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Huge Harman Kardon Invoke sale: Cortana speaker is now 50% off

Huge Harman Kardon Invoke sale: Cortana speaker is now 50% off

By Elyse Betters

Those of you who want to try Microsoft's assistant outside of your PC will be happy to hear that the Harman Kardon Invoke is now half off.The smart speaker, which debuted last year with a $230 price tag, currently costs $108 on Amazon (US), a 53-per cent... Read more

Amazon Echo Show review: Alexa steps into a touchscreen future
4.0 stars

Amazon Echo Show review: Alexa steps into a touchscreen future

By Elyse Betters

As much as we love the original canister-shaped Echo speaker, adding a display to the Echo seems like a natural evolution for Amazon's smart assistant, which now sits in a line with a growing number of other Amazon-made Alexa devices (Spot, Echo, Dot,... Read more

Amazon Alexa Easter Eggs: Your complete guide to funny Alexa commands

Amazon Alexa Easter Eggs: Your complete guide to funny Alexa commands

By Elyse Betters

Alexa isn't just helpful. She's also funny.Amazon's virtual assistant, which is found on many devices, like Amazon's own Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, has an answer for just about everything. And, at the same time, she's loaded with hilarious responses... Read more

Ring Floodlight Cam review: The best protection for your home?
4.5 stars

Ring Floodlight Cam review: The best protection for your home?

By Max Langridge

Ring is perhaps best known for its video doorbells that not only let you speak to anyone at your front door when you're not around, but can even be used to help catch any unwanted visitors to your home.It makes perfect sense that the company has carried... Read more

Microsoft wants you to use Cortana - so it added IFTTT integration

Microsoft wants you to use Cortana - so it added IFTTT integration

By Elyse Betters

Despite all of Microsoft's efforts, its Cortana assistant is just not as ubiquitous as Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, or Google Assistant.It seems like every new smart home device or appliance in the market supports just about every assistant, except for... Read more

Virgin Media ups fastest consumer broadband speeds to 350Mbps

Virgin Media ups fastest consumer broadband speeds to 350Mbps

By Rik Henderson

Virgin Media has announced that it is upping its top level broadband speeds to 350Mbps.It will roll out ultrafast broadband services capable of speeds of up to 350Mbps from spring. Around 15 million UK households now have the infrastructure to receive... Read more

What is Google Home, Google Home Max and Google Home Mini and what can Google Home do?

What is Google Home, Google Home Max and Google Home Mini and what can Google Home do?

By Elyse Betters

Google wants to embed itself in your home, to one-up Amazon.As a result, we have the Google Home family. Here's everything you know about it, including what it is, how the original Google Home works (especially Google Assistant), and where you can buy... Read more

How to change your Amazon Echo wake word

How to change your Amazon Echo wake word

By Dan Grabham

Your Amazon Echo or Alexa wake word is what your Amazon Alexa device listens out for before it bursts into action.Usually, this is "Alexa", the name of Amazon's virtual assistant and the default option. But you might not like "Alexa", while if you happen... Read more

12 best Amazon Alexa compatible devices you can buy today: top Alexa accessories

12 best Amazon Alexa compatible devices you can buy today: top Alexa accessories

By Cam Bunton

There's no denying it, the smarthome is a brewing market coming to life, thanks in the most part to the companies seeking to unify all your smart connected products, letting you control them from a single hub. Best Amazon Alexa tips and tricks None caught... Read more

How to stop someone else buying stuff with your Amazon Echo and Alexa

How to stop someone else buying stuff with your Amazon Echo and Alexa

By Chris Hall

You've long been able to ask Alexa to buy you things from Amazon. But how do you stop accidental ordering on your Amazon Echo with Alexa? (If you don't know what Alexa is, we'll explain all in our What is Alexa? feature.)And how do you stop reckless friends... Read more

Funniest internet reactions to Apple HomePod's white ring marks

Funniest internet reactions to Apple HomePod's white ring marks

By Elyse Betters

If you haven't heard yet, HomePod can ruin some wood furniture.When Pocket-lint reviewed Apple's smart speaker, we discovered its silicone base left a white, discoloured ring on our solid oak kitchen worktop that was treated with Danish oil. Apple told... Read more

7 best Google Home compatible devices you can buy today: top Google Assistant accessories

7 best Google Home compatible devices you can buy today: top Google Assistant accessories

By Elyse Betters

Google Home is more than just an internet-connected speaker with a voice assistant. It also works as a smart home hub.Google Assistant on Google Home can control smart home devices, although it's fair to say it doesn't support as many products as its... Read more

