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smart home

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Nest rolls out Assistant for Cam IQ, a cheaper Nest Aware plan, and more

Nest has been absorbed by Google's hardware team, but that hasn't slowed it down. The previously announced Assistant integration for the Cam IQ is rolling out today, and that's not all. Nest has also announced a number of improvements to Next Aware, including a cheaper plan option.

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Canary's Alexa skill is now live

Amazon's Alexa devices already have integration with several home security camera systems, and Canary is the latest. After announcing this feature in early 2018, it's now live. With a simple voice command, you can stream your Canary feed to a compatible Alexa display.

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The ultimate guide to Google Home: Tips and tricks for understanding and making the most out of your assistant speaker

You just got a Google Home, and after unwrapping it and setting it up, you've asked about the weather, requested a few songs to play, and set a timer for 5 minutes to see how it rings. Now what?

I've been covering Google's smart speaker for more than a year now and I've owned a couple of Google Homes for about a year, yet I still feel like I'm not using them to their full potential. Every week brings new features and integrations that make it tough to remember all that can be done, so for those of you who don't know what to ask beyond playing music, those who are getting confused by hearing a different voice sometimes from the speaker, those who are always wondering why some actions work for them but not other members of their household, this is the most accurate tutorial I can write right now.

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IFTTT adds support for iHome Enhance, Everynet, GraspIO, and Nexx Garage, moves Stocks applets to new Finance category

IFTTT is a tremendous boon for those interested in automating their lives. The company's tools have deep integration with a wide variety of third-party services and products, and they're always being improved upon. The most recent additions to the party are iHome Enhance, Everynet, Grasp IO, and Nexx Garage. The old Stocks category has also been renamed to Finance, so if you can't find those stock-related applets, they're still around in a new place. 

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Nest is being swallowed up by Google's hardware team

Google acquired Nest about four years ago, but it kept the company at arm's length. Nest products are still designed and managed by Nest, an Alphabet company. That may be changing soon. Google says it's merging Nest with the Google hardware team to "supercharge" Nest's mission.

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[Update: Rolling out now] Canary Vision offers AI-powered person detection capabilities for free and paid users

It's been a bit of a bumpy road for Canary and its connected security cameras. While Rita had mostly nice things to say about the all-in-one camera in her review, the company has since done its best to annoy users (particularly those on the free tier) by changing its subscription model and then backtracking slightly. Perhaps some new features will go some way to win back the trust of its users.

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Amazon Alexa can now send SMS from your Android phone

As the battle of the smart personal assistants continues to simmer, Amazon has just fired another shot, adding support for SMS messages to Alexa's feature list. You can now command your Amazon Echo device to send a text message to one of your contacts, provided you have an Android phone.

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IFTTT adds 9 new channels for Nokia Sleep, TxHash, Moodo, OhmConnect, and more

IFTTT continues to expand the realm of automation possibilities at its users' disposal. Over the past month or so, nine new channels have been added to the connect-everything service. Most of them will make your home smarter (or more pleasing to your olfactory receptors), while one connects a number of services to the Ethereum blockchain.

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You can now control your Sonos speakers with Google Home through Yonomi

Sonos products are praised for a lot of good reasons, but integration with other smart home ecosystems isn't one of them. Until recently, you'd have had to use some separate hardware or scripts to control any Sonos speaker, but no longer. Google has added support for Yonomi to the Google Home and Google Assistant, and since Yonomi supports Sonos natively, that means that controlling your Sonos speakers with Google Home no longer requires a workaround.

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CES 2018 wrap-up: All of the mildly interesting miscellaneous stuff

CES 2018 was a busy show, as usual, and so it's understandable that we let a few announcements slip through the cracks. The items in this wrap-up did not fall into the Android TV, Assistant, or Alexa "categories," so they all got lumped into their own miscellaneous one. Some of these are actually pretty neat, even if they are only mildly interesting.

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