The easy way to create ‘Actions’ for Google Assistant
Actions for Google Assistant is an actual thing, but not a well known thing because it’s complicated and aimed at devs.
In essence, Actions let you extend the Google Assistant’s functionality by creating apps that include multiple actions, triggered by a single command.
But while it’s complicated for home users, the functionality it has the potential to unlock is attractive to everyone who uses a Google Home device. Google Assistant is now also available on any device running Android 6.0 Marshmallow and later – just install it from Google Play.
Thankfully, we’ve found a simpler and user-friendly workaround using IFTTT.
Configure multiple actions for Google Assistant using IFTTT
I’m going to walk you through this one with a real-life example using Lightwave smart lighting, but you can include any service supported by IFTTT.
Lightwave is now directly supported by Google Assistant, but prior to this I used IFTTT to configure simple applets that would turn on or off the various light switches in my home with a single command such as “Okay Google, turn on kitchen lights” or “Okay Google, turn on lounge lights.” These commands still work.
In an ideal world, rather than going through each of these steps to turn off all the lights before I go to bed, I want to be able to say to the Assistant “Okay Google, Goodnight” and have it turn off all the lights downstairs but turn on the upstairs landing and bedroom lights.
(And when my Google Home Mini arrives next week I’ll be able to set up a second command that turns off those upstairs lights once I’m nice and cosy in bed.)
The process is really simple. You need to create a new IFTTT applet for each task you want the Assistant to complete when you say “Goodnight”, and ensure each has the same trigger command.
Google Assistant will then complete those tasks in the order you created the applets when it hears your trigger.
Below we’ll outline how to set up one of these applets. You should repeat this process for each task you want the Assistant to complete.
1. Log into IFTTT and choose the My Applets tab. Click the + symbol at the top right, then tap the blue ‘+this’ link.
2. Scroll down the page or use the search bar at the top to find and select Google Assistant.
3. For your trigger select “Say a simple phrase.”
4. Type goodnight into the ‘What do you want to say?’ field, then tap the tick icon at the top right of the window.
5. Now choose the blue ‘+that’ link.
6. Again scroll down the page or use the search bar to find and select the service you want to integrate. Obviously we’re looking for LightwaveRF Lighting, but you will likely be looking for something else.
7. Now select an action. In our case this would be “Turn off light” because we want to turn off all the downstairs lights.
8. We are then asked to select which light we want to turn off and select it from the list. Tap the tick icon at top right to continue.
9. IFTTT will show a preview of your applet. We suggest disabling the slider next to ‘Receive notifications when this applet runs’, then hitting Finish.
10. Now create the next step in your action, using the same trigger word “goodnight”.
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