart plug just got a generic logo in the Home app. That changed when Google started automatically adjusting the symbol depending on what you call the device — e.g., "desk light" will give you a light bulb icon. Now there's a more straightforward way to change the device type right through an extra option in the Home app on Android and iOS.
To see if the change has rolled out to you, head to the Home app, select a smart outlet, and go to settings. You should be greeted by a new Type entry. Tap it, and you're presented with a selection of popular device types, which you can find in the right screenshot below. Once you've selected a type, you're asked to rename the device. When you're all set, you'll find the new icon in the Home app. Depending on your naming schemes, this will help the Google Assistant better understand your voice commands — when you tell it to "turn off the lights," it'll automatically include any smart outlets labeled as smart lights. The Home app can also group outlets more intelligently when they have the correct type attached.
9to5Google originally found this functionality in the iOS Home app, where it has been live for a week before arriving on Android.
Left: Previous options. Middle & Right: New device type option.
The changes are available in version 18.104.22.168 for me, but as with any Google app, your mileage may vary — it might be a server-side update. It still makes sense to use the most recent version, as it's more likely that you'll get the functionality in it. You can check for updates on the Play Store or get the latest release from APK Mirror.
The option to change outlet device types was previously only available on iOS. We updated the coverage to say that the change is now live on Android, too.