Earlier today we reported on the Pixel getting official access to the Home Automation menu, and thus control, previously restricted to owners of the Google Home. Unfortunately, this is one of those updates that requires you to jump through a few hoops, firstly you need Google app v. 6.11 and Play Services v. 10.2.98, lastly, Google has to “flip a switch” on their end.
We’re not known for our patience, and in the Android world where you can side load app updates, we rarely need to be! However, a server-side update is something you can’t normally get past, today it seems you can. Thanks to an enthusiastic reader, we think we’ve found a way you can access the home control menu before the switch is flipped.
The solution? Google Assistant itself. If you ask Assistant on your Pixel device to try and use an automation command eg “turn on my lights” you’ll get a response “it looks like those lights haven’t been set up yet”, followed by a shortcut to the Home Automation menu.
We’ve tested this on a couple of device with the correct app versions and it worked on all of them. The devices all also had the Google Home app installed which may or may not be a part of the recipe? If you’ve got a Pixel and want to configure your home automation gear, why not give this a try?
Let us know how you go.