While Google Home is great at answering questions, setting timers and even playing music, its interaction with smart home gadgets is where the smart speaker really starts to shine.
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 for the Home, here are some of the best smart home gadgets that work with Google Home right now.
Illustration: Tom's Guide; Google; Wink
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. 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.) August announced a new version, the Smart Lock Pro, and will be phasing out this model.
MORE: Best Smart Locks
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.
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.
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.
Not only does Sony's Bravia XBR-A1E deliver some of the truest colors and best sound we've ever seen and heard on a TV, but this OLED set also uses a version of Android TV for its smart interface. That means you can control it using Google Assistant, and nothing but your voice.
MORE: Best TVs for Any Budget
Smart-home technology is still in its infancy, so if you have a household device that hasn't been smartified, Insignia's Wi-Fi Smart Plug is one option to bring it into the 21st century. Connect a fan, AC unit or coffeemaker to the plug, and you'll be able to ask Google Home to turn it on or off.
MORE: Best Smart Plugs
If you're outfitting your home with smart technology, the Wink Hub 2 will connect a variety of intelligent accessories with Google Home. You can get Wink-compatible lighting products — including bulbs, switches, dimmers and outlets — as well as thermostats. Once you've set it up, you can ask Google Home to turn the lights off or on as well as turn the heat up or down. Among the Wink-compatible products are lighting offerings like the GE Link Starter Kit, as well as options from Philips and Sylvania; Lutron and Leviton switches and outlets; and Nest and Honeywell thermostats.
MORE: Best Smart Home Hubs