#Ringgate: How to stop HomePod from leaving rings on wood surfaces

#Ringgate: How to stop HomePod from leaving rings on wood surfaces

By Elyse Betters

Oh, Apple. We really wanted to love the HomePod. But, when we reviewed it, we discovered the silicone base on Apple's smart speaker left a white, discoloured ring on our solid oak kitchen worktop that was treated with Danish oil. Corroborating our findings,... Read more

Alexa can now play Mornington Crescent with you, be careful though she's a stickler for the rules

Alexa can now play Mornington Crescent with you, be careful though she's a stickler for the rules

By Rik Henderson

Amazon's smart voice assistant can do many things, switch on and off your lighting, answer your Ring doorbell, control your Sonos audio system, but did you know that she can also play Mornington Crescent?Not only that, but she's great at it.Ask her "Alexa,... Read more

Samsung's Bixby smart speaker: What's the story so far?

Samsung's Bixby smart speaker: What's the story so far?

By Elyse Betters

Leaks and rumours from the past year will have you believe that a Bixby-powered smart speaker is on the way.Samsung is reportedly developing such a device, and if the latest news is true, we'll see it arrive sometime this year. It's early days still,... Read more

How to control your Nest devices using Amazon Alexa commands

How to control your Nest devices using Amazon Alexa commands

By Elyse Betters

Those of you who own a Nest-branded smart device can immediately begin controlling it with your voice, via Amazon's Alexa.That's right. Nest has two skills that allow its devices to work with Alexa’s voice controls. With the Nest Thermostat skill, for... Read more

Future Echo devices could come with Amazon's own custom AI chip

Future Echo devices could come with Amazon's own custom AI chip

By Elyse Betters

Not to be outdone by Apple and Google, Amazon has reportedly begun development of its own artificial intelligence chip.According to The Information, Amazon has started designing a custom AI chip for Echo devices, with the purpose of improving Alexa and... Read more

What is ZigBee and why is it important for your smart home?

What is ZigBee and why is it important for your smart home?

By Elyse Betters

There's been an explosion in smart home devices over the past few years. What was once referred to as "home automation" and still referred to as "Internet of Things" has now settled into a more friendly category we call smart home. We've got heating,... Read more

Repairing your Apple HomePod costs almost as much as a new HomePod

Repairing your Apple HomePod costs almost as much as a new HomePod

By Rik Henderson

Siri might have some way to catch up with Alexa in smart speaker usability but there is no denying the audio quality emitted from an Apple HomePod. It has such amazing speaker tech inside that audiophile critics are lauding praise on it almost universally.There's... Read more

Vorwerk Kobold VR200 robotic vacuum cleaner review: A noisy but capable cleaning companion
3.5 stars

Vorwerk Kobold VR200 robotic vacuum cleaner review: A noisy but capable cleaning companion

By Adrian Willings

The human race might well fear being replaced by artificial intelligence (AI) and being put out of work by the rise of the machines, but there are some jobs we don't mind losing out to robots on - and cleaning is one of them. If you're considering adding... Read more

Google Assistant Easter Eggs: Your complete guide to funny Assistant commands

Google Assistant Easter Eggs: Your complete guide to funny Assistant commands

By Elyse Betters

Google Assistant can not only get things done but also entertain you.Assistant is loaded with hilarious responses for all sorts of hidden commands. These are "Google Easter Eggs" - an unexpected feature in software - and they range from Assistant's deepest,... Read more

Amazon reveals how it stops Alexa responding to its hotword unintentionally

Amazon reveals how it stops Alexa responding to its hotword unintentionally

By Chris Hall

There probably hasn't been a time that you've consciously been thankful for deep neural networks and machine learning, but that's what Amazon is using to ensure that Alexa doesn't respond to the "Alexa" keyword when you don't want it to. To demonstrate... Read more

How to set-up an Alexa smart home

How to set-up an Alexa smart home

By Chris Hall

A few years ago, the coordinated smart home felt like a pipe dream, but Alexa has changed all that. Thanks to increasing compatibility with smart home devices, Alexa and the Amazon Echo is now the ideal hub of your connected home.Where previously it was... Read more

Smarter Coffee Machine 2.0 review: Smart home gets caffeinated
4.0 stars

Smarter Coffee Machine 2.0 review: Smart home gets caffeinated

By Cam Bunton

By now, we're sure you've realised that anything that almost can be made smart and therefore internet-connected has been. That includes coffee machines. Yup, the Smarter Coffee Machine 2.0 is, as the name suggests, the second-generation coffee machine... Read more

