Latest smart home news

Harman Kardon Citation 500 smart speaker comes with Google Assistant and be at IFA 2018
Harman Kardon Citation 500 smart speaker comes with Google Assistant and be at IFA 2018 By Rik Henderson

Harman Kardon will show the Citation 500 smart speaker to the public for the first time at IFA 2018 from 31 August.The high-end speaker comes with Google Assistant built in, so works like a Google Home or other voice controlled speaker using the same... Read more

How the Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa integration works
How the Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa integration works By Maggie Tillman

It's clear that people use many digital assistants in their lives.They might own a PC with Cortana, an iPhone with Siri, an Fire tablet with Alexa, and a Google Home with Assistant. These assistants live on their own devices and respective ecosystems.... Read more

WhatsApp backups to be free and unlimited on Android, not so iPhone
5 reasons to buy the Sonos Beam
5 reasons to buy the Sonos Beam By Pocket-lint Promotion

Sonos produces tremendous multi-room speakers, wireless apart from a power cable. Easy to set up and great-sounding, they have become the speaker of choice for millions. So, when a new addition to the range is revealed, the Sonos Beam, it's worth finding... Read more

LG Styler ThinQ: Now you can even talk to your bedroom wardrobe
LG Styler ThinQ: Now you can even talk to your bedroom wardrobe By Rik Henderson

LG will show smart, connected, artificially intelligent bedroom furniture at IFA 2018 in a couple of weeks.The LG Styler system is already available in the US and several other regions, but the new models are far smarter and offer voice control.It effectively... Read more

Is Amazon having to give up its next day delivery claim in the UK?
Is Amazon having to give up its next day delivery claim in the UK? By Dan Grabham

Amazon is apparently being investigated over claims that its next-day Prime delivery service doesn't actually deliver "unlimited one-day delivery". That's because - as you'll know if you're a Prime user - not all items do arrive the next day.  Amazon... Read more

Sonos One and Beam get Alexa announcements, broadcast messages around the house
Sonos One and Beam get Alexa announcements, broadcast messages around the house By Rik Henderson

Amazon's Alexa announcements feature has been added to Sonos speakers for the first time.The Sonos One and Sonos Beam smart speakers now have the ability to broadcast messages around the home, bringing the young ones to the dinner table or making sure... Read more

Samsung Galaxy Home: Release date, price, specs and features
Samsung Galaxy Home: Release date, price, specs and features By Maggie Tillman

Samsung has announced its first entry into the smart speaker arena, with the introduction of Galaxy Home.This Bixby-powered device is meant to compete with Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomePod. It houses Samsung's own virtual assistant, doubles... Read more

Samsung Galaxy Home is that Bixby powered smart speaker we've long expected
Samsung Galaxy Home is that Bixby powered smart speaker we've long expected By Dan Grabham

Samsung has outed its long-awaited smart speaker. Called Samsung Galaxy Home, it definitely has a distinctive design and sits on three prongs. But there's one key question: is Bixby good enough to power a smart speaker?Bixby hasn't exactly been a shining... Read more

June is back with a new high-tech smart oven for your counter
June is back with a new high-tech smart oven for your counter By Maggie Tillman

Remember the June oven?No? Well, a few years ago, former Apple engineers, who both love to cook, introduced June, a smart oven with a Nvidia Tegra K1, 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 5-inch touchscreen, full HD camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, and built-in digital... Read more

Sonos says Google Assistant will come to speakers this holiday season
Sonos says Google Assistant will come to speakers this holiday season By Maggie Tillman

Sonos has finally given a more concrete timeline on when we can expect Google Assistant integration with Sonos speakers. Mind you, integration with the Sonos One speaker has been teased since last year. But it has yet to happen. However, Google Assistant could... Read more

Samsung's IFA press event confirmed - but doesn't look like it's time for Galaxy Watch
Samsung's IFA press event confirmed - but doesn't look like it's time for Galaxy Watch By Dan Grabham

Samsung has confirmed its IFA 2018 press conference - but it doesn't look like it will be time for the Galaxy Watch to launch there.  Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy S9+: What's the rumoured difference? That's because the invite to the event is on Samsung's... Read more

You can now order JBL's Link View Google Assistant smart display
You can now order JBL's Link View Google Assistant smart display By Maggie Tillman

Do you want an Echo Show, but with Google Assistant instead of Alexa?The very first "Google Smart Display", which is, essentially, a Google Home with a screen, launched last week via Lenovo. Now, JBL is accepting preorders for its own smart display. Called... Read more

