Google has spent the last year trying to improve its smart assistant Routines, the single-command shortcuts that trigger multiple changes across your home. Earlier this year, the company announced one-tap My Actions buttons that let you start Routines from the Google Home app. And now, Google is quietly rolling out a Delay Start feature that lets you adjust when specific actions within your Routines start.
First noticed by Reddit user u/Droppedthe_ball, Delay Start allows you to set a timer for certain actions within Routines. You could program your robot vacuum to turn on 30 minutes after you start your “morning” Routine, for example, so you don’t need to hear its annoying motor until you’ve had some coffee.
With a lot of tweaking, you could use Delay Start to program elaborate single-command Routines. But the feature looks a bit half-baked, as it lacks the option to delay commands by seconds and doesn’t work with pre-built Routines like Good Morning. Google Assistant is still the best smart assistant when it comes to voice commands, but it needs a lot more work to get on par with Alexa’s routines.
Google hasn’t announced the Delay Start feature, but it appears to be rolling out in Google Home app v220.127.116.11 for select users in the UK. Unless this is a beta feature, which it doesn’t seem to be, then it should reach all Google Home users in the coming weeks.