Nest got its start bringing smart thermostats to the masses, and last year's model went back to basics for its cheapest device yet. As long as you're okay with the switch to plastic and the lack of a rotating ring, Nest's newest gadget is a great way to upgrade to sync your house's temperature with Google Home. Its usual price is already a bargain, but several retailers have it marked down to just $99 today, a deal that you'll want to grab before it's too late.
It's been a busy start to the year for Ring. After releasing one of the most affordable smart doorbells on the market today, the company has returned with not one but two new cameras designed to keep your home monitored when you aren't around. In addition to a brand-new Video Doorbell 4, Ring is finally upgrading its popular floodlight with the new Floodlight Cam Wired Pro. Both versions are gaining some great improvements over the last-gen models.
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.
Wyze has made its name in the US by offering competent smart home hardware for startlingly little money—$20 for a camera, $50 for a smart thermostat, and so on. The $250 Wyze Robot Vacuum is by far its most expensive product, but it's still cheap compared to the competition. This device sports full 3D mapping, scheduling, and it's got an app that isn't terrible. Most importantly, it does a very good job cleaning, assuming you don't mind a little noise. Unfortunately, you can't control this device with Google Assistant, but that's one of the few drawbacks.
If you're on the market for a smart display, Amazon's latest Echo Show is currently marked down, selling for $210, which is $40 less than its traditional price. It's a great option to place calls, listen to music, watch content, and even have a handy helper in the kitchen while cooking.
Google released the original Nest Hub (née Home Hub) in 2018, and we liked it even at $150. That price came down substantially, giving more people a chance to try out what was arguably the best Assistant smart display. Google says one in five people put that device in their bedrooms, thanks largely to the lack of a camera. The second-gen Hub still doesn't have a camera, but it does watch you. Hiding inside the almost identical chassis is a Soli radar module, which monitors your movement and breathing to track sleep. Any technology product that watches you sleep is bound to come off a little creepy, but there's more to the Hub than sleep tracking.
Lenovo is one of a few companies to ever launch dedicated smart alarm clocks with Google Assistant, so there's never been loads of competition in the market. Xiaomi is looking to change that with its new Mi Smart Clock, a cute little gadget that should fit well with almost any bedroom design.
Unfortunately, the device is held back by the same issues that made the Lenovo clocks hard to recommend. Smart clocks are much more limited than smart displays, but they don't cost much less. They're not compatible with most video streaming apps, and they don't display some of the useful visual elements full-fledged smart displays offer.
If you tried to take a peek through your Nest Wi-Fi cameras earlier today, and couldn't, you weren't alone. The Nest system appeared to have a widespread outage on Wednesday, as reported by users on Reddit, Twitter, and other social networks. According to a statement from the official Google Nest Support account, the outage is over.
The Google Home app is getting an update to version 2.34 today in the wake of the debut of the new Nest Hub — namely, the app has been made to support said new device as well as a couple of other more features if you're in a Google Workspace or own a Google Wifi or Nest Wifi mesh network.