Latest smart home news

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

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

Samsung A Galaxy Event to unveil two new phones, press renders leaked
Amazon might launch eight new Alexa devices, including a microwave
Amazon might launch eight new Alexa devices, including a microwave By Maggie Tillman

Amazon is developing an entire new range of Alexa-powered smart home devices. To be clear, these likely won't be new Echo speakers.According to a report from CNBC, Amazon is working on new voice-controlled devices, including a microwave oven, an in-car... Read more

Doubling up on Alexa: How to use multiple Amazon Echo and Dots
Doubling up on Alexa: How to use multiple Amazon Echo and Dots By Adrian Willings

Amazon is pushing the Echo and Echo Dot hard in a bid to dominate the connected home market before too many players - like Google - can catch up.The Amazon Echo got off to a flying start, establishing itself as one of the hottest smart home devices,... Read more

Apple HomePod adds multiple timers, lyric search, and calls
Apple HomePod adds multiple timers, lyric search, and calls By Maggie Tillman

Apple is on stage at the Gather Round event in Cupertino, where it is unveiling several new devices, as well as new HomePod features.That's right. Apple didn't forget about its Siri speaker. CEO Tim Cook featured the product during the final minutes... Read more

Pure's new alarm clock DAB radio can wirelessly charge your phone
Pure's new alarm clock DAB radio can wirelessly charge your phone By Dan Grabham

Fresh from announcing Elan IR internet radios and its Alexa-enabled smart speaker last week, British firm Pure has now powered up its Siesta alarm clock with a version that features wireless charging.  Our guide to the best Alexa speakers The £130... Read more

The stunning Nanoleaf Canvas turns a wall into light
The stunning Nanoleaf Canvas turns a wall into light By Luke Edwards

Fancy turning an entire wall into a new way to light up your room? Nanoleaf Canvas can do just that. The light panels will be available in a pack from £179 at the beginning of December and is the perfect way to brighten up a dull winter’s day.You can... Read more

The Pure DiscovR smart speaker lets you stop Alexa listening 24/7
The Pure DiscovR smart speaker lets you stop Alexa listening 24/7 By Andrew Williams

A lot of smart speakers could pass for normal wireless speakers with mics jammed in, but the Pure DiscovR is a little different.It’s a smart speaker with Amazon Alexa that has a pop-up top. Push it in and the mics used to communicate with Alexa physically... Read more

Huawei’s AI Cube isn’t a cube but is a 4G router and is Alexa-powered
Huawei’s AI Cube isn’t a cube but is a 4G router and is Alexa-powered By Dan Grabham

We’ve known for a little while that Huawei was going to bring out a smart speaker. Now it has officially announced the device at IFA 2018 and, pleasingly, Huawei has opted for Amazon Alexa rather than attempting to create its own smart assistant.We... Read more

Neato launches Botvac D6 and D4 to make top-notch robot cleaning more affordable
Neato launches Botvac D6 and D4 to make top-notch robot cleaning more affordable By Dan Grabham

We're big fans of the Neato Botvac D7 Connected and now the company has launched two sister models here at IFA 2018, the D6 and D4 to follow up the D3 and D5. As you'd expect, both are cheaper than the D7; the D6 is £649/$799 while the D4 is a very... Read more

Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm alerts your phone and is Apple HomeKit compatible
Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm alerts your phone and is Apple HomeKit compatible By Rik Henderson

Netatmo is constantly expanding its range of smart home devices and the latest is something that could literally save your life.Announced in the US in 2017 but finally making its way across the pond, the Netatmo Smart Smoke Alarm not only works like a... Read more

Tado Smart Thermostat V3+ refresh adds new app and better control
Tado Smart Thermostat V3+ refresh adds new app and better control By Rik Henderson

Tado has updated its suite of smart home thermostat products to V3+ and introduces a new app to give you greater understanding and control over the air quality in your home.The new Tado app, which helps you control your Smart Thermostat and Radiator products,... Read more

Google Assistant is now bilingual, can understand two languages at once
Google Assistant is now bilingual, can understand two languages at once By Maggie Tillman

If you live in a bilingual household and own a Google Assistant speaker, you'll love the assistant's latest update.Google has announced a new feature for Google Assistant: it’s now bilingual. So, if you ask the assistant a question, it will automatically... Read more

This is Netegar's Alexa-powered Orbi mesh smart speaker
This is Netegar's Alexa-powered Orbi mesh smart speaker By Dan Grabham

