google
Google and Lenovo’s Smart Display Trounces Amazon’s in Every Way

Despite Amazon having a two-year head start versus Google in the smart speaker wars, earlier this year, sales of Google Home devices surpassed all of Amazon’s Echoes for the first time ever. And while Amazon still holds the overall lead in market share, it’s not hard to see why Google is catching up fast. Compared to Alexa, the Google Assistant is simply smarter, better sounding, and an all-around more helpful AI. However, even with new additions to the Google Home family in 2017 by way of the Home Mini and Max, there are some holes in the Google’s smart speaker lineup – like smart screens. But thanks to the new Lenovo Smart Display, Google now has an answer to the Echo Show, and it’s a damn good retort at that. Read More >>

smart home
5 Smart Home Tricks That Are Actually Impressive

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. Read More >>

technology
There’s a New Resource List for Domestic Abuse Victims Targeted Through the Internet of Things

Last month, the New York Times published a report detailing ways in which domestic abusers have weaponised smart home technology, exploiting devices such as internet-connected doorbells, speakers, and thermostats to harass their partners. This month, a research team at University College London published a resource list for victims of domestic abuse, specifically through the exploitation of the internet of things. Read More >>

airbnb
Airbnb Teams Up With August Smart Locks and What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

One of the biggest issues with renting an Airbnb is the potential complications of getting into the Airbnb. Will the host be available to give you the key? Will the neighbours think you’re trying to break in if you’re awkwardly scouring the premises? Is there some annoying trick to getting the door to unlock? Sometimes the anxiety about getting into a rental can make the beginning of a holiday even more stressful. Read More >>

amazon
Alexa is a Pretty Crappy TV Remote, for Now

Plenty of companies want to build the centrepiece for tomorrow’s smart home. Amazon has a head start, too. Tens of millions of Americans now own Echo devices, and Alexa now has tens of thousands of skills. Adding a voice assistant to any TV, I’ve always thought, could be a game changer. And now, Amazon’s Fire TV Cube does just that. Is it a game changer? Not yet. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon is Invading Model Homes to Show Off a Future No One Wants

Amazon announced Wednesday that it will try to pitch the general public on its dystopian future by launching interactive showrooms in model homes across the USA to show off its full line of smart home products. Read More >>

technology
This Cheap Painting Technique Turns Walls Into Giant Touch Sensors

The walls of your house keep the roof up, give your family some privacy, and maybe provide a place to hang some art. But researchers at Disney and Carnegie Mellon University have come up with a way for walls to do more. A cheap paint treatment turns them into giant sensors, creating new ways to interact with a smart home by just walking around in it. Read More >>

technology
Don’t Use a Nest Doorbell to Raise Your Kids

Nest recently released a new ad, and let me tell you: there are some issues with the content. So you see this teenage girl in a prom dress ring a Nest doorbell, and a teen couple walk out the front door. The two girls walk to a car, as a low robotic voice beckons the boy and proceeds to give him a fatherly speech about being a gentleman. Turns out, the voice is actually coming from the doorbell and belongs to his doctor dad who is at work at a hospital. Again, there are some issues. Read More >>

smart home
The Tado Radiator Thermostat Made My Life Feel Complete Again

One of the perks of being a tech journalist is that sometimes you get to try stuff out early. I was one of the first people in the country to try out the Tado wifi-powered thermostat. It might be tricky to remember now that connected thermostats are more common, but back in 2013, the technology was pretty mind-blowing, and subtly transformative. Read More >>

security
How to Build a Smart Home That’s Actually Secure

The number of smart connected devices in our homes is growing at a rapid rate, and that means more opportunities for unwelcome visitors to access your devices and your network. Whether you’ve got one smart home device or one hundred, here’s what to do to make sure your setup is as safe and secure as it can be. Read More >>

samsung
CES 2018: Samsung Put a Big AKG Speaker Into a Refrigerator and It’s Oddly Awesome

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your refrigerator were also a goshdang boombox? I haven’t. That’s why it was so exciting when I saw a new Samsung refrigerator at CES that contained a stocky AKG speaker in the front door. It bumps tunes, and it keeps your milk cold. Read More >>

amazon
Amazon Just Bought Itself Another Way Into Your Home

Amazon has just been shovelling out smart devices this year, launching a shedload of new Alexa-powered devices including an all-new Echo, the Echo Spot, and the premium Echo Plus. But one category where Amazon’s portfolio feels a bit thin is home security, where its indoor-only Cloud Cam is the company’s sole offering. Read More >>

reviews
The Google Home Max Almost Made my House go Boom

The weird thing about picking up the Google Home Max is the weight. It’s only 11 pounds, but it feels heavy, the way speakers used to feel. So I feel like I smirked when I plugged it in, thinking, “This thing’s gonna be loud.” At top volume, the Google Home Max did not blow me away. I could, however, have a conversation with it. Read More >>

reviews
The Best Bluetooth Speaker Now Works With Alexa and It’s Amazing

When you’re a tech journalist, your friends typically have a classic, back-pocket question around the holiday season: What should I get So-and-So as a gift? My most-used answer used to be the Boom, a Bluetooth speaker made by Ultimate Ears. This year is different. This year it’s the Blast, an Alexa-powered speaker made by angels from heaven. Read More >>