Google makes it easier to create custom Assistant commands for devices

Not really the showiest of SXSW announcements, but Google’s got a nice little update for developers looking to differentiate Assistant integration on a product level. Custom Device Actions are way to add specific functions to products.

In a blog post, the company gives the specific example of activating a specific color cycle on an Assistant-enabled washing machine machine. The new feature joins Built-in Device Actions, another recent addition to Assistant’s development kit, which lets developers specify particular traits on a given device.

It’s a small, but nice addition as makers of smart home products look to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded market for smart home devices. To showcase to the new feature, Google apparently made a laundry sorting robot and beer ordering system, both of which will be on-hand at the company’s Assistant Fun House in Austin.

Unlike its recent showings at CES and MWC, the company thankfully has a roof over its head this time out. Given its recent string of luck at those shows, we can probably expect some sort of Texas sleet. The company’s also rolling out the ability to add subscription notifications for Actions to alert users when new ones pop up, along with media playback on connected Android phones.

More is likely just over the horizon for I/O in early May.