The ability to automate multiple actions using the Google Assistant is definitely one of the most functional aspects of the system, even if the UI to program it is a little clunky. However, a basic routine does not give you an auditory confirmation that your request has been executed.
There’s something reassuring about knowing that your request has been received and your automation has started. When you use the Assistant to initiate a traditional request, you get either a verbal response that the task is under way (or not) or a chime letting you know that it has happened. Well, did you know you can actually set a response using the routines menu?
When configuring a routine, I’ll use automating turning off a fish tank as an example, you can insert the following command into the automation flow. Say “Turning off tank”. Using the “say” command you can make Assistant say almost anything — don’t try profanity, it doesn’t work.
To set it up however you can not just write a command as Say “…” you need to click the + button in your routine flow and select “Browse popular actions“, down the bottom you’ll find “Custom responses” and you can configure your “Say” response from there.
Once programmed you will get a verbal response each time you invoke that command, or that command runs on an Assistant Smart Speaker or display as programmed. Verbal responses can get tiresome overtime, so if you’d prefer a chime you can always upload a chime sound to Google Play Music or YouTube Music and have the Assistant play that as your confirmation using the “And then Play” section of the Routine.
You can also use this feature to make a routine that will only respond with a pre determined response without having to have any automations in the flow. I have to admit to having used this feature for comedic/ other uses. I have previously had the Assistant to show disappointment at poor behaviours displayed by my daughter for instance. Maybe not the best parenting in the world, but it was effective!