Smart Speakers

Google Home won’t ring you anymore if your phone isn’t home

Google Home won’t ring you anymore if your phone isn’t home

We call some products "smart" mostly due to the abilities they have that sometimes go beyond our own skills, at least when it comes to getting information from the Internet. There are times, however, when smart assistants and smart devices don't actually behave that smartly, like things we take for granted because of human behavior or common sense. It is only recently, for example, that these smart speakers and displays have started to adjust their behavior depending on whether there's anyone around in the first place, like ringing them only when you're around to actually answer a call.

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Sonos Roam Review – A portable speaker to get you hooked

Sonos Roam Review – A portable speaker to get you hooked

Sonos needs a gateway for new users, and the Sonos Roam is its answer. What looks like a regular Bluetooth speaker actually hides double the functionality: a portable speaker when you're on the go, a full-fledged Sonos speaker around the house, and all wrapped up in a ruggedized housing and the company's lowest price for a new speaker so far.

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Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2 pairs Android TV with super-simple setup

Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2 pairs Android TV with super-simple setup

Xiaomi's Mi 11 Ultra flagship Android phone isn't the only Google-powered product the company has today, with a new Mi Smart Projector 2 Pro combining reasonably portable projection with the Google Assistant. The nondescript gray and white box looks more like an oversized smart speaker than a traditional projector, and indeed that's because it's one of those too.

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Apple’s next HomePod surprise might be an Echo Show rival

Apple’s next HomePod surprise might be an Echo Show rival

It's been a day of interesting reports surrounding Apple's HomePod. Earlier today, we learned that there's a secret sensor hiding in the HomePod mini, and while that sensor may not be active right now, it could enable specific functionality in the future. Not only that, but there's also whispers of Apple's plans for the future of the HomePod line, and we could see the company launch something meant to go toe-to-toe with the likes of the Echo Show.

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Apple HomePod axed as original Siri speaker makes way for mini

Apple HomePod axed as original Siri speaker makes way for mini

Bid farewell to the original Apple HomePod, with the Siri-powered smart speaker being discontinued, the company has confirmed today. Launched in early 2018, the speaker met with praise for its high sound quality, but its $439 price tag at release meant it struggled to gain traction against rivals from Amazon and Google.

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Researchers devise a way for smart speakers to monitor heart rhythm

Researchers devise a way for smart speakers to monitor heart rhythm

Consumer electronics manufacturers have made a significant push in recent years to make their devices more useful for various health-related issues. One good example is Apple, with its Apple Watch wearables able to record ECGs and other health data. Researchers from the University of Washington have now conducted research that shows smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home can monitor some healthcare issues from home.

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Sonos’ Roam is its cheapest speaker ever – and maybe its most compelling

Sonos’ Roam is its cheapest speaker ever – and maybe its most compelling

Sonos has cut the cord on its second portable speaker, with the Sonos Roam promising multi-room integration inside the house, Bluetooth streaming outside it, and a much more affordable price tag. About the size of a water bottle, Roam works as a smart speaker too with support for Amazon and Google's voice assistants, and Sonos is hoping it acts as much a gateway to new users as it appeals to existing ones looking to expand their system.

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Harman Kardon Invoke will become a Bluetooth speaker only by July

Harman Kardon Invoke will become a Bluetooth speaker only by July

Microsoft has been slowly removing Cortana from devices and platforms but this latest bit of news might be the most damning move it has done. While other devices or platforms only had Cortana as an added feature, Microsoft smart assistant is the very essence of the Harman Karon Invoke smart speaker. With Cortana's upcoming departure, it will downgrade the speaker into just a Bluetooth audio accessory, presuming you get it updated before the end of June, that is.

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HomePod mini update brings promised ultra-wideband features

HomePod mini update brings promised ultra-wideband features

It seems that UWB, short for ultra-wideband, will be the new buzzword for this year, with more and more tech companies and device manufacturers adopting the short-range wireless technology in products ranging from phones to smart home appliances to even cars. That said, Apple already laid the groundwork for that quite some time ago with its U1 chip but it is only now that it's turning on that functionality for the HomePod mini that it promised would be ready before 2020 ended.

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Polk Audio React soundbar with Alexa built-in is made for home theaters

Polk Audio React soundbar with Alexa built-in is made for home theaters

Polk Audio has introduced React, a soundbar with Alexa made for home theaters. The model packs a bunch of high-end features, as well as support for 'virtually any TV' and remotes, according to the company. Among other things, React supports Alexa multi-room playback for users who have invested in the Alexa ecosystem.

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Alexa ‘Tell me when’ offers dynamic reminders for the absent-minded

Alexa ‘Tell me when’ offers dynamic reminders for the absent-minded

If you relying on smart devices to help keep your life organized, Amazon's new Alexa feature 'Tell me when' will quickly prove useful. The feature was added as part of Alexa's December 2020 update, adding the ability to get 'dynamic, event-based reminders' for upcoming moments, including everything from future emails you anticipate getting to reminders for when your favorite show will air.

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