Generally speaking, we're big fans of Wyze's budget-friendly smart home gadgets around here. The company has managed to release everything from security cameras to robot vacuums while undercutting the competition along the way. And while not every single product is a hit, Wyze has still built a great ecosystem of products worth your investment. Its Android app is getting a new update this week, bringing Google Home and Assistant support to the Wyze Lock.
Google launched the Nest Audio last fall, serving as a replacement to both the original Google Home and the oversized Home Max. It's one of the best speakers you can buy for under $100, but it's not perfect. Without a wired input, it's impossible to use the Nest Audio with a turntable or your entertainment system. If you've been dying to add some speakers to your house but you're hesitant to switch to wireless, today's you're lucky day. You can upgrade your audio experience with a Google Home Max for just $150.
The Google Home app offers an excellent interface for controlling lights, speakers, and any other gadgets spread around your house. It's also used for setting up any Nest speaker or smart display. If you've ever had to set up more than one device at a time, you know how slow and frustrating choosing your default services can be. However, with the newest update to the Google Home app, the setup process just got a little bit quicker.
Google I/O is inching closer, but Google is already on an announcement spree. After teasing some launcher improvements coming to tablets and giving us a first glimpse at its response to Apple's Privacy Labels, the company is now getting ready to share some Assistant updates. For one, Assistant Broadcasts can now reach family members even when they're not home, but there's much more than just that.
With movie theaters still closed in most places, the home theater experience is more important than ever. A spiffy Atmos surround sound system can take your viewing experience to the next level, but maybe you don't want to run wires or have speakers permanently installed around your room. Well, that happens to be the niche JBL is targeting with the JBL Bar 9.1. It's an Atmos-enabled soundbar with a whopping 820W of power and detachable satellite speakers that you can place around the room when you need them. It also has full integration with Google's Chromecast platform, so you can manage it from the Home app.
If you live in a home wired up with Google Assistant, and you also use Google Duo, you might be tired of getting alerts for calls on your Google Home smart speakers. If you have other people in your home, they're definitely tired of hearing those alerts when you aren't even there. Google's working on a fix for this: using presence detection, it can optionally only start ringing your smart speakers and displays when your phone is physically present.
I use the Google Home app pretty often to control my lights and various other smart home gadgets, but I must admit I had entirely forgotten about the second tab in the app's bottom navigation. It's a feed that alerts you to certain events across your home, such as the addition or removal of devices or Wi-Fi status updates. Google has just rolled out a new settings menu you allowing you to customize the types of notifications in this feed.
Google is known for overlapping multiple apps at once — just look at its messaging strategy. While both Google Wifi and Nest Wifi have a dedicated app for controlling and monitoring your networking gear from your phone, the Google Home app has steadily gained similar features over the last several months. It seems that was all part of the company's intentions, as starting next month, you'll need to use the Home app to configure and customize your Wi-Fi routers.