Latest smart home news

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

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

The best Alexa tips and tricks: Get more from Amazon's assistant
The best Alexa tips and tricks: Get more from Amazon's assistant By Maggie Tillman

The Amazon Echo can make to-do lists, set alarms, stream podcasts, play audiobooks, read PDFs, provide weather forecasts, warn you of traffic, answer trivia, control your smart home and serve up other information in real-time. We've been living with... 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

How to set up and use Drop In on Amazon Echo devices
How to set up and use Drop In on Amazon Echo devices By Maggie Tillman

Whether you have an Echo speaker or an Echo device with a screen, you can take advantage one of Amazon's coolest Alexa features: Drop In. With Drop In, you're able to instantly connect to any of your Echo devices (or a contact's Echo device, if they've... Read more

How to connect Spotify to Alexa or Amazon Echo
How to connect Spotify to Alexa or Amazon Echo By Maggie Tillman

You can change your default music service for Alexa, so that it'll play from whatever service you prefer.That's handy if you don't subscribe to Amazon Music and maybe prefer, say, Spotify. Luckily, changing the default option to Spotify is super easy.... 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

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

What is Amazon Echo Look, how does it work, and when can you buy it?
What is Amazon Echo Look, how does it work, and when can you buy it? By Maggie Tillman

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

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

Amazon Alexa calling and messaging: What is it, how does it work, and where can you use it?
Amazon Alexa calling and messaging: What is it, how does it work, and where can you use it? By Elyse Betters

Did you know you can use Alexa to call and message others? Amazon's Alexa calling and messaging feature enables you to make and receive calls, as well as send messages between Echo devices, the Amazon Alexa app for iOS and Android and Fire tablets.It's... Read more

Awair 2nd Edition smart air pollution monitor tracks toxins for a healthy lifestyle
Awair 2nd Edition smart air pollution monitor tracks toxins for a healthy lifestyle By Rik Henderson

Awair has announced the second generation model of its air pollution monitor that tracks toxins in the home to help you understand any impact on your health.Designed with allergies and breathing difficulties in mind, but also suitable for families who... Read more

Google Assistant Easter Eggs: Google knows it's coming home
Google Assistant Easter Eggs: Google knows it's coming home By Maggie Tillman

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

How to group multiple Amazon Echo devices for music
How to group multiple Amazon Echo devices for music By Maggie Tillman

Amazon's Echo devices support multiroom audio but you will need to group them up using the Alexa app. Here we'll tell you how.You can use the feature to play music across multiple Echo devices in your home at the same time.But there are caveats: the... Read more

Best Alexa games: Play these great adventures on your Amazon Echo
Best Alexa games: Play these great adventures on your Amazon Echo By Maggie Tillman

Alexa is smart, funny, helpful, and, as it turns out, a game master.From interactive stories to trivia, Amazon's voice assistant is packed with games that can keep both children and adults entertained. We've spent years playing with Alexa in order to... Read more

Alexa-connected board game When In Rome is now exclusively available for Prime members
Alexa-connected board game When In Rome is now exclusively available for Prime members By Chris Hall

Alexa has made another move into home entertainment with the launch of When In Rome, a board game that's powered by Amazon's digital assistant.Alexa will teach you how to play the game, keep score and is the overall host, while the board game plays out... Read more

US Amazon Prime Day deals start with amazing $100 off Echo Show
US Amazon Prime Day deals start with amazing $100 off Echo Show By Rik Henderson

Not only has Amazon announced its Prime Day sales in the UK, it has already kicked off proceedings in the US too, with several deals starting early.Like the UK, the US Prime Day will occur on 16 July (and slightly beyond). However, some Amazon products... Read more

Let Siri control your windows and blinds through Velux Active with Netatmo
Let Siri control your windows and blinds through Velux Active with Netatmo By Rik Henderson

Netatmo and roof window specialist Velux have joined forces for a new smart windows system that's compatible with Apple HomeKit.Velux Active with Netatmo is a plug-and-play smart home system that can automatically control roof windows, blinds and shutters.... Read more

Wi-Fi about to get more secure with WPA3, your smart home life will be safer
Wi-Fi about to get more secure with WPA3, your smart home life will be safer By Rik Henderson

The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced WPA3 security, which makes wireless internet connection safer and harder to hack.Wi-Fi Certified WPA3 is the first major update to the security standard adopted by wireless routers and appliances for more than a decade.... Read more

How to make Google Assistant listen for your string of follow-up questions
How to make Google Assistant listen for your string of follow-up questions By Maggie Tillman

Google buried a little switch in the Google Assistant app that allows its AI to be a lot more conversational.The new feature is called Continued Conversations. When it's turned on, you can make additional requests without having to repeat wake words.... Read more

How Amazon Alexa will work on hotel Echo speakers
How Amazon Alexa will work on hotel Echo speakers By Maggie Tillman

