Assistant's features are far from consistent across platforms and have been like that since the service's launch. Some commands work on phones but not speakers, others vice-versa, not to mention smartwatches, TVs, cars, Bluetooth headsets, and other types of devices. Here's another example of this fragmentation: Routines aren't working on Auto. In fact they haven't been supported for over a year and there's no solution on the horizon. Read More
Guest mode is one of the Chromecast's relatively unknown but very handy features. It uses location proximity and WiFi availability to allow guests to cast content to your speakers or TVs without logging in to your WiFi network, provided they have the specific PIN code for that device. Whether you're throwing a party or have temporary visitors and you don't want to bother with sharing WiFi access, you can simply give them a 4-digit code and let them choose the media that gets played. The feature launched in December of 2014 on Chromecasts and carried over to Google Homes — because they're essentially cast targets. 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
CES 2020 gave the networking device market a solid head start for the rest of the year. We not only saw a more capable Wi-Fi standard come into being but also mainstream brands jumping in with a pile of new routers and mesh systems. Besides an expanded security camera lineup, D-Link’s CES announcement includes a long list of routers and range extenders that integrate the EasyMesh and Wi-Fi 6 standard.
D-Link’s venture into the connected home space has so far been focused on security cameras, while other categories have taken a back seat. That may not change anytime soon as the company today announced two new additions to its Wi-Fi-enabled camera lineup just days before CES 2020 is set to kick off. The camera pair supports some AI-based security features that work without cloud video processing. Read More
Amazon and Google's plays for user data have pushed the battle of the virtual assistants into the living rooms, kitchens, and bedrooms via the smart speaker. Sonos, which makes a number of audio products compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, feels it has been squeezed by both companies of its intellectual property in the middle of this war. However, The New York Times reports the company has decided to target only Google in two federal lawsuits and has sought sales injunctions for its speakers, smartphones, and laptops. Read More
If there's one thing that is guaranteed to be at any CES show, it's smart speakers (and TVs). The latest speaker to be announced is the Soundform Elite by Belkin, a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker and wireless charger in a single unit. Read More
High-end audio brand Harman Kardon is owned by Samsung these days, but it's still capable of some fine hardware, as I discovered when I reviewed the Citation One speaker about this time last year. It's part of a wider range of Google Assistant-enabled products that sound much better than most other smart speakers, which is now being expanded with several new devices. 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