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Google Home routines disappear for some users as home control settings get a new UI

As the Google Home ramps up preview testing for its big redesign, Google is making more tweaks to the UI, but also apparently breaking existing Assistant routines for some users.

Over the past several days, the Google Home app has rolled out a new interface for adding smart home devices to routines. Where the app previously allowed users to adjust on or off settings through a single page with drop-down settings for each light or switch in their home, the new page allows for routines to control other aspects of each device.

A deeper menu now allows for changes to color, brightness, and more depending on the device being controlled, where the older interface could only control on/off settings.

It’s certainly an improvement towards Google’s goal of more powerful automations, but it comes at a cost. It now takes significantly longer to add smart home devices to a routine. Having the Assistant turn off all of your lights, for example, now needs to be done by adding an individual step in the routine for every single device. An alternative if you want to turn off all lights would be to add a custom Assistant command saying “turn off all the lights.”

This new UI is live in both the Google Home Public Preview redesign as well as the standard Home app design.

Beyond that, though, the Google Home app also appears to have broken existing routines for a good number of users. Last night I personally noticed that my “Bedtime” routine had been reset to its default settings, wiping out the several steps I’d had in place previously. I was able to easily recreate my past setup, but there was no indication that it had been broken prior to me attempting to use the routine last night.

And it seems I’m not alone

Quite a few users across Google’s support forums and Twitter have found that all of their “personal” routines have disappeared in the past few days. “Household” routines appear to remain in place, as they did in my case as well, but this ends up removing a lot of customized routines from a user’s account. We’re not sure just how widespread this is, but some users are also reporting problems with the routine editor not loading properly. I’m also seeing the error on my account at the time of publication when trying to edit a personal routine, but it wasn’t happening last night.

It’s unclear if these issues will be fixed in the near future or if they are simply temporary hiccups as Google transitions to the new Home app. In any case, we’ll be interested to see if you’re seeing any problems – drop a comment below!

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