Plex is simply awesome. I have been using the media server in some form or another for years and the Lifetime Pass sales are always extremely tempting. So when the service gets a new feature or addition, I pay attention. In this case, Amazon's personal assistant and Plex are coming together via a new Alexa skill. Read More
A lot of the things we do depend on the weather and outdoor conditions. We crank up the thermostat when it's too cold, wear coats and carry an umbrella when it's raining, turn on the AC when the summer heat is too much, plug in the lights when the sun sets, and more.
Now you can automate many of these things with Weather Underground's new IFTTT channel. There are plenty of existing applets already, including ones from WU that contain many thats as consequences to one this, like the one that transitions the house into night mode by adjusting Hue lights, WeMo switches, and Nest thermostats or the weather preparedness one that notifies you, emails you, and creates a calendar event for rainy times. Read More
Microsoft wants to get in on some of that sweet action that services like If This, Then That and its competitors have been working on for years. To that end they've created Flow, a new web tool that automates actions across some of the major web services available at the moment, most of which (shocker!) aren't even owned by Microsoft. Flow allows users to set up automated "recipes" to complete tasks in Twitter, Dropbox, Google Drive, Slack, OneDrive, Github, Facebook, YouTube, and more. Read More
Whenever we meet new and interesting people, we always try to save their contact details so we can get in touch with them later and build bridges for a better relationship. However, it's also often the case that our address book becomes cluttered with random names with no context that we fail to remember or place or correctly. Seriously, who the heck is "Jim"?
I use Groups to keep things clear in my 900+ contact list, and parenthesis with a small description whenever necessary as well. But IFTTT is trying a different and more seamless approach to contact management. There's a new Google Contacts channel on the automation service's site. By enabling it, you open up the door to several recipes like marking a new contact addition on the calendar (this is when you met them), adding them to a spreadsheet (as a big contact database), saving them to Evernote (for contacts belonging to a certain group), syncing between iOS contacts and Google Contacts, and more. Read More
Alarm.com sounds like a website whose sole purpose is starting your day with a broken laptop. Turns out it's a home automation service. The site can manage your security alarm systems, locks, lights, thermostats, and garage doors. Using "scenes," it can manage multiples at once with a single button press.
With the latest update, this functionality has come to the Android app. Read More
Tinkering takes many forms on Android, and you don't need to root your device or flash a custom ROM to get your hands dirty. Installing one of developer joaomgcd's Tasker plugins will provide plenty of ways to customize your software experience in very particular ways. Want a notification with a gazillion buttons that save you from having to open up different apps? You now have that option with the latest version of AutoNotification. Read More
This isn't the first time we've reported about Google's deplorable policies for removing apps from the Play Store. One day you're the developer of an extremely popular app, distributing it to thousands of users, the next it's poof gone with no warning, no explanation, and no way to easily communicate with the team to understand what has gone wrong.
The latest victim is the famous and ridiculously powerful Tasker app. Tasker has been available on Android since time immemorial and has made many a user extremely happy with its extensive featureset. Want to turn on the popcorn machine when you yell "movie time!" at your phone? Read More
Amazon Cloud Drive is a way to get around storing your stuff on your own hardware. Instead, you can keep it on someone else's. It this case, Amazon's.
IFTTT is a service that automates the way the sites you visit interact with each other. Those letters stand for "If This Then That." Read More
SmartThings is a company (owned by Samsung) that connects and manages your smart things. Smart lights. Smart sensors. Smart alarms. Whatever. Connecting them to the SmartThings Hub allows you to control them from your smart phone, even if you're not at home.
After teasing a new model earlier this year, SmartThings announced today that you can now place a pre-order to claim your own. Your options are the SmartThings site, Amazon, and Samsung.com. It will cost you $100 wherever you go. Read More
IFTTT's web service can automate your life. You create recipes that do what you want done using simple if this then that commands. But to get cooking, you need to have on the right channel.
Today IFTTT has announced a new Spotify channel that lets you integrate your music library. Examples of what you can do include automatically posting to your social network accounts whenever you add a song to a playlist and emailing yourself a summary of all the tracks you save over the course of a week.
If your home is particularly smart, you can set your Philips HUE lights to match the album art of your most recently saved track. Read More