Neato Botvac D7 Connected update brings multi-floor cleaning to your home
Neato Botvac D7 Connected update brings multi-floor cleaning to your home By Adrian Willings

Neato Robotics is releasing a new software update for the Neato Botvac D7 Connected robot vacuum cleaner today which improves the bot's cleaning abilities. Neato's FloorPlanner Advanced Mapping Technology already allows users of the D7 Connected to... Read more

Amazon’s next Echo Dot looks radically different in leaked pics
Amazon’s next Echo Dot looks radically different in leaked pics By Maggie Tillman

Amazon might be making a new Echo Dot speaker that looks awfully similar to the Google Home Mini. The online retailer hasn’t released a new Echo Dot speaker since late 2016, but if some leaked photos are legit, it looks like it might release a third-generation... Read more

Nespresso Barista is smartphone controlled and can even make hot chocolate
Nespresso Barista is smartphone controlled and can even make hot chocolate By Rik Henderson

Nespresso is well known for its premium capsule coffee machines but its latest device is something quite different. Smarter too.The Nespresso Barista is capable of making all manner of hot and cold drinks, including iced coffee and hot chocolate.It comes... Read more

Colgate smart toothbrush will teach you how to brush properly, exclusive to Apple
Colgate smart toothbrush will teach you how to brush properly, exclusive to Apple By Rik Henderson

Dental health firm Colgate has released a smart toothbrush that will give you feedback on your brushing technique, in order to help improve your daily routine.Like other electronic toothbrushes, it features sonic vibration technology to help clean your... Read more

Netgear is adding an audio doorbell to its Arlo home security range
Netgear is adding an audio doorbell to its Arlo home security range By Adrian Willings

Netgear has announced that it is launching a new doorbell to join the company's home security product range. The new Arlo audio doorbell represents an interesting alternative to Nest Hello and Ring Video Doorbells. This new Arlo Audio Doorbell is designed... Read more

How to adjust Alexa's EQ and sound controls by voice
How to adjust Alexa's EQ and sound controls by voice By Maggie Tillman

Amazon has finally given Alexa some equaliser features.That means you'll be able to adjust EQ settings with commands like “Alexa, increase the bass.” It’s a great option that users have been clamoring for since Amazon first launched Alexa alongside... Read more

Amazon's Tap to Alexa feature: How it works and how to turn it on
Amazon's Tap to Alexa feature: How it works and how to turn it on By Maggie Tillman

Amazon is making the Echo Show more accessible to hearing- and speech-impaired users.Amazon Echo offers voice control for users and their homes, but if you can't hear what Alexa has to say or clearly respond to it, then the device is somewhat useless.... Read more

Alexa can now show you what it's saying on your Echo's screen
Alexa can now show you what it's saying on your Echo's screen By Dan Grabham

The benefits of voice control for some people with disabilities have been well documented, but that's not helpful for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. For them, Amazon has now turned on Alexa Captioning in the UK after first unveiling it in the... Read more

Samsung might finally launch its Bixby smart speaker in August
Samsung might finally launch its Bixby smart speaker in August By Maggie Tillman

Samsung is behind the curve when it comes to smart speakers. But it might catch up soon.The company has already launched its own assistant, Bixby, though it pales in comparison to well-established rivals, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Nevertheless,... Read more

Vodafone wants to keep your entire family safe with V-Home smart devices range
Vodafone wants to keep your entire family safe with V-Home smart devices range By Rik Henderson

Vodafone has launched a trio of devices for families that are designed to introduce smart living for several generations in a household.Parents will get peace of mind with a new V-Home Hub, which will be available from August.It utilises Samsung Smart... Read more

Philips Hue Adore is the smart bathroom mirror to brighten your mornings
Philips Hue Adore is the smart bathroom mirror to brighten your mornings By Stuart Miles

Philips Hue is continuing its strategy to create more lighting solutions than just smart light bulbs. This time it is a range for the bathroom, including a mirror that lights up: the Hue Adore Mirror.The mirror is safe to use in a bathroom environment... Read more

How to broadcast your voice to all your Amazon Echo devices
How to broadcast your voice to all your Amazon Echo devices By Maggie Tillman

"Alexa, tell everyone it's time to go!" Wouldn't it be nice if Alexa could help you hurry your family along or maybe announce that dinner is ready?Now, families with Echo devices in their home can do just that, thanks to a new "Alexa Announcements" feature... Read more

The best Alexa tips and tricks: Get more from Amazon's assistant
The best Alexa tips and tricks: Get more from Amazon's assistant By Maggie Tillman

