Nearly 20 new services have been made available to Google Home users this week, including lots of ways to control smart home devices and the best Bible-reading action to date. (Actions are like voice-only apps for Google Assistant, akin to skills for Alexa and Cortana.)
More than 150 actions have been made by third-party developers since the launch of Actions on the Google platform last December.
Complete with a narrator, the YouVersion action will read you a Bible verse everyday or make you a Bible reading plan. You can even tell the action things like “I’m feeling sad” or “I’m feeling angry,” and YouVersion will read you scripture that matches your mood or provides support.
The YouVersion action comes from Life.Church, creator of the most-downloaded Bible app in App Store and Google Play markets. Last December, Life.Church reported that its Bible app surpassed the 250 million download mark.
The YouVersion action can create reading plans based on pretty much whatever you want to do. You can tell it to make you a reading plan based on the Old Testament, New Testament, a specific book in the Bible, or the entire Bible, and you can set the time span. Ask YouVersion about your progress, and it will tell you how you’re doing with your plan.
YouVersion is the fourth Bible-reading action available for Google Home — following the release of Today’s Bible Verse, YouVersion Stories, and Faithlife — but YouVersion is by far the best Bible reader available today on Google Home.
In other religious services on Google Home, the Divine Song action plays songs from the Hindu scripture Bhagavad Gita. Life.Church is also maker of the YouVersion Stories action for kids and families, and the Verse of the Day Alexa skill, which launched recently and is already in the Top Enabled Skills category of the Alexa Skills Marketplace.
Many of the new actions released this week are related to integrations with more than a dozen Internet of Thing devices made available for Google Assistant users Wednesday. Some can be found by going to the Home Control section of the Google Home app, while others are Google Home actions.
Smart home actions now available in the Services section of the Google Home app can let you control Frigidaire windowsill air conditioner units and Check In smart home cameras.
And there are plenty more: The Harmony action lets you use the Logitech Harmony remote control to play or pause a television, turn to favorite channels, and turn a TV on or off. Onelink has an action that controls First Alert smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You can manage Rachio smart sprinkler systems with the Rachio action. The August action can lock an August Smart Lock or tell you if a door is locked. And the Ring action can be used to record video from the smart doorbell, turn on motion alert, or find out the last time your doorbell rang.
Actions to control a variety of smart home devices have steadily been added to the Google Assistant action ecosystem since its launch. Another key area has been public transportation. The new My Bus Stop action will tell you the schedule of San Francisco MUNI buses and trains. The Bay Transport action is yet another BART train tracker (there are three now) that can tell you when a train is going to be at a station near you.
The Agent of the Day action shares a noteworthy Google Home app every day. Seaside Data gives ocean temperature and wave height data for any seaside city in the United States. This data comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Seaside Data follows Hawaii Surf Report and Forecaster Joe actions for surfers.
Crazy House is an adventure game action that brings you inside “strange rooms with interesting objects.” Each door you open introduces you to a strange man singing “Tambourine Man” or to a room full of maniacs. Earlier this week, the Google Assistant team made a sound effect library available to developers to encourage them to make more Google Home games, so expect to see more actions like The Magic Door or Aeden from Westworld.
Third-party Google Assistant actions made with the Actions on Google platform, API.ai, or other tools are currently only available for Google Home.