How to set up Google Home using your Android or iOS device

How to set up Google Home using your Android or iOS device

By Elyse Betters

You've bought a Google Home. That's great. Now, you got to set it up.Or, maybe you're interested in buying one, but first, you want to see how easy it is to get it up and running. You're in luck - because we've compiled a guide that breaks down the entire... Read more

How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa

How to get started with Amazon Echo and Alexa

By Adrian Willings

Your Amazon Echo has just arrived and you might have glanced at the quick-start guide, but beyond the basic setup, do you know the first things you should do with your new Echo? Alexa is the virtual assistant inside Amazon Echo devices - for a briefing... Read more

Sick of saying 'OK Google'? Google might let you set custom hotwords

Sick of saying 'OK Google'? Google might let you set custom hotwords

By Elyse Betters

A Google app teardown has revealed a new feature possibly coming to Google's AI-based assistant.The Google app 7.20 APK has coding that suggests custom hotwords and the ability to choose a primary and secondary language for Google Assistant are on the... Read more

How to use Amazon Alexa to send SMS texts to phones by voice

How to use Amazon Alexa to send SMS texts to phones by voice

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has quietly updated its Alexa assistant once again - this time, adding the ability to send SMS text messages.You can now ask Alexa to send SMS text messages to a contact's mobile phone, rather than just message people through the Alexa app, but... Read more

You can now access your Netflix profile using your voice and Google Home

You can now access your Netflix profile using your voice and Google Home

By Max Langridge

If you have one Netflix account with multiple user profiles in your household, you can now use Google Assistant to access your personal profile using your voice, after Google added the support to the Google Home. What is Google Assistant, how does it... Read more

Amazon Echo Spot review: That hits the spot
4.5 stars

Amazon Echo Spot review: That hits the spot

By Chris Hall

Alexa has liberally thrust itself into the lives of just about everyone. Amazon's omnipotent AI appeals not only to the technically minded, but to everyone.Amazon's voice-controlled virtual assistant, Alexa, has become the complete smart home influencer:... Read more

What is Alexa? And what can Amazon Echo do?

What is Alexa? And what can Amazon Echo do?

By Britta O'Boyle

Amazon Echo is one of a range of hands-free speakers and devices that can be controlled with your voice. The voice-controlled Amazon "personal assistant" on these devices is called Alexa, who will perform various tasks for you and control various systems.In... Read more

Audi's Smart Energy Network will lower your reliance on the power grid

Audi's Smart Energy Network will lower your reliance on the power grid

By Max Langridge

German car manufacturer Audi has announced it will carry out a trial project for a new Smart Energy Network in its home city of Ingolstadt and the Zurich area. The Smart Energy Network is a system comprising stationary batteries (installed somewhere like... Read more

What is Amazon Echo Connect and how does it make calls?

What is Amazon Echo Connect and how does it make calls?

By Elyse Betters

Amazon has a new Echo accessory that turns your Echo speaker into a voice-controlled speakerphone.It's called Echo Connect. Before it came along, you could only make calls from one Echo speaker to another Echo speaker, kind of like an intercom system.... Read more

What is Amazon Echo Look and how does it work?

What is Amazon Echo Look and how does it work?

By Elyse Betters

Echo Look is one of the newest additions to Amazon's line of Echo-branded devices, and it's also one of the quirkiest.Each Echo device has a different form factor and is best suited to a specific environment - whether you're at home and want to listen... Read more

Apple HomeKit and Home app: What are they and how do they work?

Apple HomeKit and Home app: What are they and how do they work?

By Elyse Betters

HomeKit is basically Apple’s framework for home automation.Apple wants to make it easier for smart accessories - like Philips Hue lights, Wink lights, and other smart speakers, thermostats, detectors, plugs, blinds, locks, sensors and so on - to communicate... Read more

Nissan Energy Solar is an all-in-one solar panel power management system for homes

Nissan Energy Solar is an all-in-one solar panel power management system for homes

By Max Langridge

Nissan has entered the solar panel market with Nissan Energy Solar. More than just some solar panels to fix on your roof, Energy Solar is a complete energy management system that includes a storage system that lets you decide when to use any stored power... Read more

Amazon Virtual Dash Buttons are free and available for all Prime members to use

Amazon Virtual Dash Buttons are free and available for all Prime members to use

By Rik Henderson

Dash Buttons have been around for a few years now, enabling you to instantly order a product on Amazon through the click of a connected, physical button.Each Button costs a small sum which essentially goes towards your first order.Now Amazon has expanded... Read more

Google Home Max review: Turning smart-home sound quality up to 11
4.0 stars

Google Home Max review: Turning smart-home sound quality up to 11

By Elyse Betters

Google has a difficult task: it needs to steal your attention - or rather, your ears and voice - from the competition, as the world of smart home and voice-controlled tech products continues to hot up. These days it's not just Amazon with its Echo line... Read more

How smart assistants are set to break out from smart speakers

How smart assistants are set to break out from smart speakers

By Dan Grabham

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has been talking about the trend of seeing smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant breaking out from smart speakers and being incorporated into devices across the whole of consumer technology.The... Read more

Amazon Echo vs Echo 2 vs Echo Plus vs Echo Tap vs Echo Dot vs Echo Show vs Echo Spot: What's the difference?

