- Home Assistant is an open source home automation platform that helps users consolidate and manage multiple smart home devices, including Android devices.
- The recent integration of Android device controls into Home Assistant provides seamless access to frequently used controls for Android users.
- The use of artificial intelligence in script editing features, such as the upcoming "Help me script" by Google Home, aims to simplify task automation for iOS and Android devices, making smart home automation more accessible to all users.
Many of us have smart home devices that make life simpler through automation. That being said, these devices can add up over time, and it can become a hassle to manage them all. Even products by the same manufacturer can be challenging to synchronize, schedule, and automate, depending on the tasks. Home Assistant, an open source home automation platform, is making it easier for some homeowners by consolidating multiple devices. Now, it’s supporting Android's built-in smart home device controls, too.
In September 2023, Home Assistant support for integrated Android device controls rolled out with little fanfare (via GitHub). Nonetheless, this update is crucial to using the smart home management tool, giving Android users seamless access to these frequently used controls. If you have Android 11 or newer, the location of these features depends on your device — the controls may be in your quick settings panel, power menu, or notification drawer.
Home Assistant inevitably gains some points for this integration with Android, but it’s too early to determine if these improvements will give it a competitive edge. While many people own smart home devices, not everyone has caught on to the benefits of deploying an open source automation platform. Those who are familiar with them often think they’re too technical or complicated to use.
Matter, for example, was lauded when it finally launched. However, those who immediately welcomed it into their own homes quickly recognized its lengthy setup process. While the platform could control everything from smart bulbs to Alexa speakers, it wasn’t without frustration and complication for beginners right out of the gate.
Luckily, tech manufacturers aren’t entirely oblivious to device users’ hesitation when it comes to automation. On that note, Google announced in October 2023 that it intends to make changes to Google Home to help on this front. Specifically, artificial intelligence will be integrated into the script editing feature in an attempt to simplify task automation on iOS and Android devices. Called “Help me script,” this feature could become available by the end of 2023.
Coding and automation can be complete turn-offs for some, even as a means of organizing a house full of smart home devices. With tools like AI, however, these workarounds may not always be entirely out of the question for even the least tech-savvy users. In the end, it may be what smart home product manufacturers need to overcome consumer device fatigue.