Does anyone else use Google Home as their Home Assistant Interface?

So curious if I am the only one that does this. I personally do not have the time or patience to setup a nice looking Home Assistant interface that will past the Wife Approval test. So I basically setup all my automations, templates, etc. in Home Assistant and just expose them to Google Home.

Yes I know it completely nullifies the local control aspect of HA, but I find Google Home just easier and straight forward to use for control.

Does anyone else do this, curious about any tips and tricks you have done if you do.

I am new to HA, but inspired to speak up.

I am absolutely sick of Google Home. About a year ago I was saying, “Is it just me or has Google Home become stagnant?”

And then about 6 months ago it changed to, “Is it just me or is Google Home getting worse?” (I find there are things it understood perfectly a year ago that it now trips over.)

The other day I finally realized what is happening.

Google has pulled all of their best minds off of the Home project and reallocated them to Bard AI, playing catch-up with ChatGPT etc.

I recently started migrating to Alexa and quickly became disenchanted with its Routines. I wouldn’t say they’re better or worse than Home’s Routines, just a different set of limitations.

So I ended up taking the plunge and diving into HA. I’m so stoked that I invested the time to set it up and get rolling with it. It’s such a powerful platform.

Long story short I’m in a similar position. I realize HA is moving toward more native voice control capabilities, and I don’t doubt that this will eventually be amazing.

But for now I’m probably going to keep buying more Amazon Echo Dot devices (even though I already have a household full of Home devices).

I’m so sick of Home. I greatly prefer Alexa’s responsiveness and her verbose [EDIT: not sure why I wrote ‘verbose’ when I meant ‘succinct’] responses.

Every time I add a device or create a group in HA I instantly receive an alert from Alexa letting me know it’s also been added to that platform. I can then say, “Alexa turn (on/off) that (device/group)” and she gets it.

I used to be a huge Google fanboy but I’m terribly disappointed in Home. And even their search engine has been going downhill for years. Google can stuff it.

My suggestion: grab yourself a $50 Echo device and see if it’s not worth it.

I do because I don’t have time to spend on making fancy dashboards that will get little use. Adding multiple ‘alias’s’ helps to make sure Google knows what you are referring to.

To make things local I have an ESP hopefully getting delivered in the next few days to set up this.


That looks really exciting.

I’ve used Google Home speakers to control HA switches, lights and automations for a while now, via Nabu Casa. It has worked fine, no complaints. I have temperature sensors that respond via Google Home as well, however I have never been able to get a humidity sensor to report via Google Home. I am looking forward to HA’s local only speech offerings in the coming year, as I think Google is loosing interest in voice. As others say, Google Home interface is a good route for significant other acceptance. Good hunting!

Interesting perspective. For me and my wife, Amazon is basically shopping and movies for us. I do not use Amazon Alexa at all, I just preferred to keep things simple and using Google’s Assistant which I find better. Oh and Aamzon’s apps kind of suck from a design perspective. That said, I also do not use Google Home’s routines or automation features. They are not that robust and once I set an automation in HA (Using Node-Red) it pretty much hands free.

Software wise, I feel the Google Home app is layed out much better then Amazon’s. It still does the same thing, as soon as a device is added in HA and is exposed to Google they pop up and I get a notification saying the device has been added. The one thing I like here is that devices tend to get added to rooms correctly so I do not need to mess around with it after the fact. My wife having her own account where she can setup favorites and the like is also nice, and simply much more intuitive than Amazon. Not to mention the assistant being able to recognize who exactly is talking to it.

Hardware…that’s different. Personally I have no issues with Google’s hardware and I decided to go all in Google. I use 3 Hubs (Kitchen, and 2 Offices) which are nice as they automatically show lighting controls for the rooms they are in when you walk up to one. I also use them as an intercom if I need to quickly ask my wife something. Curious what the new Fuchsia update is going to bring though. In addition I have Nest Mini’s scattered all over the house to handle announcements for doors and other things and I have some more quality JBL Speakers with Google Assistant I use for music streaming. I also have 8 Nest Cams and a Door Bell Camera, that have been great keeping track of my kids around the house. Being able to use the Nest Cams as secondary motion detectors in HA is nice also (I use Aqara for main ones). And because I have Hubs and Minis everything just integrates without any issues.

I get it there are a lot of people who say this and that about Google and its Smart Home ecosystem. But for me I like their pace. I do not need a new speaker every 6 months (I find that silly actually) or for hardware to be updated every year. This is my house…not my phone.

1 Like

We extensively use Google Assistant in the house - there are 3 Google Mini’s spaced out to make it work about everywhere. We don’t use Nabu Casa, but went direct and I selectively expose entities to Google via YAML - just what I want to ask about and control. We do not use the Minis for music, just for voice control and announcements. The Wife is well versed on Good Morning (changes temperatures, disarms alarm, turn on selective lights) and Good Night - which does the opposite, plus a lot of sequenced light turn-offs. We use “Going on vacation” or “Going out for the evening” a lot, as well as “Open Garage Door” via Android Auto, which disarms the alarm, opens the garage door, unlocks the back door, turns on a few lights, etc. We arm and disarm the alarm with Google as well, and personalization makes that relatively safe, as well as incorporating a passcode into the spoken phrase - like, “Disarm the alarm 4-2-9-5-2” Android Auto is also key for us, as we can check on things via voice while driving.

Probably the thing we like the most is using broadcast announcements to all 3 Minis simultaneously. We announce when someone opens our front gate, or is on our front porch, when the detached garage opens and closes, and if someone is in our back yard (only) when the alarm is armed. If I am at home and the Wife is coming home, Google announces when she is near - so I can put out the rose petals and champagne. :slight_smile: :wink: When we are using a lot of electricity for a long time Google asks us what is going on and could we turn something off?

We park a camper in our alley and Google announces if anyone is near the hitch, or if the Z-Wave motion detector inside is triggered (we are quite urban). We use Blue Iris for motion detection with the AI enabled so we don’t get false positives when video is raising the alert - and we pass that to HA.

You can get Google Minis on Ebay for as little as $20. I prefer Gen-1 because it is basic USB power and we have one in our camper and one at our off-grid low-voltage-only cabin. I could never get why people talk about them for music when they are so crappy at it, but for a voice-only command/announce tool they are awesome. I just use routines for custom phrases, not for automation. The custom phrase kicks off an HA script, which usually just calls an HA automation and that is where all the logic is.

We’re very happy with it. Fun stuff.

A tip I discovered somewhere on Reddit, if you get sick of Google Home announcing the action just after you’ve asked it to do something, e.g. “Hey Google, open the garage door” to which it responds “Ok, opening garage door”, it only makes the announcement if the device is located in a different room (in Google Home) to the room in which your Nest device that is responding is located. So I’ve created a single room in Google Home called ‘house’ and every device goes in there…now it just responds to my voice commands with a ding sound that I find much less intrusive.