Netgear has debuted a new smart speaker here at IFA 2018. And while it's Alexa-powered, there are several key differences with the Orbi Voice, as it's called. Firstly, Orbi Voice should sound rather good, coming as it does with Harman/Kardon sound.Naturally,... Read more

Lenovo looking to take on Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings with smart gadget line-up
Lenovo looking to take on Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings with smart gadget line-up By Rik Henderson

Lenovo is entering the smart home market in a big way. As well as its Smart Display, shown first at CES in January, the Chinese firm is introducing other smart devices, including a bulb to rival Philips Hue, plus a security camera and smart plug.All three... Read more

JBL debuts Echo Show-like speaker and more Assistant devices
JBL debuts Echo Show-like speaker and more Assistant devices By Maggie Tillman

Samsung-owned Harman Kardon just introduced the Google Assistant-enabled Citation series. Now, JBL is doing something similar.The company, which Samsung acquired, is introducing five new devices: Link Bar, which serves up voice-enabled smart TV content... Read more

Google Home Max comes to the UK at last, get it for £399
Google Home Max comes to the UK at last, get it for £399 By Rik Henderson

Google has finally introduced the larger of its smart speakers to the UK.The Google Home Max has been a big hit in the US, adding four drivers and six Class D amplifiers to the same Google Assistant voice control you get on the standard Google Home. Of... Read more

Flexson builds premium accessories for Sonos, we explored the range
Flexson builds premium accessories for Sonos, we explored the range By Pocket-lint Promotion

Sonos speakers look and sound great. They are easy to set up and use. But you can still make them even better, thanks to Flexson, which makes stands and mounts which let you place the speakers in the perfect locations.For instance, if you have the Sonos... Read more

Bose goes after Sonos with new Alexa speaker and soundbars
Bose goes after Sonos with new Alexa speaker and soundbars By Maggie Tillman

Bose has announced a smart speaker and two soundbars - and all three offer Alexa voice support, with "other voice assistants to follow".Starting with the Bose Home Speaker 500, the speaker has an aluminium build with a small non-touch display on the... Read more

Eve Room 2nd-gen smart air quality monitor will help you breathe easier
Eve Room 2nd-gen smart air quality monitor will help you breathe easier By Rik Henderson

Eve Systems, the smart home brand formerly known as Elgato, has announced a second-generation version of its air quality and indoor climate monitor, Eve Room.The small device comes with an E Ink display, links with Apple HomeKit and an iPhone, iPad or... Read more

Harman Kardon's Citation 500 is a premium speaker with Google Assistant
Harman Kardon's Citation 500 is a premium speaker with Google Assistant By Maggie Tillman

If you're looking to buy a premium smart speaker with Google Assistant, you may be interested in this latest product from Harman Kardon.The Samsung-owned company, which has yet to release a Bixby-enabled speaker, though it did work on the new Galaxy Home... Read more

Ikea might launch a cheap smart plug soon, leaked pics show
Ikea might launch a cheap smart plug soon, leaked pics show By Maggie Tillman

Ikea fans will be happy to know the Swedish retailer might soon add a new product to its smart home portfolio: super-cheap smart plugs.Ikea appears to be getting ready to update its Tradfri line of smart home products with the addition of new smart plugs.... Read more

Amazon's big Bank Holiday sale is go! Great deals on devices and summer gear
Amazon's big Bank Holiday sale is go! Great deals on devices and summer gear By Dan Grabham

Amazon is having a big sale over the Bank Holiday weekend running from today until 29 August. See what's on offer for Amazon's Big Bank Holiday sale There are discounts on a load of stationery and back to school items as well as Amazon devices (quelle surprise)... Read more

These are all the new Philips Hue lights appearing at IFA 2018
These are all the new Philips Hue lights appearing at IFA 2018 By Maggie Tillman

Philips has announced a few new Hue devices, including several lamps, a bathroom range, and a some outdoor lighting.First up, there is the Philips Hue Play and Signe lamps. These are designed for the home and can be customised to make "gaming and music... Read more

Amazon back-to-school sale: Deep discounts on Fire tablets and more
Amazon back-to-school sale: Deep discounts on Fire tablets and more By Maggie Tillman

Amazon is holding a huge sale in the US right now - just in time for students headed back to school.Parents and kids are shopping online for the best back-to-school gear, and Amazon, of course, wants in on the action, so it is discounting Fire tablets,... Read more

Google Home with touchscreen display coming to take on Amazon Echo Show
Google Home with touchscreen display coming to take on Amazon Echo Show By Rik Henderson

