Google Home’s “Favorites” widget rolls out for Android

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Google has begun the wide rollout of its Google Home 3.18 update, bringing a highly anticipated feature to Android users: the “Favorites” widget. First announced last week, this update is now available via the Play Store, although you may need to restart your device before it shows up. If you’re enrolled in the Preview Program, you’ll get a first look at this new tool for managing your smart home.The Favorites widget offers two customization options: syncing with your favorites from the Home app or choosing specific controls unique to the widget. Syncing with the app mirrors the grid layout of the Favorites tab, while the custom option allows for arranging devices in your preferred order. You can further tweak the widget using the edit icon, and even switch between different homes. For now, you can select Actions (Assistant, Broadcast, Call Home) and Devices, with support for automations promised in the near future.

Google Home Favorites widget installation | Credit: PhoneArena

For devices like lights, plugs, and blinds, a simple tap on the widget will toggle them on or off. Google notes that some devices may take a moment to respond, but the widget will keep you updated on the progress. Devices like cameras, Wi-Fi, thermostats, and commands will open the corresponding control page in the app when tapped.

Security remains a priority, with sensitive actions like opening smart locks or garage doors requiring extra authentication. This added layer of protection ensures that your home stays secure.

The widget refreshes its status every 30 minutes and offers flexibility in sizing. You can have it fill your entire homescreen, shrink it down to a single tile, or choose a different configuration. You can even have multiple widgets on your homescreen. Tapping on any empty space within the widget will launch the full Google Home app.

Google Home Favorites widget resizing | Credit: PhoneArena

This new feature joins the growing list of updates Google has been rolling out to its smart home ecosystem this year. With the Favorites widget, the company is clearly aiming to streamline the control of smart devices for Android users, prioritizing both convenience and security. However, only time will tell how well this new feature is received by the broader user base.


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