Amazon has announced Alexa for Hospitality.This is a new version of the company’s voice assistant, Alexa. It's now being rolled out to hotels, vacation rental spaces, and other locations. It offers a unique Alexa experience that's different from the... 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: the Echo Connect.Before it came along, you could only make calls from one Echo speaker to another Echo speaker, like an intercom system. Now, with Connect,... Read more

Ring Alarm home security system is now available to buy in US
Ring Alarm home security system is now available to buy in US By Maggie Tillman

Ring has announced when you can buy its full home security system.The system, which includes an alarm, keypad, a motion sensor ($30 each for additional ones), and a window or door sensor ( $20 each for additional ones), is called Ring Alarm. It was announced... Read more

Samsung's Bixby smart speaker might have this pivoting head display
Samsung's Bixby smart speaker might have this pivoting head display By Maggie Tillman

Samsung has been quietly developing its Bixby smart speaker for some time now, and very little is known about the device.However, new patents from the World Intellectual Property Organization and the US Patent and Trademark Office have given us a good... Read more

Alexa can now help you gen up on the World Cup
Alexa can now help you gen up on the World Cup By Dan Grabham

The World Cup starts tomorrow and the virtual assistants are getting on board! As well as being able to ask Siri or Google Assistant about facts, fixtures and teams during the tournament, Amazon has unveiled a bunch of questions you can ask Alexa if... Read more

Amazon US deals: Save on Echo, Fire TV 4K, Fire Tablets and more
Amazon US deals: Save on Echo, Fire TV 4K, Fire Tablets and more By Max Langridge

Amazon is knocking down prices of some of its devices in both the UK and US, with different deals to be had depending which side of the pond you're on. In the US, Amazon is offering money off the Echo Dot and Echo Dot Kids Edition, Echo, Echo Show, Fire... Read more

How to set up Google Home with SmartThings
How to set up Google Home with SmartThings By Maggie Tillman

Did you know Samsung's SmartThings works with Google Assistant?You can use the SmartThings app and hub to connect different smart home devices from different brands (including sensors, locks, light switches, outlets, and thermostats) together. These devices... 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 Maggie Tillman

Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, has an answer for just about everything. And, at the same time, she's loaded with hilarious responses for all sorts of hidden commands.These are "Alexa Easter Eggs" - an unexpected feature in software - and they range... Read more

The best Apple HomeKit tips and tricks
The best Apple HomeKit tips and tricks By David Phelan

Apple's HomeKit app Home is simple and easy to use, but it also comes with a load of hidden features that you might not, on the surface, realise are available.We've put together a number of tips, to enable you to get the most from the Apple backed service... Read more

Google Assistant adds new family features and games in the UK
Google Assistant adds new family features and games in the UK By Maggie Tillman

Google Assistant has been updated in the UK to be more family-friendly.Google announced it worked with the British Council, Aardman, and Harper Collins in order to launch new family-oriented features for Google Assistant in the UK. There are four partners,... Read more

When is AirPlay 2 coming to my speakers?
When is AirPlay 2 coming to my speakers? By Maggie Tillman

There is a long list of established brands signed up to support AirPlay 2 going forward. But what about all the speakers you already own?Apple recently rolled out AirPlay 2, which, essentially, opens up the ability to stream music from your iOS device... Read more

Virgin Media doubles broadband speeds for best-selling bundles - 108Mbps for £29 a month
Virgin Media doubles broadband speeds for best-selling bundles - 108Mbps for £29 a month By Rik Henderson

Virgin Media is doubling the speeds of several of its best-selling broadband packages, and it's not charging a penny extra for the privilege.This is for new customers only, sadly, but does mean that, for £29 a month you can get up to 108Mbps on a Vivid... Read more

Netatmo Presence and Welcome security cameras now work with Google Assistant
Netatmo Presence and Welcome security cameras now work with Google Assistant By Rik Henderson

Netatmo has added Google Assistant support to all its Presence and Welcome security cameras, including those you might own already. An automatic software update will have installed the feature on existing models.They now work with Google Home or other... Read more

Nest Hello is now available in the UK for £229
Nest Hello is now available in the UK for £229 By Chris Hall

Nest Hello is the company's take on the connected doorbell, looking to rival the likes of Ring, with a smart solution that will let you know who is at your door, no matter where you are. Part of the Nest family, the Nest Hello slips in alongside Nest's... Read more

How to create a HomePod Stereo Pair
How to create a HomePod Stereo Pair By Stuart Miles

Apple has released iOS 11.4 and HomePod 11.4 and with it enabled AirPlay 2, which for Apple HomePod owners allows you to now connect two HomePod speakers to create a stereo pair.Without a dedicated HomePod app on your iPhone or iPad you might be slightly... Read more

