Something called “request sync” will make Google Home easier to use


“Request sync” makes it easier to manage your smart home. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

An upcoming developer feature called “request sync” sounds like it will make your Google Home smart speaker easier to use if your house is filled with connected devices.

Here’s how the feature will simplify your life. Let’s say you own a bunch of Philips Hue smart light bulbs. When you sync your Philips account with Google’s digital assistant (called Google Assistant), all of your bulbs sync too, and you can control them with your voice through your Google Home smart speaker. Google Assistant is what powers your Google Home.

However, if you add a Philips Hue bulb after you’ve synced your account with Google, you can’t control it through Google. It will show up in your Philips Hue app, but not your Google Home app. To add the single bulb to your Google Home, you need to unsync your Philips account from your Google account, then sync them back up. It’s a pain you might not experience often, but it might be enough to discourage you from expanding your smart home.

Request sync fixes the issue. Developers will be able to do the same process in the background after you add something like a new bulb, so it will just show up and work with your Google Home. You’ll still need to connect the bulb through the app if it’s your first smart home product with that platform, but once you sync a service like Philips Hue, it can resync for you whenever you add a new device. 

Google discussed the feature at the company’s I/O developer conference this week. It rolls out later this year.

The feature is obviously a major boon to developers who want you to keep buying their devices — and you’ll get to reap the benefits of expanding your smart home with fewer headaches. 

Google I/O: All our coverage of this year’s developer conference.

Google Assistant could become the most lifelike AI yet: Experimental tech called Duplex makes you think you’re talking to a real person.

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