Smart home products are becoming the main attractions at CES shows. Last year saw an explosion of Google Assistant-powered devices being revealed, and while CES 2020 wasn't quite as intense in that regard, this was still a big week for Google's virtual helper.
All the product announcements during CES can be overwhelming, so for your reading convenience, we've compiled a big list of all the new products with Google Assistant. There's something for everyone, no matter if you're interested in headphones, home security, or... sink faucets. No, really. Read More
Smart locks add a level of convenience, as they let you leave your keys behind and grant access to guests remotely. Unfortunately, many of them are bulky, and often use a Bluetooth connection, which could require a separate hub. With the announcement of the Wi-Fi Smart Lock, August wants to address these issues, with a more compact device that connects directly to the Internet. Read More
As part of its CES announcements, Google is taking the wraps off a bunch of new and upcoming Assistant functionality, like the ability to schedule actions, a new "Read It" command that dictates text content like news in a more natural voice, plus new Smart Display features like sticky notes and speed dial. While much of it won't land until a nebulous date "later this year," it gives us a peek at what to expect from the Assistant in 2020, and a reference for when Google re-announces half of it as new later once it's been in silent public testing for a couple months. Read More
Lenovo doesn't have any new Assistant smart displays to show off at CES this year, but there are some displays with smarts. The company has unveiled a new version of its Assistant Ambient Mode tablet, the Smart Tab M10. Plus, there's a gigantic photo frame. That's what you've always wanted, right? Read More
Some smart home gadgets seem like solutions in search of a problem, shoehorning IoT connectivity into something that was working just fine without it — unless you're that one guy who really needs to talk to Alexa while playing the keyboard. But on the opposite end of the spectrum, you've got the smart lock, an early leader into the world of the connected home that managed to reinvent a "dumb" product with some genuinely useful new functionality.
There's no shortage of smart lock options out there, running the gamut from fully integrated replacements to add-ons that quickly attach to existing locks. Read More
Modern "smart" home standards have more than a few dumb things about them, like the fact that certain hardware often locks you into a specific ecosystem of supported devices and software. If something works with Alexa, it doesn't always mean that it will work with the Assistant or Siri, and that's not even mentioning the whole obnoxiousness of "hubs." Thankfully, a new open standard is being developed by some of the biggest names in the smart home industry, with Amazon, Apple, and Google all backing a new open-source approach via the imaginatively titled "Project Connected Home over IP." It's a complicated-sounding name, but what really matters is the fact that future smart home products will be more inter-compatible and secure. Read More
With the launch of its second-generation Assistant speaker, Google has a stellar product that's worth the upgrade. Over the last few months, there have been freebies, Google Fi giveaways, and bundles from the Google store to get the new units moving. Now Google is expanding those giveaways to non-US countries for users who subscribe to YouTube Premium or YouTube Music. Read More
Back in 2011, Google Translate made it easier to interpret live discussions thanks to Conversation mode. The app also got a fresh coat of paint more recently, making it easier to summon it. In parallel, Assistant-enabled speakers got the ability to translate live conversations in April, which essentially turned them into digital interpreters. Unfortunately, the functionality was exclusive to smart speakers and displays and wasn't available on phones until now. Google just released the feature on mobile devices as well, making it easier to have a conversation with someone who speaks a different language on the go. Read More
The Google Home Max is getting a little long in the tooth as it's nearing its second birthday, but it's still the best-sounding smart speaker Google offers. It has always been on the more expensive side, and even though it saw a permanent price cut to $300 last year, it has never been as cheap as it is this Black Friday. You can save $100 and get one for only $200 right from Google or third-party resellers like Best Buy, B&H Photo, and Target. Read More
One of the most common complaints we hear whenever a new Google product arrives (besides the pile of "when is it getting shut down" unoriginal jokes) is that G Suite users either can't try the new product at all, or there is limited functionality. Assistant has historically been extremely limited for G Suite accounts, but some of that is changing today. Read More