Google Pixel phones just got this cool smart home upgrade

The new Google Home Panel is being added to Pixel phones

Google Home Panel updates
(Image credit: Google)

Google Pixel phone users are getting a great smart home upgrade which will make controlling and customising your Google Home easier than ever before.

At the IO 2023 event in May 2023, Google announced many exciting products and the Google Home app received major updates, including a complete redesign, improved automation and Matter compatibility. The app introduced a new Home Panel that lets users control their smart home products via the lock screen or Quick Settings panel.

The Google Home Panel was originally released on the Google Pixel Tablet, but this new update will bring this feature to Google Pixel phones, including the Google Pixel 7 Pro. This feature was expected to roll out to Pixel phones (which feature heavily in our best Android phones guide) in June, but it didn’t seem to materialise. But with the release of Google Home 3.3, this new Home Panel update is finally being rolled out.

For those new to the Google Home Panel, it’s a lock screen tool that allows users to quickly access smart home controls without needing to unlock your Pixel device. With Google Home Panel, you can adjust the volume of your smart speaker, control the brightness and colour of your smart bulbs and set timers and automations on your displays and other devices.

This new update for Pixel phones might not sound like a big deal, but it makes taking care of your smart home much easier. Instead of unlocking your phone, logging into the app, scrolling through to find your device and then customising it takes far too many steps than necessary. It looks like Google noticed this and decided to bring the Google Home Panel to its devices to make managing your smart home easier, quicker and a more seamless and positive experience.

With the Google Home Panel, all you have to do is tap the Home icon on your phone or tablet’s lock screen and… that’s it! From there, you’ve got access to all your smart home gadgets and you can turn things on or off, set up schedules, and add, remove and re-order devices in the Favourites tab.

The one caveat to this is that you won’t be able to control your security cameras or smart locks with the Google Home Panel. While this might be a little annoying initially, this is actually designed to protect your privacy and security, so if someone steals your phone, they can’t access these sensitive controls.

To start using the Google Home Panel update on your Pixel phone, just lock your phone! When you unlock your phone, if you can see the Home icon in the bottom left corner of your lock screen, you already have the update. From there, tap the icon and you can start using the Google Home Panel.

This new update should be automatically added to your phone, but remember to make sure it’s using the latest version of Android 14.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!