If you want to make your home a little smarter, but aren’t sure where exactly to start, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best starter smarthome gadgets, and how to find ones that will work well together in your house (or apartment).
Voice assistants like Google Home are excellent kitchen aids. They can set timers, add things to your grocery list, and play music while you cook. But the Google Home has one standout kitchen feature: you can use it to read off recipes one step at a time while you cook. Here’s how to find recipes, send them to Google Home, and get hands-free step-by-step instructions.
Every night when I go to bed, I want to turn all of my lights off…except the bedroom light. I wan to turn that light on at bedtime. Using Stringify, I can finally create a single voice command that turns some lights off, and others on.
If you’ve ever wished you could create advanced, automated interactions between all the smart devices in your house, Stringify is your new best friend. With it, you can have multiple devices turn on or perform actions when certain conditions are met.
Now that voice assistants are becoming extremely popular, many users who want to outfit their living spaces with smarthome products are probably wanting these products to be compatible with their voice assistant, whether it’s Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant (and Google Home). Here’s how to find out whether or not a smarthome device works with these platforms.
Most of us don’t have self-driving cars yet, but we can still live in the future. With an Automatic Pro OBD-II adapter and an Amazon Echo, you can talk to your car from the comfort of your living room. Find out where your car is, whether you need gas, and how far you’ve driven all with your voice.
Is making coffee slowing you down in the morning? Even in today’s drip-machine world, is pouring dust into a cup still just too darn hard during your 6AM haze? Here are several ways you can automate your coffee maker, so it’s ready for you in the morning with minimal interaction.
Amazon may be leading the pack on buying things with your voice on the Echo, but that doesn’t mean Google is content to sit this race out. Depending on where you live, you can buy things with Google Home using Google Express. Here’s how to set it up.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Google Assistant, originally a Pixel-exclusive feature, has now made its way to pretty much all Android devices. As a result, it’s harder to actually get to Now, since the default action has been hijacked by Assistant.
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.”
If your Amazon Echo can’t hear you from the other room, or if you just want to control it when you’re away from home altogether, you can do so with the Amazon app (on iOS) or a handy third-party app (on Android).
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.
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.
While Amazon offers a battery-powered version of the Echo in the form of the Echo Tap, it doesn’t have the always-listening capabilities that makes the original Echo and Echo Dot so great. However, you can run the Echo Dot on battery power and have it last for days–all you need is a USB battery pack.
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.
The Amazon Echo lights up whenever it’s activated, but if yours isn’t within your line of sight, you can enable an audible tone instead. Here’s how.
The Amazon Tap is $50 cheaper than the full-size Echo, and thanks to a recent update, you can use it in hands-free mode just like its more expensive counterpart. It’s even portable, so you can take it with you. So at this point, there’s very little reason to buy the full-size Echo, when the Tap is cheaper and more useful.
With the new (or new to you) Google Assistant, you can control smart home devices like the Nest thermostat, Hue lights, and more with just your voice—right from your phone. Here’s how to set them up.
It’s all too easy to lose your phone around the house, especially if you’re prone to losing things in general. However, your Amazon Echo can help you find it using some neat third-party services.