Google is giving away a free Nest Mini smart speaker to all YouTube Premium and Google Play subscribers for the next month.
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The Google-owned home security company Nest updated its Nest Aware service with an all-new pricing model and some new features.
If you picked up a Google Home recently, you may be wondering what it's good for besides checking the weather and playing music. Google's smart speakers may not boast as many third-party skills as Amazon's Alexa, but there's still a ton you can do.
Accidentally summoning an AI helper like Google Assistant by inadvertently speaking the wake word (or something that sounds enough like it to fool a computer) has become a fact of life ever since Siri was first introduced. It can be a chronic problem too, depending on your living situation and how you use your smart devices: Sometimes the things can be... overzealous in their desire to serve you and will assume any vocalisation means you’re trying to activate them. On the other hand, there are times when your devices can’t seem to hear you when you want them to.
At some point, I decided to go all-in on having Google Home devices around. I love being able to ask what the weather is, set timers and reminders, and figure out how old an actor is by just asking, so much so that there’s a Google Home device in almost every room of my home now. For the rooms that don’t have one, a Mini is likely close enough for it and pick up my voice.
Not everything has to be a platform for something else, and that’s especially true in your smarthome. While you can supplement your smart speakers with skills, actions, and apps—we’re mainly talking about the Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home devices—you should think twice about what you’re installing. Vulnerabilities that have yet to be corrected by either company could open you up to phishing or eavesdropping by a malicious developer.
If you have some Frozen fans in your household, a new Google Assistant skill is likely to be a big hit: you can have characters from the movie read you a story.
For most parents, sharing a nighttime story with their child is a precious and important time, but sometimes the tucking-in duties fall to baby sitters and other family members. The latest Google Home update adds a new “My Storytime” feature that lets parents record stories and other messages for their children on those occasions when the parents aren’t home for bedtime.
If you have multiple chubby Google Home speakers—the Max—or two of the company’s brand-new Nest Mini speakers, then you’ve probably already been playing around with their Stereo Pair feature. Don’t fret if you’re still rockin’ an old-school Google Home or Google Home Mini, however; your time has come. Almost.
I love a good scientific mystery—stuff like quantum weirdness, dark matter and dark energy, strange gravitational behaviour, or even why smart speakers respond to light waves as if they were sound. That last one was the topic of a recently published paper from researchers at the University of Electro-Communications Tokyo and the University of Michigan, who used lasers to remotely control smart speakers, phones, and tablets from hundreds of feet away using “Light Commands.” While it’s a fascinating discovery that currently has no mechanical explanation, it’s also yet another vulnerability of using smart devices.
According to numerous reports, a recent firmware update—automatic, of course—has killed a number of Google Home and Google Home Mini speakers. There’s no way to tell whether yours could be affected until the firmware update drops (and it should have already, given these reports have been hitting since September or so).
Whether it's listening to podcasts or watching YouTube while cooking, video calling friends or just seeing the latest pics of grandkids show up as they're taken, Google's new Nest Hub Max has an awful lot of utility and an impressively intuitive hands-off operation. In other words it's exactly what you want in a smart display.
Earlier this year, Google announced that its line of Nest smart home devices would be folded into its “helpful home” initiative. A side effect of this move is IFTTT fans would no longer be able to build triggers and automations using their Nest devices, starting on August 31, 2019.