Tagged With smart speakers


What I hated about being woken up by my newborn in the middle of the night — aside from, you know, being woken up by my newborn in the middle of the night — was learning what time it was.

Hearing his cry for the third or fourth time since putting him down and then groggily opening my eyes to discover that it was only 11 p.m. left me sad and frustrated, making it difficult to go back to sleep. I suppose I didn’t need to know the time, but I liked having a general idea of whether his sleep stretches were getting longer or shorter (oh, please not shorter), and I needed a clock to gather that information. That’s when I realised my Google Home could help.


Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft heave been battling it out, in a four-way Battle Royale, for smart assistant supremacy. And while each platform has its own loyal following, only one can be the best. Each year Loup Ventures tests out the main contenders to determine the smartest of the bunch. And while the winner remains unchanged, the gap between first place and the rest of the pack is narrowing.


If you've visited Amazon since it launched Down Under, you've surely seen the adverts for the Echo smart speaker range. With multiple versions to choose from, there's a lot for prospective buyers to unpack before making a purchasing decision. Here's a rundown of each model, with links to buy.


With great versatile hardware, powerful sound and the full resources of Google's AI and Assistant software, the Google Home Max is more than just a better version of the original Google Home. This is an excellent quality, relatively compact speaker system that will likely be able to handle all your music, and can also act as a voice-activated hub for all your smart home needs.


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.


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.


This month Apple and Amazon will both launch smart speakers in Australia, trebling our options for voice-activated, internet-connected, American-tech-giant-controlled home assistants. The category has taken off in the US, where it was pioneered by Amazon, but will it fly in Australia?