App discovery and deep linking

The Google Home app (GHA) is the primary way users connect smart devices to Google Assistant and assign them to structures and rooms in Google Home Graph. To perform setup, users typically click through multiple screens to find your smart home Action from a list of available options. By making it easier for users to begin the setup process, you can help onboard them more quickly and reduce user setup frustration.

To streamline user onboarding on smart home devices, the Google smart home platform offers several convenience features that make it easier for users to quickly enter the setup flow and start using their smart home device. These features can be easily integrated into your smart home Actions with little or no coding effort.

The following list summarizes platform features that you can implement to reduce user friction when they set up your smart devices for Assistant:

  • App Discovery: This feature enables users to see suggestion chips for linking to your Action in the GHA; by clicking on the chip, they can connect their smart home devices to Assistant using their third party provider accounts.
  • Deep Linking: This feature allows you to embed a deep link in your app or product website for users to easily connect their smart home device to Assistant. Clicking on the link prompts users to download the GHA (if not already installed), and launches the account linking and room assignment setup flow.

Implement App Discovery

You can enable the App Discovery feature from the Actions on Google Console after completing the Brand Verification process. No code changes are needed, however your smart home Action must already be reviewed and in production.

Log in to the Actions Console:

Go to the Actions on Google console

  1. Open your smart home Action project.
  2. Click Deploy > Brand Verification.
  3. Follow these steps to connect your company website to your Actions project.
    1. In the Websites panel, click Connect site.
    2. Enter the URL for the website you want to connect and click Connect. Google sends an email to the website owner to confirm the website association.
  4. In the Android apps panel, click the Connect app button and follow the instructions shown.

  5. In the same panel, toggle the Enable app discovery option on for your connected app. This option is grayed out until your Action has been reviewed and approved.

Deep link to Google Home

Deep links enable you to take users directly to a specific destination within the GHA from your Android or iOS app, simplifying the device setup process with Assistant.

The syntax for the GHA deep links is as follows:

Your Android or iOS app can currently link to the following destinations within the GHA:

Destination Description
setup/ha_linking?agent_id=agent-id Initiate the OAuth account linking flow for the given smart home Action's agent-id.

The destination path must be properly URL-encoded before you apply it to the deep link. For example:

For more details on triggering deep links from within your app, see the relevant Android documentation and iOS documentation.