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. Read More
iHome still, in fact, exists, and just today at CES the company announced a new Google Assistant powered speaker. With a built-in clock and alarm, it's meant to be a smart bedside companion. Although it won a CES 2018 Innovation Award, the new iGV1 pretty much just looks like a sawn-off Google Home with a clock on the front. Read More
Bixby is Samsung's home-grown virtual assistant that debuted on the Galaxy S8. It's still far behind Google Assistant in terms of functionality and language support, but Samsung has mostly continued to stick with it (they finally allowed users to disable the button a few months ago). According to a new report from Bloomberg, Samsung is working on a Bixby-powered smart speaker, and it's coming in the first half of next year. Read More
Google introduced the Assistant SDK back in April, making it possible for third parties to build the digital companion into their devices. Sure enough, at IFA 2017 in Berlin back in August, the first Google Assistant-enabled speakers were announced, due to hit the market this fall. There are now several different options from a range of manufacturers, and they cover various use cases and price points.
Other Google Home alternatives with better speakers have also been announced by the likes of Sony and Panasonic. For those on a tighter budget there’s also the Zolo Mojo from Anker. And before that has even gone on sale, Google itself launched the Google Home Mini. Read More
Tis the season for deals and today there's more to be thankful about if you love great sound and even better features. One of our favorite audio brands, JBL, is having a big discount on many of its speakers. This includes small and more significant discounts on long-time Bluetooth favorites like the Clip 2 ($30 off), Charge 3 (a neat $60 off), Flip 4 ($20 off), and Xtreme ($150 off, half-price), but also really cool discounts on the newly announced streaming speaker range. Read More
It's already been heavily leaked, so it didn't come as much of a surprise, but the Google Home Mini is now official. Announced at Google's big event today in San Francisco, the little speaker is inevitably going to be compared to a hockey puck in size and shape. It's a smaller and cheaper alternative to the Google Home smart speaker, costing just $49 compared to the $129 you can usually expect to pay for its bigger brother. Read More
Foldable smartphones with bendy screens have seemingly been on the horizon for some time. It's seen by some as the next great innovation in the industry, essentially giving you a tablet sized screen in a device with the footprint of a phone. While we've seen numerous concepts and heard many proclamations, nothing concrete has surfaced just yet. But that doesn't stop companies like Samsung from talking about it. In the latest comments to come from the Korean firm, Koh Dong-jin, president of mobile business, says the first flexible device could be ready in 2018. Read More
There is no shortage of Alexa-powered smart speakers at this point. Even though the first third-party Google Assistant smart speakers were the stars of IFA in Berlin this past week (at least as far as audio products go), Amazon hasn't been resting on its laurels. A few more Alexa speakers were revealed at the event, including ones from big-name companies like DTS and Harman (parent company of JBL). Read More
In line to pick up an Amazon Echo? Join the club. It's been more than two years since Amazon's inaugural Alexa-powered smart speaker hit the market, and the retail giant is still having problems keeping it in stock. For the last 24 hours, the Echo has been listed as "Currently unavailable" on Amazon. Read More
According to a report from Bloomberg, Facebook is building a video calling device for the home, in what is essentially a new product category. It apparently has a laptop-sized screen and smart camera technology that gives users the impression of being in the same room as one another. Read More