Monthly Archives: September 2016

Google Home will work with SmartThings out of the box

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Google’s new smart home hub, Google Home, will work with the Samsung-owned SmartThings platform out of the box, according to a source with reason to be familiar with the companies’ plans. We trust the quality of this information implicitly, so consider this rumor a ’10’ on the confidence scale, barring some sort of delay that leads to Google postponing the announcement.

Google Home would probably be near-dead on arrival without compatibility for some common smart home technology, and aside from Nest (for which we assume Home compatibility is a given), SmartThings is one of the most obvious choices.

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Google Home will work with SmartThings out of the box was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Sphero’s Star Wars Force Band lets you control BB-8 using motion gestures

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The Force Awakens is approaching a year old, but by Star Wars standards, the merchandising is only just beginning. A particularly new offering is the Star Wars Force Band, which lets you control Sphero’s tiny BB-8 droid that has been rolling around since the film hit theaters. But instead of doing so using an on-screen interface, you use the Force.

In this case, the Force responds to wrist movement detected by Sphero’s Force Band.

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Sphero’s Star Wars Force Band lets you control BB-8 using motion gestures was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Text-to-speech v3.10 adds options to change voice intonation and boost its volume above other apps [APK Download]

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The Text-to-speech app doesn’t see many major updates throughout the year, but when it does, there’s often something interesting to see when it happens. Version 3.10 began rolling out yesterday and it comes bearing a pair of new settings to intelligently alter volume based on existing audio playback and to control the intonation of synthesized voices. As always, we’ve got a link below to grab the latest apk if you aren’t among the first to get it straight from Google.

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Text-to-speech v3.10 adds options to change voice intonation and boost its volume above other apps [APK Download] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Third party speakers may help Google Home take on Amazon Echo

google home 3-Google IO 2016

As we gear up to Google’s launch event in San Francisco next week, eyes are not only on the company’s new line-up of Pixel phones, but also on the extended range of smart home accessories expected to be on display. Google Home, a WiFi-connected smart speaker, could turn out to be one of the more important announcements made at the event, as Google prepared to ramp up its efforts in the smart home space and prepares to take on the increasingly popular Amazon Echo.

HiFi audio sales have been rejuvenated by the introduction of wireless Bluetooth and WiFi systems, and the early success of Amazon’s Echo suggests that there’s a growing consumer appetite for tying these systems in with virtual assistant and smart home products. Amazon has reportedly already sold 3 million Echo speaker systems this year, and is aiming to ship 10 million units in 2017. Google clearly does not want to be left behind, and already has an extensive ecosystem of virtual assistant based technologies, including search and app integration, that Google Home will be able to make use of.

According to a report by Variety, Google has been in talks with manufacturers to begin building other devices that will work just like Google Home. Apparently, details were discussed at a closed-door talk with some 50 participant from the home audio market. This suggests that we may end up seeing smart speakers from a variety of manufacturers, all powered by the Google Home could-based assistant.

Sundar PichaiSee also: Sundar Pichai talks Nexus, AI, Google Home, and EU legal issues5

Importantly, another source alleges that Google may not allow these companies to combine their hardware with other virtual assistance, not that this demand is particularly uprising. Although manufacturers may be reluctant to put all their eggs into Google’s technology. However, some of the companies involved are said to have already worked with Google to produce speakers powered by Google Cast, a list which includes major brands such as Sony, Philips, LG, JBL, and Bang & Olufsen. However, Google has declined to comment on whether it will be working with any third-party manufacturers on this.

Google Home was originally announced back at I/O 2016, so we already know quite a bit about it. The little hub integrates a built-in Bluetooth speaker and microphone, which is paired up with Google Assistant to answer questions and respond to commands. The system is also integrated with Cast, so consumers can launch audio from compatible devices and apps, including Spotify, Tunein, Pandora, and more. Cast capabilities also mean that customers will be table to launch YouTube videos and other steaming services on their TV just by issuing a command to Google Home.

Essentially, Google Home is the company’s big play to bring its mobile assistant services to the home. Google’s portfolio of smart products may also assist the company in catching up with and leapfrogging Amazon Echo. Nest technologies have been incorporated to work on the project, opening up the possibility that other products around the home could be controlled from your speaker system.

According to an insider at the meeting, companies may be ready to unveil speakers with built-in Google Assistant integration as early as next summer. 2017 could be the year that smart homes really hit the mainstream.

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Robinhood Gold is a new premium tier for the free stock trading app

Robinhood is the popular (free) stock trading app that gained popularity last year for its excellent design, easy-to-use interface, and great premise. It’s an easy way to get started in the stock market without paying excessive fees, and Robinhood has said that the app has helped beginners and experts alike. The next step for the […]

Come comment on this article: Robinhood Gold is a new premium tier for the free stock trading app

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