Google has finally launched its script editor tool, offering more powerful automations for your Google Home-powered smart home. Available starting Tuesday, June 13th, to those in the Google Home public preview, the script editor is part of Google’s new home.google.com web interface, which also has live feeds for any Nest cams on your account. The script editor will be coming to the new Google Home app preview starting June 14th. There’s no date for general availability.
Automations in the smart home let you string multiple devices together to automate tasks such as turning lights on, playing music, locking doors, and so on. The Google Home script editor includes more advanced options for automations than are currently available in the Google Home app.
Along with allowing for multiple starters and actions, the script editor adds more advanced conditions. For example, you can set an automation to run only if the TV is on and it’s after 6PM but before midnight. The script editor automations are created in the new Google Home web interface, you can apply for the public preview here.
The script editor is a powerful tool that can really level up your smart home automations. Similar to platforms that also allow for advanced conditions — like Home Assistant and features offered in Samsung SmartThings and Apple Home through Apple Shortcuts — the Google Home script editor requires some basic coding knowledge.
The script editor allows you to do everything you can in the Home app when setting up automations, plus “more than 100 new features and capabilities to fit your unique understanding of your home and what you want it to do,” according to a blog post by Anish Kattukaran, director of product management at Google Home.
This includes access to nearly 100 starters and actions, including Matter sensors — something not currently possible in the Home app. For example, an Eve Motion sensor connected via Matter to Google Home can’t currently be used as a starter for automations in the Home app but can be used as one in the script editor.
Script editor automations have to be created in the web interface, but once set up, will show in the Google Home app (iOS and Android), where any household member can edit, run, deactivate, or delete them.
Google has several example automations in the script editor documentation (the link is only accessible if you’re in the preview) to demonstrate the new capabilities. These include:
- Flash the lights red and blue when a smoke alarm is activated.
- Close the shades based on the brightness in a room.
- Dim the lights and close the blinds when the living room TV is on after sunset.
- If it’s warm inside, close the shades, turn on the fans, and adjust the thermostat.
- When the doorbell is pressed, blink the lights in the room where occupancy is detected.
I’ve had some time to play with the script editor, and it’s an exciting development for the platform, which has been limited compared to the competition, both in terms of the devices it supports and the types of automations you can use.
However, this is definitely a prosumer offering. While the autocomplete makes it easier to code for your home — by suggesting your devices in the “device” field and only suggesting actions and states that are available to those devices — this is not for the casual smart home user.
That’s a shame because these aren’t super complicated, and I’d like to see a simpler interface in the Home app to create these types of automations. In the meantime, advanced Google Home users will be very happy with this development, which is the latest in a significant upgrade to the whole platform since the launch of Matter last year.