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32

Google Home now lets you specify what type of device a smart plug controls

Google Home now lets you specify what type of device a smart plug controls

Smart plugs are a great way to make simple electronics more intelligent — be it an old lamp with a non-removable light bulb, an older TV, or a coffee maker. However, outlets can't tell what's plugged into them, so any smart plug just got a generic logo in the Home app. That changed when Google started automatically adjusting the symbol depending on what you call the device — e.g., "desk light" will give you a light bulb icon.

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29

Google Home app update with better settings menu rolling out widely

Google Home app update with better settings menu rolling out widely

The Google Home app has become this awkward monolithic thing over the years, expanding with more options, settings, and duties as Google's smart home ecosystem has grown. It can be pretty hard to find what you need without some sort of degree in Googleology — or at least some extensive searching. But an update that's now widely rolling out makes navigating through your home's settings a little easier.

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20

Google Home app gets Nest Cam events and improved smart outlet icons (Update: New lighting controls)

Google Home app gets Nest Cam events and improved smart outlet icons (Update: New lighting controls)

Google Home received an overhaul last year that reduced its number of bottom tabs from four to two — only home control and a feed remain. The latter hasn't been populated by too much content, but a recent update to version 2.19 changes that, at least if you own Nest security devices. The feed now shows you Nest Cam events in the form of highlights and makes the whole history available for viewing. The update also gives smart outlets icons that better depict which devices they're controlling.

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36

(Update: Rolling out) Google Home app reportedly getting redesigned Cast media UI

(Update: Rolling out) Google Home app reportedly getting redesigned Cast media UI

When casting music, movies, series, or videos to a speaker or TV, the Google Home app conveniently lets you control it, even if you used another device to initiate playback. Although the interface was handy, it wasn't visual enough. Thankfully, Google is seemingly working on a revamped one for cast media control.

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18

Google Home v2.13 readies Nest account migration and support for Internet Radio [APK Teardown]

Google Home v2.13 readies Nest account migration and support for Internet Radio [APK Teardown]

The Google Home got an update today with no immediately discernible changes to the UI. But as usual, there are some other interesting changes that speak to what we'll see happening in the future. Google is preparing the interface for users to migrate their Nest accounts to Google for improved security, there will be support for Internet radio, and it looks like a lightweight bottom navigation bar is in development.

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9

Grab a Google Home Mini for less than $20 on Rakuten (60% off)

Grab a Google Home Mini for less than $20 on Rakuten (60% off)

If you still haven't purchased a smart speaker or want to get an extra one, today's your lucky day, as Rakuten is running an offer that lets you get the Google Home Mini for just $20. This is even cheaper than the ongoing deal for $25 apiece, thanks to an additional 20% off.

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95

Claims Google is 'eavesdropping' on your Google Home are a lot less exciting than they sound

Claims Google is 'eavesdropping' on your Google Home are a lot less exciting than they sound

Smart speakers add a layer of convenience to a household, but have you ever thought of them as planting a mole into your own living room? Back in April, Amazon admitted its employees reviewed anonymized recordings in order to improve its speech recognition system. Now a fresh controversy has emerged around Google and its Assistant, where the company confirms doing the very same — but there's still no need to worry.

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36

Google discounts Home, Home Mini, Home Max, and Nest Hub smart speakers and display

Google discounts Home, Home Mini, Home Max, and Nest Hub smart speakers and display

Although Google's smart home devices have been going on sale several times in the past, the company is currently discounting almost the entire Home range, including the Nest Hub smart display. This is a great opportunity to get an extra intelligent device in your household, or even to buy your first one if you don't have one already.

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5

Start setting up your smart home with 26% off Nest Hub, Hello Doorbell, and Google Home Mini bundle, now for $280

Start setting up your smart home with 26% off Nest Hub, Hello Doorbell, and Google Home Mini bundle, now for $280

If you're thinking of making your home smarter or even improving your game to replace your smart speaker with an intelligent display, you're in luck, as this deal lets you get a nice bundle for $98 less than the regular MSRP. For this price, you'll get a Nest Hub smart display, a Hello doorbell, and a Google Home Mini speaker, which work seamlessly together to make your life easier.

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9

Google Home v2.10 hints at Zion and Castell smart home products, Speaker V codename, and ultrasonic-powered Reactive UI [APK Teardown]

Google Home v2.10 hints at Zion and Castell smart home products, Speaker V codename, and ultrasonic-powered Reactive UI [APK Teardown]

A new version of the Google Home app is rolling out, but there aren't any visible changes making their way out with this one. Instead, this update seems to be focused mostly on adding initial support for some new hardware, including something that sounds like a smart home hub called Zion, and a security device called Castell that may be a door lock. There's also a little motion on a previously teased device that will likely be the Nest Hub Max, and some details on a new "Reactive UI" feature that lights up as you approach.

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