Vega OS is taking shape
Amazon's been cozy with Fire OS, a tweaked version of open source Android, in its streaming devices, Fire tablets, and smart speakers. But it was recently found that the company has been sneaking around with an in-house operating system, dubbed Vega OS, aiming to one day kick Android to the curb across the board. It turns out that Amazon has already made the switch from Android to Vega on at least one device.
Delete your Alexa history and voice recording to help restore some of your privacy
Alexa is Amazon's personal digital assistant, which lets you use your voice to control some of the easiest smart home devices available. It powers Amazon's Echo line of smart speakers and is included in devices made by other manufacturers, such as Sonos. If you use an Alexa-powered device, you might know your voice interactions are recorded and saved by default.
Wirelessly share content from your iPhone or Mac to a Roku TV
AirPlay is a handy feature to cast media and content from your iPhone, iPad, and Mac to a compatible device. Unlike AirDrop, AirPlay isn't limited to Apple devices. Third-party manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Amazon, TCL, and Roku offer AirPlay on their smart TVs and top streaming devices. If you have a Roku streaming device or Roku TV, use the steps below to mirror your iPhone or Mac using AirPlay.
Fan speeds are rolling out just as we all say goodbye to summer
If your house is full of smart home devices, you may already be using an app like Google Home to manage them. Having a centralized location to adjust everything from your thermostat to light bulbs can streamline the process. That being said, the Home app has its flaws, with limited user controls and functionality near the top of the list. Now, Google is rolling out changes to the app that could remedy many of these problems.
Feature-packed smart baby monitors provide confidence that your child is having a good night's sleep
A good night's sleep for your baby is a priority for every parent. Knowing you can keep an eye on your little one's sweet dreams from wherever you are, thanks to a smart baby monitor, is the ultimate peace of mind.
Smart apps aren't immune to stupidity
A smart home can make you more productive and complement your family's life, but it can be frustrating when it doesn't work correctly. An Alexa-compatible smart home system seems the logical choice for those beginning to build their smart home thanks to its ease of use and low cost. But Alexa devices sometimes run into trouble. Most of these issues are easy to fix. Here's how.
The company has reportedly been working on a new OS for all its devices for years now
Amazon offers a variety of smart home products, including smart TVs, smart displays, and smart speakers. They all run on the company's own Fire OS, a fork of Android. This has allowed Amazon to offer the best of both worlds: Android app compatibility while customizing the OS per its requirements. But it appears Amazon is building an alternate operating system to replace the Android-based OS on its devices. A report sheds light on "Vega," which is what Amazon's new operating system is called internally.
They know what a 12-minute timer is, though
Google Assistant used to be the flagship product Google pushed into all kinds of other apps and services, with the Nest speakers and displays at the forefront of the company’s vision to an always-connected future. We all know that Google Bard and other generative AI endeavors are quickly taking Assistant’s spot, with smart home devices and the Assistant itself losing more and more features. It looks like you can count the ability to set a timer for 12 minutes among those, too.
Google Assistant Routines are a simple way to get the most out of your day
Google Assistant Routines are quick and easy-to-setup actions that make your day a little easier. Routines are action chains that offer handy information — such as the weather, news updates, and your calendar — or smart home integrations like automatically dimming your smart bulbs when it's time for bed. Google Assistant offers a variety of routines, but you'll get the most out of the service by creating your own.
Control your smart home without leaving the comfort of your lock screen
After a lengthy public testing phase, Google finally got its act together and gave the Home app a much-needed makeover earlier this year. The old version was so restrictive and limited in its control options that it was practically useless for managing your smart home devices. The new and improved layout boasts a sleek design, user-friendly menus, and the ability to bookmark your favorite devices in one place. Plus, Google has thrown in a Home Panel, letting everyone in your house control lights, locks, cameras, and thermostats without having to unlock their device. And if your phone is eligible for Android 14, you're in luck—this feature is coming your way soon.
Top streaming and smart home devices starting at just $25
Black Friday falls on November 24 this year, but if you don't want to wait weeks for big tech discounts, Amazon's got you. The company is celebrating the ninth birthday of Alexa by offering deals on many of its products that feature the digital assistant. The sale includes discounts of up to 56% on everything from Echo Show smart displays to Eero mesh Wi-Fi routers, and 4K Fire TVs. We've listed some of our favorite deals below, and be sure to act fast, there's no telling how long this birthday bash is going to last.
Control your home temperature with ease with these smart thermostats and sensors
Smart thermostats are more popular and effective than ever. Buying and installing one might seem like a complex undertaking on the surface, but it's worth it for one of the most useful smart devices you can add to a home.
Comparing Amazon’s two compact smart speakers for kids
Which of these two Amazon Echo devices will reach your home?
Amazon's excellent Echo smart display lineup has gotten its 2023 revamp, and we now have an upgraded version of the Echo Show 8 smart display and a brand-new device in the form of the Echo Hub.
Why ask for the time when you could just see it on these smart speakers?
Smart speakers are a dime a dozen these days, and we're not complaining. From Google to Amazon (and let's not forget the many third-party offerings), you can use a smart speaker to control and automate your smart home devices, listen to music, make phone calls, and so much more. But aside from asking Google Assistant or Alexa what time it is, not many of these devices have integrated LED clocks.
Best Buy's Early Black Friday sale continues to crank out delectable deals
If you're finally jumping on the DIY home security bandwagon, welcome! The best smart home security cameras have evolved from fussy, low-res webcams to full-featured cameras supported by well-established ecosystems. Arlo's security system is among the best platform-agnostic options on the market today, and the Arlo Pro 4 is one of our favorite security cameras, indoor or outdoor. The cameras retail for $200 apiece — well, they're normally on sale for $140 — and for the price of two Arlo Pro 4s, you can get a third camera, four batteries, a charging dock, and anti-theft mounts for each camera. That's a lot of kit for $280.
Fill the air in your home with just the right amount of moisture using the best smart humidifiers
If you are a smart home beginner, a smart humidifier is one of the essential devices you can integrate into your smart home ecosystem. Although they all perform the same function — to infuse moisture into the air in your home — smart humidifiers come in different designs and vary in terms of performance. Additionally, some have advanced features that allow them to outshine other models in certain areas. With the best smart humidifier, the surrounding air will have just the right amount of moisture, alleviating conditions such as nasal congestion, dry skin, sore throat, and more. Better yet, most smart humidifiers support Google Home and Alexa integration, allowing for voice control. Here are our favorite smart humidifiers right now.
Pump up the bass
Everyone knows Amazon's Alexa ecosystem, and it isn't an exaggeration to say Amazon makes some of the best smart speakers money can buy. Alexa's deep integration with smart home hardware only continues to improve, especially with the new Matter protocol. But sometimes, controlling your Amazon Echo's speakers feels a bit one-note if you haven't explored the possibilities.
Can Alexa contact emergency numbers for you? Here's how it all works and how to set it up
Amazon Alexa, found commonly in Amazon Echos and a variety of other speakers (as well as apps on your Android phone), is a voice-command smorgasbord. The voice assistant comes with excellent compatibility for your smart home devices, easy links to popular music searches, and generally helpful information whether you're baking a cake or checking football scores.
There's a capable and great-sounding smart speaker out there for you
Sure, you can use a smartphone to take control of your smart home, but a smart speaker is a much easier way to go about things. Not to mention they often function as a smart home hub, especially if there are multiple people in your household. Adjusting the lights, locking the door, and setting the thermostat is much easier when you don’t have to reach for your phone to talk to Alexa or Google Assistant. All you need to do is use your voice.