Your Chromecast with Google TV will soon gain a neat new trick

Google's smart home plans will enable you to communicate with many more devices and could make apps do amazing things too

Chromecast with Google TV being used by woman
(Image credit: Google)

Google's AI announcements hogged the headlines this week, but it also made some important announcements regarding smart home tech – and one of them could be a useful upgrade for Chromecast with Google TV users. 

There were two key announcements. The first was a collection of new tools called Home APIs that will enable apps to integrate better with your Google Home and introduce new features, such as a "trusted neighbour" feature that security firm ADT is developing. And the second is called Home Runtime, which will enable devices to become Google Home hubs. And your Chromecast with Google TV is one of those devices. 

The runtime will enable Chromecasts, and some Google TVs running Android 14 or later, to control Matter smart home devices. As Google puts it, "The Home APIs leverage the network of hubs for Google Home for local and remote control of Matter devices." The runtime will be rolled out to devices later this year.

Google has big plans for your smart home

While your Chromecast will be able to operate as a hub, that doesn't mean you'll be able to control your smart home with it; it'll be a middleman between your phone apps and your smart home that saves you having to buy a dedicated home hub. 

It's part of a wider smart home plan that's potentially huge, because Google's new Home APIs aren't limited to smart home controllers. It'll enable other kinds of apps to hook into Home to do new things, and will enable them to control devices such as Matter smart lights or the Nest thermostat.

Some of the examples Google has talked about are food app integration that turns the lights on when the delivery driver approaches, workout apps that can turn up the AC or switch on a fan to cool you down as you exercise, smart locks that turn on the house lights when you unlock them or an Airbnb-style app that can automatically turn on the lights and get the temperature just-so to welcome guests. 

Not all devices will be supported from the outset, though, so for example you might not be able to get your apps to hook into smart home cameras just yet. But the potential here is enormous, and could lead to truly smart homes rather than homes with the odd slightly smart bit of kit.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).