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Smart Home

3

Logitech Circle 2 wired camera review: A feature-packed premium camera

Logitech has been making webcams for many years, and a while back it turned its attention to the burgeoning home security market with the Logitech Circle camera. I thought that device was a surprisingly good value that competed well with established players like Netgear and Nest. There's a second generation camera now, and it improves on that first camera in almost every way. If you don't mind a few minor foibles, this could be the right camera to keep an eye on your humble abode.

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40

Philips Hue scenes are now natively supported by Google Assistant

Back in November last year, Google added some new abilities to the Assistant, including direct control of household appliances and scene support. With the latter, you can activate or change scenes linked to things like LIFX lighting systems or a SmartThings hub using the Google Assistant. Philips Hue lighting also has scenes, but until now you've only been able to use them in the Hue app. Some are now seeing the functionality in the Google Home app, too.

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18

Rachio announces its Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller with hyperlocal weather support for $249

There aren't a lot of people that get excited about sprinkler systems, but with how much we dig on smart home hardware, we're some of them. That's why we're excited to announce that Rachio has just announced its third generation automated sprinkler hardware. The new Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller improves on the 2nd generation model by adding upgraded hyperlocal weather, dual-band Wi-Fi support, easy-press connectors for seamless installation, extra hardware controls, and compatibility with the new Rachio 3 Wireless Flow Meter. It'll run you $249 (Update: now $229) for a limited time, and pre-orders are open today.

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6

Canary Flex weatherproof camera picks up masking to avoid false alarms

It seems like everyone's adding smart cameras to their homes right now, and why not? More than just letting you keep an eye on your stuff, advanced software can crunch through hours of otherwise boring footage, sorting out the juicy stuff: package deliveries, the kids coming home from school, and that suspicious-looking schnauzer that keeps eyeing your bushes a little too closely. But sometimes there's just too much action going on, and we need to tell our cameras to ignore things we don't care about, focusing instead on areas of particular interest. Today, we're learning about just such a feature coming to the Canary Flex.

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8

[Deal Alert] Nest Cam IQ Indoor down to $219 ($80 off), Cam Outdoor to $169 ($30 off) at B&H

Nest's offerings are among the best in the business, but their MSRPs aren't very competitive. Luckily, both the Cam IQ Indoor and Cam Outdoor are being discounted by B&H. The Cam IQ Indoor is down to $219, making it the lowest price we've seen for it thus far, and the Cam Outdoor has fallen to $169.

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5

Nest app updated with event view, filters, new hardware support, and more

Big things are happening at Nest with the release of products like the Nest Hello and Yale Door Lock. That alone requires an app update just to add support, but Nest is throwing in a few more features. You'll be able to peruse your alerts more easily, and there are a few other UI tweaks.

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27

Neato launches Assistant-enabled Botvac D7 robot vacuum

Cleaning your own home is so tedious and unpleasant, but paying people to do it can get expensive over time. If only there were some way to enslave a small robot and make it clean up after you. Actually, that's been a thing for years. The Neato Botvac D7 is new, though. This robot vacuum comes with voice assistant integrations and smart features most enslaved robots can only dream about.

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2

Amazon Cloud Cam gets web streaming, additional Alexa functionality, and more

Amazon's Cloud Cam offers a compelling price tag for anyone looking to pick up a security camera on the cheap, but it's lacking in features compared to many of the more established players. Amazon is closing the gap somewhat with a web interface, more voice commands, and integration with Amazon's other hardware.

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11

You can apply for the new Arlo Smart beta starting today

Netgear announced the Arlo Smart service last summer, but it was far from ready for consumers. The goal is to bring improved object recognition features to Arlo security cameras, and that's a complicated task. A new beta program is starting soon, and you can apply for access right now.

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19

Arlo officially launches Google Assistant support

Netgear is officially launching Google Assistant support for its camera line-up, allowing users to view their camera feeds on their Chromecasts, phones, and Shield TV. After connecting Arlo, all one need do is ask any Assistant-enabled device to display the camera feed. 

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