Audiophiles have long been happy to spend what most of us would consider obscene amounts of money on speakers, and these ultra-premium products are slowly adopting "smart" features like Google Assistant. Bang & Olufsen has a new Assistant-powered speaker called the Beosound Balance. It'll cost you $2,250, but it probably sounds pretty good. Read More
With Google Assistant pre-installed on any Android phone (and Siri on iPhones), you should think you already have all tools at your disposal when you want to yell at your phone to control your audio playback. However, Spotify seems to think that it needs its own solution. App reverse-engineer Jane Manchun Wong managed to activate a hidden settings panel in the music app that will let you enable a "Hey Spotify" feature you can use while the app is open and on your screen. Read More
Back in 2017, researchers in China reported on a clever way to access a digital assistant, like Google Assistant or Siri, by using inaudible ultrasonic sound waves. Now a new team at Washington University in St. Louis have been working on similar technology, and their version is even more capable (and scary) than the original. Read More
Google collects vast amounts of speech data across all of its products, and while it hasn't been too transparent about the practice, we as users profit from it for the most part. Speech recognition has consistently gotten better over the years, which has allowed impressive sci-fi tech like smart speakers to enter our homes. There's one department where Google needs to step up its game, though: multilingual speakers are having a hard time using more than one language on any Google product. Read More
Assistant-powered smart displays got a little bit smarter recently, as Google has just announced a brand new media view for its Nest Hub displays. In our testing, the feature is also live for at least some other non-Nest smart displays already, bringing you a clear view of which devices in which rooms are playing media, plus granular speaker controls, a global pause button, and fully remote media control. Read More
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
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