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Texas residents enraged as energy companies remotely raise temperatures on smart thermostats

Texas residents enraged as energy companies remotely raise temperatures on smart thermostats

It's been only four months since the proudly independent Texas power grid failed under a cold snap, and now it's in danger of a similar fate during the current heat wave. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, sterling public servants that they are, have asked Texans to raise their thermostats to 78 during the hottest part of the day. And for some, they're not asking.

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100

Why the hell are Google's Nest cameras so expensive?

Why the hell are Google's Nest cameras so expensive?

By all appearances, I'm Google's perfect smart home customer. I'm already deeply invested in the Assistant ecosystem, I've got tons of smart displays and speakers, and as the new owner of a house, I'm constantly in the market for little ways to update and automate things. But as I'm currently shopping for a set of smart security cameras, Google's first-party Nest hardware is at the very bottom of my list — the prices are simply ridiculous.

In the wake of Wyze's success, and with a new Nest Cam lineup apparently planned, it's time for Google to rethink its smart security camera prices.

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8

Wyze Lock finally gets voice control with Assistant support

Wyze Lock finally gets voice control with Assistant support

Generally speaking, we're big fans of Wyze's budget-friendly smart home gadgets around here. The company has managed to release everything from security cameras to robot vacuums while undercutting the competition along the way. And while not every single product is a hit, Wyze has still built a great ecosystem of products worth your investment. Its Android app is getting a new update this week, bringing Google Home and Assistant support to the Wyze Lock.

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21

Samsung's SmartThings app is getting a new UI

Samsung's SmartThings app is getting a new UI

Building a smart home ecosystem can make the smallest elements of your life a whole lot easier, but even the best hardware around isn't any good without an excellent software experience backing it up. Today, Samsung is relaunching its SmartThings app with an all-new interface to help power every gadget in your home.

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17

Review: This smart picture frame puts the magic of Google Photos right on your wall

Review: This smart picture frame puts the magic of Google Photos right on your wall

If you haven't been following digital picture frames (I don't blame you), it may not be immediately obvious why they still exist — when every screen you own is connected to the internet, after all, every screen you own is a potential picture frame. But modern digital frames aren't the Sharper Image novelties you're probably imagining. The Lenovo Smart Frame, for example, is a big, 21-inch screen that connects to Google Photos to seamlessly source pictures from any of your albums, and while it's got some rough edges, this thing has become one of my favorite gadgets. I just wish it were a little more affordable.

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0

Siri voice commands come to third-party smart home gadgets later this year

Siri voice commands come to third-party smart home gadgets later this year

Apple's WWDC 2021 keynote is nearly two hours long, because Apple has a lot in common with Zack Snyder. Nestled in the presentation on HomeKit was an interesting nugget of information: Siri will be available on third-party devices later this year.

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11

Philips Hue debuts a new app with streamlined controls, new automations, and more

Philips Hue debuts a new app with streamlined controls, new automations, and more

If you're trying to add smart lighting to your home, it's tough to beat Philips Hue. Whether you're looking to create multi-colored zones or just add some ambiance to a room, switching to Hue lights make it super simple to control everything right from your phone. Of course, it doesn't matter how good Philips's bulbs are if the app itself provides a terrible experience. Thankfully, Signify has an all-new iteration of its Hue software now available for download, improving a lot of the faults of the old version.

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51

Amazon will share your home Wi-Fi with strangers' devices — this is how to opt out

Amazon will share your home Wi-Fi with strangers' devices — this is how to opt out

Amazon has one of the largest ecosystems of smart home gadgets on the market today. From Echo speakers to Ring's lineup of security cameras and doorbells, millions of users rely on Alexa-compatible gear to stay connected and protected. With a massive IoT presence, Amazon is no stranger to privacy concerns, and it seems like the company is once again facing some public scrutiny. Next week, a low-bandwidth mesh network will be activated across its gadgets in the US, leaving users only a few days left to opt out.

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26

This luxury smart alarm clock banished my phone from the bedroom

This luxury smart alarm clock banished my phone from the bedroom

When you read the words alarm clock, what comes to mind? I bet it's either one of those vintage numbers with the bells on top or the red-numbered clock radio your dad bought at Radio Shack in 1983 and still hasn't replaced. More likely than not, though, you don't own one. Why would you? Your phone works fine.

They may seem like an anachronism, but even as our phones have assumed more responsibility in our day-to-day lives, discrete bedside clocks have continued to evolve. Enter Loftie, which hopes to "retake slumberland" with its chic and designerly internet-connected clock. Those ambitions might be a little grand, but it sure is a nice way to wake up.

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3

Don't be a ding-dong and miss out on this half-off Arlo Video Doorbell deal

Don't be a ding-dong and miss out on this half-off Arlo Video Doorbell deal

Security cameras are all the rage these days, but you probably don't need six of them spread all over your house. A simple camera at the front door does the job well, and pairing it with a doorbell keeps you notified about who might be on your front porch. If you've been waiting to upgrade your doorbell, you can pick up a refurbished Arlo Essential Video Doorbell for only $68 from eBay.

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