Google's entry into the connected home market looks unassuming, but has thus far proved to be amusing. Even though it might be lacking in features and integrations right now, that could easily change down the road. In the spirit of Home's release, iFixit has given us their sacred teardown tradition to determine repairability for the smart speaker. Complete with photos and x-ray shots of the whole process, the process showed a few surprises. Read More
Speaking to Android Police, two sources claim that Google will announce its Google Home and the 4K 'Chromecast Ultra' devices will be priced at $129 and $69, respectively, at its October 4th event.
Google Home was announced at Google I/O in May. Our sources also confirmed that the personalized base covers Google showed at I/O will be a feature of the final device. The $129 price point for Google Home matches that of the previously-unrumored Google Wifi, a router that will allegedly be able to create a single, large wireless network using multiple access points. $129 also undercuts Amazon's Echo by a full $40, and though it matches the price of the portable Amazon Tap, it's clear Google has Amazon's flagship smart home product in its sights with Home. Read More
Google Now is genius... most of the time. When you first enable it, it takes a couple of days to get started then it figures out where you live, work, go to the gym, and your other favorite places. Then it starts letting you know how long it'll take you to get to those places depending on the time of day and your previous history of travels to that location.
The problem with Google Now's predictions though is that sometimes they can be inaccurate from the start or take a little longer to adapt to change. Moved your home? Switched jobs? Read More
With Logitech Harmony, people can control a large number of devices spread throughout their houses from a single remote or Android device. These various electronics, ranging from home entertainment systems to smart light bulbs, all communicate to a single hub.
Now Logitech is launching the Harmony API for third-party developers, so products that communicate with its system can then go on to interact with other ones.
To paint a picture of how this works, imagine the lights dimming automatically when you start a movie, having music start playing when you enter the room, or turning on the TV with a simple command. Read More
Nest has much to talk about at this year's CES. The intelligent thermostat that connects to your phone and tries to best adjust the temperature to your needs is now learning how to play along with more than a few other smart appliances spread throughout your home. The resulting possibilities remind us that we're living in the future.
By integrating with Kwikset Kevo, Nest can tell when a family member gets home and automatically set the climate to their liking. The thermostat can then signal Whirpool washers and dryers to run at a softer setting, so as to create less background noise. Read More
Motorola's apps are exclusively available to its devices, but some of the more affordable handsets take a while to get some of the provided features. In this case, the Motorola Assist and Contextual Services apps have recently been updated to bring Driving and Home mode support for the Moto G and the Moto E. To understand what this means, we must first take a look at what both of these apps actually do.
Motorola Assist makes Moto handsets adapt to the situation they're in. It silences all but the most important calls at night, and it silences things during meetings. It can also automatically read out new text messages and play songs while driving. Read More
A couple of months ago, we posted one of our early Google Search/Now rumors, and it was something of a long range rumor compared to others. While things like parking reminders, proper timer management, and bill pay reminders have already seen their public release, the ability to set contact-based reminders ("remind me when I'm with this person"), hasn't come forward yet. But it will likely appear very soon with a new feature in Android called Nearby, which will allow new interactions between you and nearby people, places, and things.
Google blew a lot of minds with its Android Wear announcement yesterday. The ambitious project, which aims to put a specialized version of Android on as many wearables (for now watches) as possible, has been talked about, analyzed, and previewed heavily for the past 24 hours, but there's still more to discuss.
Today, we've got the Android Wear launcher (extracted from the emulator) as it currently exists. This is an early version of the home launcher that you'll see on the Moto 360 and likely other wearable devices coming in the near future. The good news is we've quickly disassembled the APK to see if there are any interesting tidbits (there are), and the great news is you can download it below. Read More
As Google Glass continues toward an inevitable public release, users (and developers) are still trying to puzzle out exactly what the device is best suited for. There are games, cooking apps, news alert apps, and of course a tidy bundle of Google services in the slowly expanding list of official Glassware. Of course, there's more to Glass than official Glassware. Developers are making some fairly compelling tools for Google's eyeball computer, and Brivo Labs, in an effort to "explore the future of wearable technology," recently published a demonstration of one such tool.
OKDoor, an app that beams visitors to your Glass and allows users to grant (or deny) access with a tap, is actually a demonstration of Brivo's SAM API, a tool Brivo Labs is developing as "a game changer in the way people interact and manage everyday access needs." Of course this includes opening physical doors. Read More