We've featured the Harman Kardon Citation 100 a few times before on this site: it's a great smart speaker with an almost unbelievable price. At $350 (nearly four times the price of a comparable Nest Audio), even fans of the audiophile brand would be hard-pressed to justify the MSRP. Today's discount, down to just $94, isn't quite the cheapest we've ever seen. But it's still a fantastic deal for anyone in the market.
Google has just announced four "new" features for the Google Assistant, including some new Routine functionality, the ability to pay for takeout orders via a little Duplex magic, and a feature for lost iPhones. As usual, some of these are new-new, others are things Google's been silently testing for a while and which many of our readers may have already been using for some time.
Kitting out my new house with smart home gadgets has been a blast coming from the rigid confines of a rented apartment. But one particular issue affecting the simplest of all smart home hardware is driving me a little nuts. I was actually a little shocked to see it hasn't been talked about more, and while I wrestle with trying to get hardware that behaves a little better, I'd like to rant for the public record about how inconsistent smart bulbs are.
The Fiat 500 doesn't turn any heads, except perhaps those of car enthusiasts looking for an extended sneer. But it's a popular model: a cheap, fuel-efficient, and eminently practical grocery-getter for urbanites. For the upcoming model year, Google and Fiat have joined forces for a "Hey Google Edition" of the hatchback, offering more extensive integration with Google Assistant than ever before.
Action Blocks is a small, interesting tool to help build some manual controls for Google Assistant functions. If you've been making heavy use of it for the last few months, we have good news: your created actions and other data now back up to Google Drive, along with the other data on your phone. The change was announced in the latest app update, and appears to be active now.
Google Assistant has been able to "remember" things on your behalf for years now, with voice memos saved across any supported device. It's one of the most valuable tools any voice assistant can offer, and Google's looking to make it a lot more powerful. A whole new visual layout for Assistant Memory is now in testing, designed to improve how reminders work on your phone.
Assistant has had native support for security cameras for a while. Unfortunately, these were limited to simply streaming the live feed to a smart display or a Chromecast. Even though most doorbells could be configured as security cameras, they couldn't notify you when someone was at the door using Assistant. Google just updated its digital helper, allowing smart doorbells to send notifications natively.
Google's Nest Hub smart displays use voice commands for most functions, which means they are usually easier to use than smartphones or PCs. However, the (general) lack of a graphical user interface means discovering features can be difficult. Google does show tips and tricks on the Hub's home screen, but they don't cover every possible option and feature.
In this guide, we'll go over some helpful features in Google's line of smart displays in particular: the Nest Hub (formerly named the Home Hub) and Nest Hub Max.
Google is always working on improving its Android apps and the operating system itself, heavily relying on public a/b tests that appear on some people's phones but not on others. But every once in a while, the company takes the time to announce some features formally, and today is another one of those days. Google is making a whole slew of known tests and a few brand-new changes official.
We don't really think about it, but it's kind of odd that Google hasn't made a standalone version of the Assistant for PCs, isn't it? Or at least built one into Chrome. After all, Chrome OS has it now, and the Assistant is a big part of the Android experience, too (Bixby be damned). We even buy smart speakers and displays for around the house, headphones can talk to Google, and yet our desktop and laptops are ignored. But if you want to plug that gap on your own, it turns out, you can. There's an unofficial Google Assistant desktop client that's a pain in the ass to set up but way nicer than it has any right to be.