The Best Outdoor Smart Plugs

Old-fashioned outlet timers allow you to run outdoor lights, pool filtration system, and Christmas decorations on a schedule. But why stick with old-fashioned? New outdoor smart plugs allow you to control lights and other outdoor electronics through voice commands, an app, or a complex weekly schedule.

Alexa Now Guesses What You Need Before You Ask for It

Talking to a smart assistant feels unnatural, especially when simple tasks require multiple commands. But a new Alexa update allows the smart assistant to “infer” what skills you need to use based on the context of your requests. Amazon says the new feature should make Alexa feel more conversational and reduce the time it takes to use skills.

Google’s Chromecast and Nest Audio Products May Soon Work with Home Theater

Chromecast and Nest gadgets are cheap and ubiquitous ways to expand your home network. But the positive reviews of the surprisingly hi-fi Nest Audio may have spurred Google to spy even more integration, this time as an ad-hoc home theater. According to The Wall Street Journal, a Google representative says that Nest Audio speakers will work with more conventional setups.

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential Review: Wait for a Sale on the Original

I was extremely excited when Lenovo first showed off the Smart Clock Essential. As a simpler, cheaper version of the Smart Clock, one of our favorite smart home gadgets, it seemed like an easy winner. Alas, that’s not the case: a combination of poor user interface choices and flaky, undependable software makes the Smart Clock Essential a dud at best.

Google Assistant Now Supports Home and Away Routines

Your smart home can do lots of stuff, but it’s mostly dependent upon you to activate them. Not anymore: The Google Home system is rolling out upgrades that let you activate features based on whether or not you’re actually present in your home. The system uses an Android phone’s location (assuming it’s enabled) to determine whether or not anyone’s home.

The Best Programmable Thermostats Under $100

Most people can live without an expensive smart thermostat. If you want to automate your home temperature and save a little cash, then a cheap programmable thermostat is all you need. Here are our favorite programmable thermostats, along with info on why they might be right for you.
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