The Amazon Echo can make to-do lists, set alarms, stream podcasts, play audiobooks, read PDFs, provide weather forecasts, warn you of traffic, answer trivia, control your smart home and serve up other information in real-time. We've been living with... Read more

How to change your Amazon Echo wake word
How to change your Amazon Echo wake word By Dan Grabham

Your Amazon Echo or Alexa wake word is what your Amazon Alexa device listens out for before it bursts into action.Usually, this is "Alexa", the name of Amazon's virtual assistant and the default option. But you might not like "Alexa", while if you happen... Read more

How to set up and use Drop In on Amazon Echo devices
How to set up and use Drop In on Amazon Echo devices By Maggie Tillman

Whether you have an Echo speaker or an Echo device with a screen, you can take advantage one of Amazon's coolest Alexa features: Drop In. With Drop In, you're able to instantly connect to any of your Echo devices (or a contact's Echo device, if they've... Read more

How to connect Spotify to Alexa or Amazon Echo
How to connect Spotify to Alexa or Amazon Echo By Maggie Tillman

You can change your default music service for Alexa, so that it'll play from whatever service you prefer.That's handy if you don't subscribe to Amazon Music and maybe prefer, say, Spotify. Luckily, changing the default option to Spotify is super easy.... Read more

How to stop someone else buying stuff with your Amazon Echo and Alexa
How to stop someone else buying stuff with your Amazon Echo and Alexa By Chris Hall

You've long been able to ask Alexa to buy you things from Amazon. But how do you stop accidental ordering on your Amazon Echo with Alexa? (If you don't know what Alexa is, we'll explain all in our What is Alexa? feature.)And how do you stop reckless friends... Read more

How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa
How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa By Adrian Willings

Your Amazon Echo has just arrived and you might have glanced at the quick-start guide, but beyond the basic setup, do you know the first things you should do with your new Echo? Alexa is the virtual assistant inside Amazon Echo devices - for a briefing... Read more

What is Amazon Echo Look, how does it work, and when can you buy it?
What is Amazon Echo Look, how does it work, and when can you buy it? By Maggie Tillman

Echo Look is one of the newest additions to Amazon's line of Echo-branded devices, and it's also one of the quirkiest.Each Echo device has a different form factor and is best suited to a specific environment - whether you're at home and want to listen... Read more

Doubling up on Alexa: How to use multiple Amazon Echo and Dots
Doubling up on Alexa: How to use multiple Amazon Echo and Dots By Adrian Willings

Amazon is pushing the Echo and Echo Dot hard, in a bid to dominate the connected home market before too many players - like Google - can catch up.The Amazon Echo got off to a flying start, establishing itself as one of the hottest smart home devices,... Read more

Amazon Alexa calling and messaging: What is it, how does it work, and where can you use it?
Amazon Alexa calling and messaging: What is it, how does it work, and where can you use it? By Maggie Tillman

Did you know you can use Alexa to call and message others? Amazon's Alexa calling and messaging feature enables you to make and receive calls, as well as send messages between Echo devices, the Amazon Alexa app for iOS and Android and Fire tablets.It's... Read more

Awair 2nd Edition smart air pollution monitor tracks toxins for a healthy lifestyle
Awair 2nd Edition smart air pollution monitor tracks toxins for a healthy lifestyle By Rik Henderson

Awair has announced the second generation model of its air pollution monitor that tracks toxins in the home to help you understand any impact on your health.Designed with allergies and breathing difficulties in mind, but also suitable for families who... Read more

Google Assistant Easter Eggs: Google knows it's coming home
Google Assistant Easter Eggs: Google knows it's coming home By Maggie Tillman

Google Assistant can not only get things done but also entertain you.It is loaded with hilarious responses for all sorts of hidden commands. These are Easter Eggs - an unexpected feature in software - and they range from Assistant's deepest, darkest thoughts... Read more

How to group multiple Amazon Echo devices for music
How to group multiple Amazon Echo devices for music By Maggie Tillman

Amazon's Echo devices support multiroom audio but you will need to group them up using the Alexa app. Here we'll tell you how.You can use the feature to play music across multiple Echo devices in your home at the same time.But there are caveats: the... Read more

Best Alexa games: Play these great adventures on your Amazon Echo
Best Alexa games: Play these great adventures on your Amazon Echo By Maggie Tillman

Alexa is smart, funny, helpful, and, as it turns out, a game master.From interactive stories to trivia, Amazon's voice assistant is packed with games that can keep both children and adults entertained. We've spent years playing with Alexa in order to... Read more

Alexa-connected board game When In Rome is now exclusively available for Prime members
Alexa-connected board game When In Rome is now exclusively available for Prime members By Chris Hall

