Google Assistant can turn off your lights, adjust your thermostat, show you the weather, lock the door and more with a simple voice command. The voice-enabled digital helper from the eponymous search giant launched alongside the original Google Home smart speaker in 2016. Back then, it only worked with four smart home brands. Now, it works with over 1,000 of them.Thanks to all of those options, building a smart home around Google Assistant makes sense. Devices like a smart speaker or a smart display will help you tangle with fewer apps and give your family a control point without needing to access your phone. Picking between Google Assistant and Amazon's assistant Alexa comes down to splitting hairs and personal preference. If you'd prefer an Alexa-centered smart home, check back tomorrow for that list. Apple's HomeKit platform isn't as robust as far as number of devices, but if you love your iPhone and the built-in assistant Siri, check out our favorite HomeKit … [Read more...] about The best Google Assistant devices of 2019
Dot vs google home mini
It's not even Prime Day yet (that happens Monday, as you've undoubtedly heard), but two of the biggest rivals in smart-home technology are already on sale -- at prices that match their all-time lows and probably won't be seen again until Black Friday. The question: If you've got some spare cash to spend on a smart speaker, which one should you get?First, the contenders. Amazon already has a handful of pre-Prime Day deals up and running, including the Echo Dot (3rd-generation) for $24.99.See it at AmazonMeanwhile, Walmart has a whole bunch of Google Home and Nest products on sale, including the Google Home Mini for $25.See it at WalmartThese two hockey pucks normally sell for $50, so they're both 50% off -- making this a win-win scenario in my book. That said, if you don't already have a smart speaker (and you're not freaked out by the idea that humans might be listening to your queries), is there a clear winner between these two?Here's my take: If you own an Android phone, meaning … [Read more...] about Prime Day smackdown: $25 Echo Dot vs. $25 Google Home Mini
The Amazon Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini are both awesome gadgets. When you need an answer to a trivia question burning your brain, or if you want to check your calendar or turn on the lights without moving from the couch, a smart speaker can help. Pretty much all of your options, including the two above, let you turn on the lights, play music, set a reminder, ask a question and more with a simple voice command. If that sounds appealing to you, it might be time to give in to the growing hype of this burgeoning category and buy a smart speaker. Amazon helped popularize the category with the original Echo and the now famous digital assistant known as Alexa, but today you have a variety of options from several different companies. As far as hardware, the differences largely come down to size, price and sound quality. If you don't need much oomph from your music, you can save money for the same smarts in a smaller body. Amazon, Google, and Apple all have competent smart speakers, … [Read more...] about Echo Dot, Google Home Mini and more: Best smart speakers of 2019
Your phone can make a great controller for music, movies and TV in the home. Maybe you want to send music from your phone or an app like Spotify to your speaker system. Or maybe you want to control Netflix on your mobile device and watch it on your TV. Two phone-to-AV systems stand out above the crowd: Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay. Both let you stream music and video to a TV, speaker or other device around the home. While all AirPlay and Chromecast devices support audio, not as many handle video -- the main devices that do are the Apple TV ($149) or Apple TV 4K ($179) and Google Chromecast ($35) streamers. Now playing: Watch this: 'Alexa, play Apple Music' 1:23 Meanwhile Apple AirPlay 2's main additions are multiroom audio, stereo pairing for the Apple HomePod ($349), and the ability to stream to 2019 televisions. So if you're investing in new equipment, which logo should you be looking for on the box? Is one better than the … [Read more...] about Google Chromecast vs Apple AirPlay: Which is better for streaming from your phone?
Chris Turkstra, director of Google Assistant, sat on a couch in a Renaissance hotel suite in Las Vegas on Sunday and started to chat with what was essentially your family's old kitchen TV on steroids.On a side table to his right was the Lenovo Smart Display, more or less a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker with a built-in touchscreen. The gadget is one of four new smart displays -- made by Sony, Samsung-owned JBL, LG and Lenovo -- that Google and its partners unveiled Monday at the CES tech show in Las Vegas. The devices do everything you can do with a smart speaker, like play music and operate your connected lights, but they also let you make video calls, watch YouTube videos and look at photos, all using voice controls."Our thinking is that over time, this is how people will interact with technology," Turkstra said of the voice-controlled device. You may have seen a gadget like these smart displays before, since Amazon unveiled a similar concept in the Echo Show last May. … [Read more...] about Google takes on Echo Show with four new smart displays