Eric Ravenscraft

Eric Ravenscraft covers smarthome tech for How-To Geek. He's a problem solver who never learned to say no to a project. When he's not fixing things, he's cosplaying at cons, playing video games, and watching too many comic book movies. You can follow him on Twitter or Instagram.

By default, Google Assistant will filter any bad words that you wouldn’t want to use in front of children. It’s the safer choice, but for adults who prefer their language a little spicier, you might want to turn the *!@$ing filter off.

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Google Home is designed to be a shared device that everyone in the house can use. Now, Google has finally made it possible for it to recognize different people and give personalized info to everyone using their Google accounts. Here’s how to set it up.

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Tasker is one of the most powerful automation tools on Android. Plugins like AutoVoice let you expand Tasker’s core functionality to do even more cool things…like create custom voice commands for your Amazon Echo or Google Home. Here’s how to make your own voice commands.

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When you’re out of the house, Android notifies you if you’re near an open Wi-Fi network. That’s handy when you want to log into the internet at a coffee shop. It’s infuriating when you pass every single hotspot along the freeway. If you’re sick of those notifications, here’s how to turn them off.

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Philips Hue lights are one of the simplest ways to add smart lights to your home. In a recent update, Philips added a new Labs section, where you can try out experimental new features. Here’s how to access the Labs, and the best new features to try out.

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For years, Google has used your home or work address to tell you how long your commute will be, find restaurants nearby, and show you local weather. Usually, you shouldn’t have to tweak this but if you move, or if Google guesses your address incorrectly, you can change it. Here’s how.

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Upgrading to a smart home used to be exclusively the realm of homeowners. If you couldn’t run cables, replace switch boxes, or install expensive wall units, you had to live with dumb lights. With newer smart home gadgets, however, you can upgrade parts of your apartment—even without your landlord’s approval in some cases.

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Google Assistant packs a lot of useful voice commands, but then so did Google Now. Assistant sets itself apart by also including some of the fun stuff Google is usually known for. These are some of the most fun and entertaining features you can find in Google Assistant on your phone, smart watch, or Google Home.

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Google Home brings a lot of the awesome features of Google Assistant to your living room. Developers can also add new features, making Google Home’s potential virtually limitless. You don’t even have to install a thing. Here’s how to find and use third-party services.

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If you have smart lights like Philips Hue, you can turn them off automatically when you leave to save power. However, if you also have a Nest thermostat, it’s handier (and more effective) to turn off your lights whenever your thermostat enters Away mode.

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Tile is a fantastic little gadget that can help you find your lost keys or wallet. However, it can also locate and ring your phone, even if you never buy a single physical Tile. Here’s how to find your lost phone using the Tile app on the web.

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Tile is a handy tracker that you can use to find your keys, wallet, or anything else you might lose often. If you misplace your stuff while you’re away from home, Tile can send you a notification as soon as it locates your stuff. You’ll need to ask for it, though. Here’s how.

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Why would you want to spend extra money on color-changing smart lights instead of regular, cheap LED bulbs? So you can use them to throw a killer party, that’s why. Here’s how to use your Philips Hue lights to turn your boring living room into club-style lighting.

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Before you head out the door, it would be handy to know whether you need a coat, or if you can skip it. To give you a quick indicator, you can set one of your Hue light bulbs to change colors when it’s too hot or too cold outside. Here’s how to set it up.

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If you lose your phone, you can call it or locate it with GPS. If you lose other important things like your keys or wallet, however, you’re usually out of luck. The Tile keychain and card gadget trackers aim to solve that by letting you call your valuables from your phone.

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The Chromecast is already a solid deal on its own. As if that weren’t enough, it can pay for itself in free movie rentals and other cool rewards. Here’s where you can find free movie rentals and other sweet deals just for owning a Chromecast.

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Google Assistant introduced a useful new feature called “My Day” that gives you a handy summary of your day, including weather, traffic, and even some news. All you have to say is “Ok Google, good morning.”

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The Nest learning thermostat can tell when you leave the house and save energy by turning off the heat or A/C. If you’re leaving home for vacation, however, you can save a lot more by turning your thermostat off entirely.

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If you have the right hardware, Windows 10 lets you unlock your computer with nothing but a smile. However, Microsoft’s facial recognition isn’t always spot-on. Here’s how to help Windows recognize you better.

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The coolest part of owning a Nintendo Switch is picking it up from the dock and taking Zelda with you in the car (…or to the bathroom). Every time you do, though, the countdown to a dead battery begins ticking. Fortunately, there are some small things you can do to squeeze a little extra juice out of your game.

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The voice on Google Assistant has gotten better over the years, but it still stumbles sometimes when it comes to names. If Google frequently mispronounces your name, you can correct this in the Google Home app.

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Amazon wants you to use Alexa to buy things with just a voice command. It sounds handy, until you realize everyone from your black hat house guests to the news reporter on TV can order things from your account. Here’s how to make sure no one but you can buy things on Amazon with your Echo.

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With the Nintendo Switch, you can dock your console and go straight from handheld to TV in seconds. It’s a great feature, but if you just want to dock your console to charge it, it will interrupt anyone who’s watching TV. Here’s how to stop that from happening.

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Alexa’s hands-free timers are one of the best reasons to own an Echo (or an Amazon Tap), but it would be nice if those timers gave you a visual indicator as well. Here’s how to set your Philips Hue lights to blink when your timer goes off.

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Being able to take the Switch with you is one of the console’s best features. However, the portable screen’s auto-brightness feature leaves a little to be desired. Fortunately, there’s an easier way to adjust your screen’s brightness.

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