Google is said to be releasing its own version of the Amazon Echo Show in time for the holidays.A display-equipped Google Home will reportedly be released prior to Christmas, in order to directly compete with Amazon's Alexa device.What's more, the company... Read more

That slick Cortana thermostat now comes with Alexa and Assistant
That slick Cortana thermostat now comes with Alexa and Assistant By Maggie Tillman

Look out, Nest. Johnson Controls said its Cortana-powered thermostat will start shipping soon with support for Alexa and Google Assistant, too.In 2017, Johnson Controls partnered with Microsoft on a thermostat. Called GLAS, the $319 device is made by... Read more

How the Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa integration works
How the Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Alexa integration works By Maggie Tillman

It's clear that people use many digital assistants in their lives.They might own a PC with Cortana, an iPhone with Siri, an Fire tablet with Alexa, and a Google Home with Assistant. These assistants live on their own devices and respective ecosystems.... Read more

5 reasons to buy the Sonos Beam
5 reasons to buy the Sonos Beam By Pocket-lint Promotion

Sonos produces tremendous multi-room speakers, wireless apart from a power cable. Easy to set up and great-sounding, they have become the speaker of choice for millions. So, when a new addition to the range is revealed, the Sonos Beam, it's worth finding... Read more

LG Styler ThinQ: Now you can even talk to your bedroom wardrobe
LG Styler ThinQ: Now you can even talk to your bedroom wardrobe By Rik Henderson

LG will show smart, connected, artificially intelligent bedroom furniture at IFA 2018 in a couple of weeks.The LG Styler system is already available in the US and several other regions, but the new models are far smarter and offer voice control.It effectively... Read more

Is Amazon having to give up its next day delivery claim in the UK?
Is Amazon having to give up its next day delivery claim in the UK? By Dan Grabham

Amazon is apparently being investigated over claims that its next-day Prime delivery service doesn't actually deliver "unlimited one-day delivery". That's because - as you'll know if you're a Prime user - not all items do arrive the next day.  Amazon... Read more

Sonos One and Beam get Alexa announcements, broadcast messages around the house
Sonos One and Beam get Alexa announcements, broadcast messages around the house By Rik Henderson

Amazon's Alexa announcements feature has been added to Sonos speakers for the first time.The Sonos One and Sonos Beam smart speakers now have the ability to broadcast messages around the home, bringing the young ones to the dinner table or making sure... Read more

Samsung Galaxy Home: Release date, price, specs and features
Samsung Galaxy Home: Release date, price, specs and features By Maggie Tillman

Samsung has announced its first entry into the smart speaker arena, with the introduction of Galaxy Home.This Bixby-powered device is meant to compete with Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Apple HomePod. It houses Samsung's own virtual assistant, doubles... Read more

Samsung Galaxy Home is that Bixby powered smart speaker we've long expected
Samsung Galaxy Home is that Bixby powered smart speaker we've long expected By Dan Grabham

Samsung has outed its long-awaited smart speaker. Called Samsung Galaxy Home, it definitely has a distinctive design and sits on three prongs. But there's one key question: is Bixby good enough to power a smart speaker?Bixby hasn't exactly been a shining... Read more

June is back with a new high-tech smart oven for your counter
June is back with a new high-tech smart oven for your counter By Maggie Tillman

Remember the June oven?No? Well, a few years ago, former Apple engineers, who both love to cook, introduced June, a smart oven with a Nvidia Tegra K1, 2.3GHz quad-core processor, 5-inch touchscreen, full HD camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, and built-in digital... Read more

Samsung's IFA press event confirmed - but doesn't look like it's time for Galaxy Watch
Samsung's IFA press event confirmed - but doesn't look like it's time for Galaxy Watch By Dan Grabham

Samsung has confirmed its IFA 2018 press conference - but it doesn't look like it will be time for the Galaxy Watch to launch there.  Samsung Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy S9+: What's the rumoured difference? That's because the invite to the event is on Samsung's... Read more

You can now order JBL's Link View Google Assistant smart display
You can now order JBL's Link View Google Assistant smart display By Maggie Tillman

Do you want an Echo Show, but with Google Assistant instead of Alexa?The very first "Google Smart Display", which is, essentially, a Google Home with a screen, launched last week via Lenovo. Now, JBL is accepting preorders for its own smart display. Called... Read more

Neato Botvac D7 Connected update brings multi-floor cleaning to your home
Neato Botvac D7 Connected update brings multi-floor cleaning to your home By Adrian Willings