Philips Hue app gets major overhaul, controlling your lights becomes easy again
Philips Hue app gets major overhaul, controlling your lights becomes easy again By Stuart Miles

Philips has released a revamped version of its iOS and Android app for controlling Hue smart lights.The new app, dubbed Hue 3.0, replaces the current version, with a new design and a return of many of the abandoned features from version 1. The company... Read more

How Alexa recorded a private conversation and sent it to another user
How Alexa recorded a private conversation and sent it to another user By Maggie Tillman

Amazon Alexa made headlines today for appearing to violate a user's privacy by recording her conversation without consent.Worse yet, Amazon's assistant then sent the conversation to the user's contact - again, without consent. While that sounds absolutely... Read more

9 ways Eve products can make your other smart home devices even smarter
9 ways Eve products can make your other smart home devices even smarter By Pocket-lint Promotion

There are many ways Eve products can make your home smarter. Here are nine to get you started:1 The lights are on, because someone's homeEve Motion will alert you if it senses movement, but this doesn't have to be limited to tipping you off about a possible... Read more

Doubling up on Google Home: How and why to use multiple Google Home devices
Doubling up on Google Home: How and why to use multiple Google Home devices By Adrian Willings

Although perhaps not currently popular as the Amazon Echo line-up, Google's smart AI-assistant speakers should not be overlooked as they're backed by Google's powerful search algorithms and ecosystem. These intelligent devices are a great addition to... Read more

What is Nissan Energy Solar, how much is it, and where is it available?
What is Nissan Energy Solar, how much is it, and where is it available? By Elyse Betters

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

Alexa and Google Assistant go Royal Wedding crazy, loads of new commands to try
Alexa and Google Assistant go Royal Wedding crazy, loads of new commands to try By Rik Henderson

Google and Amazon are getting in the Royal Wedding spirit by offering all-new, unique Easter Eggs and commands to try on Google Assistant and Alexa respectively.If you have a Google Home smart speaker, Google Home Mini or use Google Assistant on another... Read more

How the smart home can improve your well-being
How the smart home can improve your well-being By Pocket-lint Promotion

The smart home isn't just about a speaker that responds to your voice, an outside light you can click on from the other side of the world or a camera that warns you when someone's by the front door.It's all those things, but it's also about your well-being,... Read more

Does Amazon want Alexa to become your in-home health aide?
Does Amazon want Alexa to become your in-home health aide? By Elyse Betters

Soon, you might be able to ask, "Alexa, am I sick?", and then possibly share your sensitive health data, such as symptoms, to your doctor.According to CNBC, which looked at a leaked internal document about Amazon's plans, billionaire Jeff Bezos' online... Read more

How to light your home: 8 lighting tips and tricks
How to light your home: 8 lighting tips and tricks By Stuart Miles

Walk into a room, flick a switch, and your room is normally filled with light. Is it the right light though? Could it be designed to help your health and well-being? Are there any rules or recommendations you should follow when installing new lights... Read more

Microsoft working on own Cortana smart speaker, to rival Amazon, Google and Apple
Microsoft working on own Cortana smart speaker, to rival Amazon, Google and Apple By Rik Henderson

Microsoft is clearly feeling left out in the smart speaker wars. While Apple, Amazon and Google, with HomePod, Echo and Home respectively, have their own-brand devices, Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant is largely anonymous in the space.The only one... Read more

Alexa, unlock door: Schlage deadbolts gain new voice-unlocking skills
Alexa, unlock door: Schlage deadbolts gain new voice-unlocking skills By Elyse Betters

Door hardware maker Schlage is fullly embracing Alexa with new voice-controlled skills.It has announced the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt and Schlage Connect Touchscreen Deadbolt have expanded support for Amazon's voice assistant in the form of a new voice-unlocking... Read more

Second-gen Tado Smart AC Control saves you more money while keeping you just as cool
Second-gen Tado Smart AC Control saves you more money while keeping you just as cool By Max Langridge

Tado has announced a new version of its Smart AC Control that brings with it software and algorithm tweaks over its v1 predecessor to save you even more money in the hotter months of the year. Tado Smart Climate Assistant software update will make saving... Read more

Hive resolves View's biggest flaw: You can now download videos
Hive resolves View's biggest flaw: You can now download videos By Max Langridge

Centrica, the company behind British Gas and the smart home heating system Hive, has released an update for the Hive View indoor camera that now allows you to download any video clips you wish to your phone. It fixes what we considered to be its biggest... Read more

Google Duplex enables Assistant to call and book at businesses for you
Google Duplex enables Assistant to call and book at businesses for you By Elyse Betters

Google is at Google I/O 2018, where it just announced Google Duplex.It essentially improves Assistant so that it can book your appointments for you. Through two demos on stage, Assistant was shown calling a hair salon to make an appointment and then getting... Read more