It's always fun to have the latest and greatest version of the gadgets we love, but sometimes the previous generation is nearly as good and a better overall value. Such may be the case with the new Nest Learning Thermostat.
The 3rd generation of the popular temperature controller was announced yesterday and boasts a few minor improvements over the now "old" 2nd generation Nest. The display is larger, it's a bit thinner, and sports a couple of new features and sensors. If you want to read the full breakdown of changes you can read Cameron's article about the product announcement here.
This is pretty cool, and here's why. If you have your hub controlling a bunch of other devices, you can now use Amazon's device to boss them around. Alexa, turn on the television. Alexa, turn off the lamp. Alexa, have your way with whatever else is plugged into my SmartThings Power Outlet (okay, maybe this command won't work exactly as written).
Maybe you're seeing this and you're thinking: Gee, maybe I'd like one of these Echo things after all.
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.
Some homes are smart, and the Logitech Harmony serves as their brain. It provides a single location to control all the things, assuming of course that the products are supported. The latest update adds quite a few more to the list ranging from door locks to thermostats and a few things in between.
The Echo is Amazon's little smart tube that perks up whenever you say "Alexa" and proceeds to do whatever you say. Well, as long as what you say is something it has the capability to do. If you have a house filled with Wink-compatible products, that list now includes telling Echo to take control of your home.
Try, "Alexa, turn off the fan" or "Alexa, turn on the kitchen lights." Then watch as you never burn calories getting up to flip switches yourself.
By connecting Echo to your Wink Hub, you can use your voice to control a range of supported devices.
IKEA is jumping on the wireless charging bandwagon. The world's largest furniture maker and retailer understands the demands of the modern home. In a bid to streamline your interior's design as much as possible, remove redundant elements, and get rid of the cable clutter everywhere, it has designed a collection of bedside tables, lamps, and desks, with integrated wireless charging spots.
The collection, which is designed by David Wahl, employs the most common standard, Qi. If your Android device has wireless charging built-in, like the LG G3, Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and dozens of others, chances are it uses Qi. If it doesn't, IKEA plans to make charging cases available for select smartphones, including some Samsung models.
The Czar has spoken. After his anointment as Google's Senior Vice President of Products last October, which put him in charge of Chrome, Android, search, ad technology, Google+, Maps, social, commerce and infrastructure, Sundar had been operating in incognito mode, occasionally letting loose a few tidbits of information, like Inbox' deployment to Apps users. In a recent interview with Forbes, the man behind most of the things we talk about here on Android Police has answered some interesting questions regarding his vast portfolio of products, tried to put an end to a few concerns, and remained mum about other issues.
The most intriguing section of the interview starts when Google+ is addressed.
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.
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.
All of these "smart" devices in our lives sure are creating a mess for us. We have to remember to charge them and take the time to set them up properly, every gadget has its own app on our phone, and none of them seem to be able to communicate effortlessly with each other unless they come from the same manufacturer, and even then... That's where Yonomi comes into the picture.
With one app, Yonomi aims to solve the mess that is our connected life. It integrates with some of the big players out there, like Nest, Jawbone, Sonos, Philips Hue, and Belkin WeMo, as well as your Android phone or tablet.