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Logitech Harmony direct control is finally live on Google Assistant (and Home), but there are some limitations

Harmony's history with Google Home and Assistant goes way back. When support for the service first rolled out, it was an Actions on Google integration (or Assistant app). That meant you had to "ask Harmony to do something" every time, which only worked with your own voice (no support for other home members unless they added the account in their own Assistant) and was very inconvenient. Sure, you could create shortcuts/routines to avoid having to say "ask Harmony" for every command, but even those were voice-dependent and you had to manually set up an equivalent shortcut for every action.

Direct integration for Harmony with Assistant — so it would work like Hue, Nest, LIFX, and others — was promised in May.

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Amazon releases new Echo Dot, Smart Plug, Echo Sub, and other devices

Last month, Amazon announced a handful of new Alexa-powered devices. The Echo Auto (an Alexa device for your car), third-generation Echo Dot, second-generation Echo Plus, Echo Sub (a subwoofer for other Echo speakers), Amazon Smart Plug, and second-generation Echo Show were some of the new additions. Most of those products were previously available for pre-order, but now some have been officially released.

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Lutron's are the first smart shades natively supported by Google Assistant

After decking your house with everything from smart lights and speakers to robot vacuums and connected ovens, the remaining things you may be looking at and wondering if they can integrate your home 2.0 setup are your shades. Replacing existing shades with new connected ones isn't easy or cheap, but if you've already taken that step or looking into it, you should know that they will soon be natively supported as a device type in Google Assistant. Better yet, Lutron's connected shades are the first ones to roll out this integration now.

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Google now offers smart home product bundles at a discount

If you're looking to deck your house out in connected devices, Google has you covered. The 'Smart TV kit' with a Home Mini and Chromecast leaked last week, and now it appears that's just one of several bundles that Google is selling on its website.

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Logi Circle app updated with camera grid rearrangement, new settings layout, and more

Logitech was among the first companies to embrace the new wave of cloud-connected home security cameras with its Circle line. Now, everyone makes them. Logitech's Android app has been a little lacking in the past, but it has made solid improvements over time. The latest update includes a few long-awaited features, too.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Philips Hue LED bulbs, LightStrip Plus, Starter Kit, and more up to $90 off at Woot

Smart lighting is one of the simplest ways to give you more wireless control over your home. Philips produces the Hue line of products, which can perform some rather cool tricks that will make your standard lights envious. For example, they can be programmed to change colors when they detect smoke, or when your favorite sports team scores. We recently linked to a deal on Amazon for new Hue units, but if you're looking for more savings, Woot has refurbished models on sale for a larger discount.

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[Update: Screenshots and changelog] Redesigned Amazon Alexa app coming soon with easier device access

Amazon’s Alexa app serves as the gateway between users and their smart home devices, such as the recently updated Echo line of speakers. Almost a year ago, the app reached 10 million downloads and shortly after that, the company updated it with voice commands. Now it’s getting a major redesign which brings a new device view that lists all companion units on one screen.

The update has already rolled out to iOS users, and Amazon has confirmed to us that the refreshed Android experience will begin to show up over the coming weeks.

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[Deal Alert] Philips Hue LED smart bulbs, LightStrip Plus, Smart Hub, and more are up to 33% off at Amazon

Halloween is fast approaching. If you want to have the coolest, most tech-filled display on the block—or just some smart lighting for regular, non-festive use around the house—Amazon has discounted quite a few Philips Hue products by up to 33%.

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Google Assistant now works with more than 10,000 smart home devices

The Google Assistant's bag of smart home tricks is growing at breakneck speed. At the beginning of this year, the Assistant supported 1,500 devices; by May, that figure had ballooned to more than 5,000. Now, with little fanfare, the Google Home support page has been updated to show that more than 10,000 devices from more than 1,000 manufacturers play nice with Google's ecosystem.

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U.S. households embrace smart speakers with 24% owning at least one, Nielsen study finds

Smart speakers are quickly becoming standard across U.S. households. My grandmother recently floored me when she demonstrated how she uses her JBL Link to play 60s music with Google Assistant. I was impressed because she was still learning how to Google, but here she was jamming out while making breakfast. That’s the moment I knew smart speakers were here to stay. Research from Nielsen now confirms the sudden rise of this market category.

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