Samsung and Google are not BFFs, but both the companies are trying to make the most of their ties, and it looks like users are finally reaping some benefits. To recall, Google and Samsung agreed on deeper integration of Google Nest and Samsung SmartThings for seamless universal functionality. And in the first significant step, Samsung integrates power controls from Android 11 on its devices running OneUI 3.1.
On Pixel phones, the power menu houses a slew of shortcuts to smart home devices. It is a user-friendly feature that brings all the controls in one place. Google has kept it optional for OEMs to adapt it in their interface based on Android 11.
However, in contrast to Pixel phones that offer access to home control via a press of the power button, Samsung has rolled out the access to a different location. On its latest Galaxy S21, Samsung has given these controls in its quick settings menu under the ‘devices’ button. It is the same place from where users access SmartThings control on Samsung phone. Samsung has now included a toggle switch that lets users switch between their preferred smart home control services.
After selecting Google’s home control, Samsung users will see the same home control menu available for the Pixel users. A report by 9to5Google states that Samsung has played a small trick here. The company has not given a one-tap enable/disable control, which means users have to tap twice to pull up the smart control menu for a specific device. An extra step that was not really needed.
The smart home control functionality is limited to Samsung phones running One UI 3.1, which is currently available for only Galaxy S21 series users or Samsung Tab S7 users.
However, the feature would soon be widely available as Samsung pushes its latest OneUI 3.1 update to its existing devices.