The Google Assistant's bag of smart home tricks is growing at breakneck speed. At the beginning of this year, the Assistant supported 1,500 devices; by May, that figure had ballooned to more than 5,000. Now, with little fanfare, the Google Home support page has been updated to show that more than 10,000 devices from more than 1,000 manufacturers play nice with Google's ecosystem.
One of the more minor additions to the previous Android P DP3 release was a series of Bluetooth changes, including an aptly descriptive "Previously connected devices" section and a reorganization for the Bluetooth toggle into its own Bluetooth section. Now DP4 has further reorganized both that Bluetooth subsection and the NFC toggle into the "Connection preferences" subsection.
August's Smart Lock Pro is a popular option for those looking to add a connected front door lock to their smart home setup, and now it's getting even better thanks to a new partnership. Integrating with the Alarm.com platform opens August's lock up to a wide ecosystem of smart home security solutions including DSC, Interlogix, and Nortek.
Since Android P's inception, we've written over 100 feature spotlight posts about various new changes Google has added in. Even in its third developer preview, lots of changes are still being added, but some are so minor they don't really warrant their own posts. However, if you like nitpicking every little thing like many of us, this might be the post for you.
CES 2018 was a busy show, as usual, and so it's understandable that we let a few announcements slip through the cracks. The items in this wrap-up did not fall into the Android TV, Assistant, or Alexa "categories," so they all got lumped into their own miscellaneous one. Some of these are actually pretty neat, even if they are only mildly interesting.
If you've had your eye on a Nest thermostat, but couldn't pull the trigger because of the price, then this Bloomberg report might be of interest to you. Supposedly, a cheaper, sub-$200 thermostat is in the works and it could launch next year. Bloomberg's source also indicates some other new products, like a home alarm system, a digital doorbell, and an update to the Nest Cam, are in development, too.
Under the hood improvements don't always get much love, but there is a segment of Android users that will be thrilled to hear about what Google has done for those working with audio. The headlining change is an API for MIDI, which is the primary interface for communicating music-oriented information between devices. The net result of this will be making it far easier for developers to create apps that interact with hardware for making music or other sorts of sounds. Other changes add to the overall quality of audio that can be worked with on Android and give more options for creating complex tracks.
The 'Internet of Things' is a bit of a nebulous concept, but it boils down to adding smart, connected features to the objects and tools you use in everyday life. Things like wearables can loosely be put into this category, but it's usually applied to less conventional products like connected thermostats, home monitors, "smart" appliances, remote car tech, et cetera. It's a growing if somewhat unfocused segment, and according to a report on The Information, Google wants to get in on the ground floor.
An oven with an Android-powered manager and companion app. Photo source: Engadget
The project, codenamed "Brillo," would create software specifically to power and connect this new class of device.
All of these "smart" devices in our lives sure are creating a mess for us. We have to remember to charge them and take the time to set them up properly, every gadget has its own app on our phone, and none of them seem to be able to communicate effortlessly with each other unless they come from the same manufacturer, and even then... That's where Yonomi comes into the picture.
With one app, Yonomi aims to solve the mess that is our connected life. It integrates with some of the big players out there, like Nest, Jawbone, Sonos, Philips Hue, and Belkin WeMo, as well as your Android phone or tablet.