While Google Assistant, which is found in smart speakers such as the Google Home, Google Home Mini and Google Home Max, as well as third-party speakers like the Onkyo Smart Speaker G3, is great at answering questions, setting timers and even playing music, it's also really useful for controlling your smart home devices, such as locks, lights, and more.
But in order to get the most out of that home-automation capability, you need some smart home technology to control. While Google is still building out its smart home compatibility, here are some of the best smart home gadgets that work with Google Assistant right now.
Illustration: Tom's Guide; Google; Wink
The ISP100 is designed to withstand rain, sleet, snow, and hail, and can let you control your outdoor lights from the comfort of your couch. Either use iHome's smartphone app, or ask Google Assistant to turn your lights on or off. The ISP100 also works with Alexa, Nest, Samsung SmartThings, HomeKit and Wink.
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Take Google Assistant to go with this powerful portable speaker. It has the Assistant built in, so once you connect it to Wi-Fi, you can ask it anything you would the Google Home or Google Home Mini. In our review of the JBL Link 20, we loved its strong, balanced audio, long battery life, and that it's water-resistant, so you can leave it out in the rain.
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Ever lie awake at night trying to remember if you locked the front door? Google Home can bring you peace of mind, with its support for the August Smart Lock Pro. Just ask Google if your door is locked, and it'll tell you — if the door's unlocked, you can then lock it by voice. (Unlocking the door via voice command is not currently supported.)
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Google Home can help you cook up a storm with its support for Anova's Precision Cooker. More often than not, when you're in the kitchen your hands are full or otherwise occupied, so voice control can be a real help. With Google Home integration and the Anova Cooker, you'll be able to start a sous-vide cooking session, raise and lower the temperature, see how much time is left on the timer, ask how long you've been cooking, and more. You can get either a Bluetooth or a Wi-Fi-enabled model.
Right out of the box, you can set up your Philips Hue lights to work with your Google Home. There are a number of Philips Hue products, but the starter set that includes a hub and three White and Color Ambiance lights is the most versatile, since it supports different colors and color temperatures. For a simpler option, pick up the $70 Hue White Starter Kit, which doesn't do different colors, but still lets you set dimming levels.
With Smarter Coffee 2, Google Assistant brews your coffee. You can load this device with grounds or beans, and adjust the grind to suit your preferences. Using Google, the Smarter Coffee app for Android and iOS, or buttons on the machine itself, you can specify your brew, the amount you want, and how long you need it warm. It churns out a reliably good cup of coffee. Plus, with a glossy, stainless-steel exterior, it looks good in a modern kitchen.
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Credit: Tom's Guide
One of the coolest features of Google Home is the ability to instruct it to play video on a connected device. For the easiest way to integrate it with your existing gear, pick up Google's Chromecast. The little puck-size device connects to your HDTV via an HDMI cable and to your home network via Wi-Fi. Once you've hooked it up, you can, say, tell Google Home to play "Travelers" via Netflix on your Chromecast, and it'll start it right up for you. There are also audio-only and 4K versions of the Chromecast, depending on your needs.