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Somebody hacked a Google Home Mini into a rotary phone

Someone took apart a rotary phone, removed the call-making guts of it, and replaced them with a Google Home Mini. The best part about this mess of circuitry? The receiver acts as the smart speaker's output. Yes.

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Xiaomi robotic vacuum cleaner turned into DJ Roomba 2.0

The spirit of DJ Roomba lives on in 2019. Although this one might not swear, enterprising developer Eddie Zhang has found a way to install an open-source Spotify client on his first-gen Xiaomi robotic vacuum cleaner. Thanks to the slightly garbage built-in speaker, an off-brand DJ Roomba 2.0 was born.

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Some guy modified his Roomba to swear when it bumps into shit

We're primarily an Android blog, but we also cover plenty of smart home gadgets for our readers. And today, we've got something special. Some guy on the internet (Michael Reeves over on YouTube) tweaked a Roomba to swear when it runs into things stuff shit.

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This guy built a smartwatch from scratch, resurrecting the idea behind Pebble

At some point, someone decided that smartwatches have to be capable of replacing your phone. While that might work okay-ish on Apple's platform, it's a disaster over in the Android world – underpowered but battery-sucking Snapdragon chips meet poorly written software on Wear OS. With Pebble gone, there aren't many options left for people looking for a simple wearable that just shows them notifications. Wearable fan Samson March took matters into his own hands (literally) and created a smartwatch with a custom OS, custom design, and a battery life of one whole week that simply mirrors his iPhone's notifications, with no bells and whistles, all while open sourcing the entire project.

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Someone just gave their Google Home Mini a headphone jack (kind of)

We get a kick out of hardware mods here at Android Police. They're fun to see, and occasionally fun to do, especially when they make up for a product's shortcomings. Enter the Google Home Mini, a device which we mostly liked (when it wasn't bugging out). It did have one slight deficiency, though, and that was volume. It just didn't get very loud. But the folks at YouTube channel SnekTek took that as a challenge and installed an audio output jack for external amplification.

That's right, this Google Home Mini now has one feature up over the latest Pixel 2 phones: it's got a headphone jack—sort of. 

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AIY Projects' Google Assistant voice kit can now be pre-ordered from Microcenter

Earlier this year, AIY Projects partnered with Google to develop the 'Voice Kit.' Once assembled and connected to a Raspberry Pi microcomputer, you had your very own DIY Google Assistant smart speaker. Google even added support for the kit to its Android Things OS.

But there was one problem - the only way to buy the kit was by finding issue 57 of the MagPi Magazine, which included the kit. The demand was high as well; a reprint from earlier this month sold out in 17 minutes. Now that there definitely aren't any copies of #57 left, AIY has partnered with Microcenter to sell the Voice Kit in retail stores.

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[Deal Alert] Need to repair a phone? iFixit's universal bit kit is just $70 at Massdrop ($30 off)

Those who might need to do some phone repair, like a daughterboard replacement to fix a bad microUSB port, or a battery swap to fix some unfortunate bulge, might be drawn by this particular deal. Over at Massdrop, there is a group-buy together for the iFixit Universal Bit Kit. Originally $99.95, you can pick up the set for a 30% discount at $69.99 (plus $9 for shipping), if you are willing to wait a bit. Not a bad trade-off.

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Check out this 1986 home intercom turned into a DIY Google Home

I love seeing DIY projects that retrofit new hardware into old electronics. Some examples include converting an Apple II floppy drive into an external USB hard drive, and shoving a Raspberry Pi into the casing of a Commodore 64. Martin Mander shared his latest project on YouTube and Instructables - a 1986 home intercom with Google Assistant.

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Android Things Developer Preview 3.1 adds support for the AIY Projects Voice Kit

Google released the first Developer Preview for its new 'Android Things' operating system back in December, and the company has been improving it ever since. A minor update, Developer Preview 3.1, was released today with support for the new AIY Projects Voice Kit.

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Hyundai's DIY Android Auto update system expanded to four new cars, including the Sonata Hybrid and Veloster

It must be nice to have a car with a media system that can be updated - some of us are lucky just to get Bluetooth. Some Hyundai owners can actually upgrade their in-car entertainment systems to give them Android Auto support, and today that list expands by four according to Cnet. Owners of the 2016 Sonata Hybrid (standard and plug-in), 2016 Veloster, and 2015/2016 Azera can now get some sweet, sweet Android Auto action with a download and a bit of legwork.

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