Going to the effort of setting up a smart home just so you can turn your lights on and off from your phone may not seem like the best use of your time and resources, but with the right gear and apps you can put together some routines that really will impress family, friends and occasional Airbnb guests. Here are five of our favourites.
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Amazon has managed to make Alexa the brand people think of when it comes to digital voice assistants, but the Google Assistant is the smartest of the bunch according to a new study. With that said, they all have serious shortcomings - particularly when it comes to responding to questions - that the industry has yet to iron out.
Touchscreens have become the primary way many of us interact with the digital world, but they aren't great options for the visually impaired. Smartphones have small displays and require precise controls, and their screens shut off after a few moments of inactivity, which makes them difficult to use if your vision isn't great. In these instances, a smart speaker is probably a much more useful device.
Our smart speakers continue to get smarter over time, and one of the features recently added to the kit made by Amazon and Google is support for multi-room audio -- in other words, the option to play the same tunes in multiple rooms at once. Here's how to set it up with a group of Amazon Echos, Google Homes, or Sonos smart speakers.
In the fight between Google, Amazon and Apple to take control of your home, there are some clear battle-lines being drawn. Over the last week, I've been using The Amazon Echo - a cylindrical speaker and microphone array that responds to my voice to do all sorts of interesting things. Here's my journey so far and how it fits into my quest to assemble an array for smart home devices that will make my home operate more smoothly.
Rarely lost for words, Google, Apple and Amazon's talkative smart speakers are auditioning for the role of all-knowing oracle in Aussie homes. But which version should rule your aboad?
We compare the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple Homepod at playing music, helping around the house, doing stuff online and actually understanding your requests. Here's how each unit fared.
Apple's entry into the increasingly competitive smart speaker market is here, and while the tech giant likes to claim it's focused almost entirely on the musical experience, via Apple Music, its close ties to Siri and Apple HomeKit make it tough not to compare the HomePod to similar devices produced by Google and Amazon.
The day we've been waiting for is finally here - we can finally pre-order the Amazon Echo, welcoming her into our homes in early February.
But what exactly will the Aussie Alexa, with her new 'strayn accent, be able to do?