Smart plugs are a great way to make simple electronics more intelligent — be it an old lamp with a non-removable light bulb, an older TV, or a coffee maker. However, the intelligent outlets have no way of telling what’s plugged into them, so until recently, any smart plug just got a generic logo in the Home app. That changed when Google started automatically adjusting the symbol depending on what you call the device — e.g., “desk light” will give you a light bulb icon — but there was no way of manually changing it until now. It looks like Google wants to change this, as the iOS Home app has received an option to change the device type manually.
9to5Google found that when you head to a smart plug’s settings page in the latest release of the iOS Home app, you’re greeted by a new Type entry. Tap it, and you’re presented with a selection of popular device types, which you can find in the middle screenshot below. Once you’ve selected a type, you’re asked to rename the device. Once you’re all set, you’ll find the new icon in the Home app. Depending on your naming schemes, this will help the Google Assistant better understand your voice commands — when you tell it to “turn off the lights,” it’ll automatically include any smart outlets labeled as smart lights. The Home app can also group outlets more intelligently when they have the correct type attached.
Left & Middle: Device type option on iOS. Right: None on Android yet.
While we haven’t found a similar option on Android yet, it’s probably only a matter of time until we get the option, too. If you have an iOS device in your home, you can already take advantage of the updated behavior, though — changes you make on iOS are respected on Android.