Neato Robotics is releasing a new software update for the Neato Botvac D7 Connected robot vacuum cleaner today which improves the bot's cleaning abilities. Neato's FloorPlanner Advanced Mapping Technology already allows users of the D7 Connected to... Read more

Amazon’s next Echo Dot looks radically different in leaked pics
Amazon’s next Echo Dot looks radically different in leaked pics By Maggie Tillman

Amazon might be making a new Echo Dot speaker that looks awfully similar to the Google Home Mini. The online retailer hasn’t released a new Echo Dot speaker since late 2016, but if some leaked photos are legit, it looks like it might release a third-generation... Read more

Nespresso Barista is smartphone controlled and can even make hot chocolate
Nespresso Barista is smartphone controlled and can even make hot chocolate By Rik Henderson

Nespresso is well known for its premium capsule coffee machines but its latest device is something quite different. Smarter too.The Nespresso Barista is capable of making all manner of hot and cold drinks, including iced coffee and hot chocolate.It comes... Read more

Colgate smart toothbrush will teach you how to brush properly, exclusive to Apple
Colgate smart toothbrush will teach you how to brush properly, exclusive to Apple By Rik Henderson

Dental health firm Colgate has released a smart toothbrush that will give you feedback on your brushing technique, in order to help improve your daily routine.Like other electronic toothbrushes, it features sonic vibration technology to help clean your... Read more

Netgear is adding an audio doorbell to its Arlo home security range
Netgear is adding an audio doorbell to its Arlo home security range By Adrian Willings

Netgear has announced that it is launching a new doorbell to join the company's home security product range. The new Arlo audio doorbell represents an interesting alternative to Nest Hello and Ring Video Doorbells. This new Arlo Audio Doorbell is designed... Read more

How to adjust Alexa's EQ and sound controls by voice
How to adjust Alexa's EQ and sound controls by voice By Maggie Tillman

Amazon has finally given Alexa some equaliser features.That means you'll be able to adjust EQ settings with commands like “Alexa, increase the bass.” It’s a great option that users have been clamoring for since Amazon first launched Alexa alongside... Read more

Amazon's Tap to Alexa feature: How it works and how to turn it on
Amazon's Tap to Alexa feature: How it works and how to turn it on By Maggie Tillman

Amazon is making the Echo Show more accessible to hearing- and speech-impaired users.Amazon Echo offers voice control for users and their homes, but if you can't hear what Alexa has to say or clearly respond to it, then the device is somewhat useless.... Read more

Alexa can now show you what it's saying on your Echo's screen
Alexa can now show you what it's saying on your Echo's screen By Dan Grabham

The benefits of voice control for some people with disabilities have been well documented, but that's not helpful for users who are deaf or hard of hearing. For them, Amazon has now turned on Alexa Captioning in the UK after first unveiling it in the... Read more

Samsung might finally launch its Bixby smart speaker in August
Samsung might finally launch its Bixby smart speaker in August By Maggie Tillman

Samsung is behind the curve when it comes to smart speakers. But it might catch up soon.The company has already launched its own assistant, Bixby, though it pales in comparison to well-established rivals, such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. Nevertheless,... Read more

Vodafone wants to keep your entire family safe with V-Home smart devices range
Vodafone wants to keep your entire family safe with V-Home smart devices range By Rik Henderson

Vodafone has launched a trio of devices for families that are designed to introduce smart living for several generations in a household.Parents will get peace of mind with a new V-Home Hub, which will be available from August.It utilises Samsung Smart... Read more

Philips Hue Adore is the smart bathroom mirror to brighten your mornings
Philips Hue Adore is the smart bathroom mirror to brighten your mornings By Stuart Miles

Philips Hue is continuing its strategy to create more lighting solutions than just smart light bulbs. This time it is a range for the bathroom, including a mirror that lights up: the Hue Adore Mirror.The mirror is safe to use in a bathroom environment... Read more

Amazon Prime Day tips: How to grab a bargain on Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day tips: How to grab a bargain on Amazon Prime Day By Britta O'Boyle

Amazon's Prime Day is finally here - the one day of the year except for Black Friday weekend where you can bag yourself some amazing discounts from the online retailer.Prime Day starts at 12 noon on 16 July and as the name suggests, you'll need to be... Read more

How to broadcast your voice to all your Amazon Echo devices
How to broadcast your voice to all your Amazon Echo devices By Maggie Tillman

"Alexa, tell everyone it's time to go!" Wouldn't it be nice if Alexa could help you hurry your family along or maybe announce that dinner is ready?Now, families with Echo devices in their home can do just that, thanks to a new "Alexa Announcements" feature... Read more