Amazon Echo vs Echo 2 vs Echo Plus vs Echo Tap vs Echo Dot vs Echo Show vs Echo Spot: What's the difference?

By Elyse Betters

Amazon's Echo lineup is insane at this point, spanning smart speakers, video devices and new Alexa Gadgets. And now the Echo Spot has also been announced for the UK (it was already in the US).The Echo family of products has grown rapidly over the last... Read more

Amazon Echo Spot now available in the UK, pre-order today for £119

Amazon Echo Spot now available in the UK, pre-order today for £119

By Chris Hall

The missing piece of the Echo puzzle - the Echo Spot - is now available to pre-order in the UK. The little brother to the Echo Show, the Echo Spot makes for a perfect bedside companion. See the Echo Spot on Amazon UK  Announced alongside the refreshed... Read more

The best new Alexa devices 2018: AI-powered TVs, fridges, mirrors and more

The best new Alexa devices 2018: AI-powered TVs, fridges, mirrors and more

By Adrian Willings

With the ever-increasing popularity of Amazon Echo smart speakers, it's no surprise to see more and more companies jumping on the bandwagon and releasing devices with Alexa.CES 2018 has been and gone and Alexa powered devices were announced in their droves.... Read more

How Philips Hue Entertainment can improve your movies, TV and gameplay

How Philips Hue Entertainment can improve your movies, TV and gameplay

By Rik Henderson

Philips Hue is a great lighting system for adding ambience to a room, either in colour or shades of white, all from a handy iOS or Android app. You can even use a voice assistant, such as Siri or Alexa, to change the scene.It can make for amazing, almost... Read more

Philips Hue outdoor lighting range planned for this summer

Philips Hue outdoor lighting range planned for this summer

By Rik Henderson

The Philips Hue smart lighting range has been growing rapidly over the last few years, with different types of lamps and bulbs being added to the basic starter kits that originally launched.One area it needed to expand into though has always been outdoors.... Read more

LG has its own Google Assistant smart display speaker in the LG ThinQ WK9

LG has its own Google Assistant smart display speaker in the LG ThinQ WK9

By Rik Henderson

Although it announced plenty of products and an entirely new connected appliance and product line-up in its ThinQ AI range, LG was strangely quiet about the LG ThinQ WK9 during CES 2018. Indeed, it has appeared on its US product website without much of... Read more

Google Assistant on smart displays: What devices are there and what will they offer?

Google Assistant on smart displays: What devices are there and what will they offer?

By Cam Bunton

The race to be everywhere in your home is on, and as it stands, the competition is between Google and Amazon. With Echo and Google Home, smart speakers are starting to make their way into people's homes.That's not the only way these two companies want... Read more

Best smart home devices of CES 2018: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant everywhere

Best smart home devices of CES 2018: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant everywhere

By Adrian Willings

Along with a wealth of new televisions, laptops and other tech, CES is increasingly packed with connected devices for the home. This year it's all about Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant with a multitude of new devices including the voice assistants. We're... Read more

Microsoft confirms Cortana isn't going anywhere, will appear in more devices in 2018

Microsoft confirms Cortana isn't going anywhere, will appear in more devices in 2018

By Max Langridge

With all the new product announcements at CES 2018 that incorporate Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, you may be wondering where Microsoft Cortana has gone.We recently saw it appear in the gorgeous Johnson Controls JCI Glas thermostat and Qualcomm has... Read more

Facebook is making an Echo Show-like video chat device called Portal

Facebook is making an Echo Show-like video chat device called Portal

By Elyse Betters

Facebook might be getting into the hardware business.According to a report from Cheddar's Alex Heath, Facebook has developed a video chat device. It's called Portal, and it's meant to compete with Amazon’s Echo Show and other Echo devices. Facebook... Read more

Whirlpool devices to support Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Dash Buttons and more

Whirlpool devices to support Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Dash Buttons and more

By Adrian Willings

In the midst of CES 2018, home appliance manufacturer Whirlpool has announced a number of new products which feature smart integration or collaboration with other services aimed at improving consumer experiences. This includes everything from voice command... Read more