Alexa has made another move into home entertainment with the launch of When In Rome, a board game that's powered by Amazon's digital assistant.Alexa will teach you how to play the game, keep score and is the overall host, while the board game plays out... Read more

US Amazon Prime Day deals start with amazing $100 off Echo Show
US Amazon Prime Day deals start with amazing $100 off Echo Show By Rik Henderson

Not only has Amazon announced its Prime Day sales in the UK, it has already kicked off proceedings in the US too, with several deals starting early.Like the UK, the US Prime Day will occur on 16 July (and slightly beyond). However, some Amazon products... Read more

Let Siri control your windows and blinds through Velux Active with Netatmo
Let Siri control your windows and blinds through Velux Active with Netatmo By Rik Henderson

Netatmo and roof window specialist Velux have joined forces for a new smart windows system that's compatible with Apple HomeKit.Velux Active with Netatmo is a plug-and-play smart home system that can automatically control roof windows, blinds and shutters.... Read more

Wi-Fi about to get more secure with WPA3, your smart home life will be safer
Wi-Fi about to get more secure with WPA3, your smart home life will be safer By Rik Henderson

The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced WPA3 security, which makes wireless internet connection safer and harder to hack.Wi-Fi Certified WPA3 is the first major update to the security standard adopted by wireless routers and appliances for more than a decade.... Read more

How to make Google Assistant listen for your string of follow-up questions
How to make Google Assistant listen for your string of follow-up questions By Maggie Tillman

Google buried a little switch in the Google Assistant app that allows its AI to be a lot more conversational.The new feature is called Continued Conversations. When it's turned on, you can make additional requests without having to repeat wake words.... Read more

How Amazon Alexa will work on hotel Echo speakers
How Amazon Alexa will work on hotel Echo speakers By Maggie Tillman

Amazon has announced Alexa for Hospitality.This is a new version of the company’s voice assistant, Alexa. It's now being rolled out to hotels, vacation rental spaces, and other locations. It offers a unique Alexa experience that's different from the... Read more

What is Amazon Echo Connect and how does it make calls?
What is Amazon Echo Connect and how does it make calls? By Maggie Tillman

Amazon has a new Echo accessory that turns your Echo speaker into a voice-controlled speakerphone: the Echo Connect.Before it came along, you could only make calls from one Echo speaker to another Echo speaker, like an intercom system. Now, with Connect,... Read more

Ring Alarm home security system is now available to buy in US
Ring Alarm home security system is now available to buy in US By Maggie Tillman

Ring has announced when you can buy its full home security system.The system, which includes an alarm, keypad, a motion sensor ($30 each for additional ones), and a window or door sensor ( $20 each for additional ones), is called Ring Alarm. It was announced... Read more

Samsung's Bixby smart speaker might have this pivoting head display
Samsung's Bixby smart speaker might have this pivoting head display By Maggie Tillman

Samsung has been quietly developing its Bixby smart speaker for some time now, and very little is known about the device.However, new patents from the World Intellectual Property Organization and the US Patent and Trademark Office have given us a good... Read more

Alexa can now help you gen up on the World Cup
Alexa can now help you gen up on the World Cup By Dan Grabham

The World Cup starts tomorrow and the virtual assistants are getting on board! As well as being able to ask Siri or Google Assistant about facts, fixtures and teams during the tournament, Amazon has unveiled a bunch of questions you can ask Alexa if... Read more

Amazon US deals: Save on Echo, Fire TV 4K, Fire Tablets and more
Amazon US deals: Save on Echo, Fire TV 4K, Fire Tablets and more By Max Langridge

Amazon is knocking down prices of some of its devices in both the UK and US, with different deals to be had depending which side of the pond you're on. In the US, Amazon is offering money off the Echo Dot and Echo Dot Kids Edition, Echo, Echo Show, Fire... Read more

How to set up Google Home with SmartThings
How to set up Google Home with SmartThings By Maggie Tillman

Did you know Samsung's SmartThings works with Google Assistant?You can use the SmartThings app and hub to connect different smart home devices from different brands (including sensors, locks, light switches, outlets, and thermostats) together. These devices... Read more

Amazon Alexa Easter Eggs: Your complete guide to funny Alexa commands
Amazon Alexa Easter Eggs: Your complete guide to funny Alexa commands By Maggie Tillman

Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, has an answer for just about everything. And, at the same time, she's loaded with hilarious responses for all sorts of hidden commands.These are "Alexa Easter Eggs" - an unexpected feature in software - and they range... Read more