You have been able to integrate your Harmony Hub with Google Assistant for a long time but it has always had the caveat of having to say “Okay Google, ask Harmony to do xyz” and was limited to only your own voice. Until today the only workaround was creating a shortcut to avoid having to say “ask Harmony” but that required creating a shortcut for every action you wanted which was a pain. Back in May, it was announced that Harmony would get direct integration much like Phillips Hue and finally today it has come. I have always shied away from using my Google Home to control my entertainment through a Harmony Hub for just this reason so I am excited to see this as I have just started using my Google Home and Google Assistant again.
Starting today you can find Harmony listed under the “Works with Google” section in the new Google Home App. From here you can link your Harmony account and select the activities and favorite channels you want to bring into Google Assistant. I like the way this works, the selectability allows you to only add what you want so that you do not have a lot cluttering up the Google Home App. With this direct integration between Google Assistant and Harmony you no longer need to tell Google to “ask Harmony” to do something which is nice but the best feature, in my opinion, is that anyone in your household can control your Harmony connected devices and activities. This will certainly make the wife happy!
There are a few issues with this integration, however. First some of the voice commands that you would give to your Google Home are a little ambiguous, basically, they should be a little clearer and the exact wording should be a more forgiving but with time I am sure I will get used to that. That aside my biggest issue with the new integration is that multiple Harmony Hubs are not supported. In the setup process, you need to pick one and set it up. This is kind of a deal breaker for me as I have four Harmony Hubs but I will still keep playing around and hope that this gets updated. Also worth noting is that if you add new activities to your Harmony App, you will need to relink your Harmony account in the Google Home App. I am okay with this as it is pretty much the norm when bringing your smart home into the voice age.
Ultimately I am happy to see this new integration for Harmony and it is something else making my Google Home useful again. I think there are still some quirks to work out which I am hopeful will get resolved sooner rather than later but we shall see.
What are your thoughts on the improved Google Assistant integration with Harmony? Let me know in the comments below.
I am passionate about the IoT and connected devices. Using connectivity to automate our lives will empower civilization to achieve greatness.