It's well known that Amazon's Alexa got a head start over the Google Assistant in the battle of the butlers, and it's most apparent when you look at the different form factors available. After the Echo Show, the alarm clock-sized Spot is the second Echo device to come with a screen and it costs around half as much. It went on sale in the US late last year, and now it's also available in the UK, Germany, and Austria. Read More
Google Home is available in a few countries, but if you live anywhere outside the US, your choice for a video provider is quite limited. Telling Home to play a video from YouTube, Google Photos, or Netflix works in all countries, but that's it. The US gets CBS, CW, Viki, and YouTube TV, but other countries don't have any local content providers. Beside Australia, that is, which has Stan and now Germany is adding maxdome (it should work though it hasn't shown up in this list yet). Read More
Amazon introduced calling and messaging to its Echo speakers back in May then implemented the same feature inside the Alexa app so you could start a call or receive one from your phone, without having to be near your Echo. However, the feature had one main limitation: the person you were calling had to have an Echo or at least Alexa calling set up. Calls to phone numbers weren't possible, but now they are.
Amazon secretly enabled the option a couple of days ago and has now officially added it to the Alexa app changelog. After setting up Alexa calling and messaging in the app's Conversations tab, you can say something like, "Call dad's phone," or, "Call dad's mobile phone number," and it will perform a call to the phone number. Read More
Here's an almost-freebie to start off your week: Google Home's promotions page has added one new offer for you to take advantage of: 3 months of Deezer Premium+ for $0.99. That's one buck for 3 months of unlimited, on-demand streaming, no ads, but with offline saves and high-quality audio. Deezer Premium+ normally costs $6/month or thereabout, depending on where you live, so you'd be saving around $17.
The offer shows up on Google Home's promotional support page in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, and Canada, but oddly not France. Read More
Back at Google I/O, Google promised that the Home smart speaker would arrive in five more countries (it was already available in the US and UK). Since then, it has come to every planned region except Germany and Japan. Now the speaker has showed up for sale on the German Google Store for 149 Euros. Read More
Hot on the heels of the news that Australia would be the fifth country to get Google Home (following the US, Canada, France, and the UK), it seems the smart home assistant has now learned its third language. The official Google blog in Germany has announced that Google Home will be available in the country from next month. It was only a matter of time really, as Google Wifi was made available there last month. This just leaves Japan to come, of the countries Google said would be getting the smart speaker this summer. Read More
If you've been waiting with bated breath for Samsung to fulfill its promise to upgrade the Galaxy S6 series to Android 7.0, you can stop waiting... assuming you have one of the GSM unlocked models of the S6 and S6 Edge, that is. According to German tech site Giga.de, users in Europe are starting to see the Nougat update sent out to their phones, starting with at least one S6 Edge owner in Switzerland and continuing in the comments. That means that mainland Europe and the UK are probably looking at updates sometime soon, with the usual delays for localization and server rollout. Read More
Back in September of last year, Amazon released a new model of its Chromecast competitor, the Fire TV Stick. The $39.99 dongle is a major upgrade from the previous model, with better performance and Wi-Fi capabilities. Now Amazon is selling it in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan. Read More
Last month, Nest announced that it would be starting to sell its products in Austria, Germany, Italy, and Spain. But at the time, the retail outlets where these products could be bought ranged from Amazon to Media Markt, ePrice, El Corte Ingles, and a couple more. They were all third-party retailers and not official Nest or Google entities.
If you prefer to get your gear straight from the source, the official Google Store has started to sell some of Nest's line-up in these countries and is also expanding availability in Belgium for the Cam Outdoor. In short, here's the list of new countries where you can buy different Nest products:
- Nest Learning Thermostat, 3rd generation: Italy, Spain (still not available in Austria or Germany)
- Nest Protect, 2nd generation: Austria, Germany (still not available in Italy or Spain)
- Nest Cam Indoor: Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain
- Nest Cam Outdoor: Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain (was already available in Germany).
Nest has announced today that it's expanding its products' availability to 4 new European countries: Germany, Spain, Italy, and Austria. If you live in one of these countries, you can pre-order the Nest Cam Indoor, Cam Outdoor, Learning Thermostat, and Protect today, but the availability is slated for February 15.
Previously, Nest's products were officially available in Europe in the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, so with today's expansion, Nest says it'll be doubling its potential European reach. The products aren't sold on Nest's website, but available at different partner retailers depending on the country. Amazon is the most prominent, but there's Media Markt in Germany and Austria, ePrice in Italy, El Corte Ingles in Spain, and more. Read More