The 5 Best Smart Locks for 2021

Smart locks make it easy to come and go without leaving your door unlocked, and can even help friends or family get inside when you’re away from home. But choosing the perfect smart lock is easier said than done. Here are the best smart locks for every household.

Apple’s Original HomePod is Dead, Long Live HomePod Mini

Four years after its launch, Apple has officially discontinued the full-sized HomePod. Despite its stellar sound quality and HomeKit integration, the $350 HomePod (now $299) failed to meet Apple’s sales goals due to its high price, limited streaming service support, and incompatibility with most smarthome devices. Apple is now focusing on the smaller, $99 HomePod Mini, which came out at the tail end of 2020.

Back These Weird Smart Devices in Amazon’s Kickstarter-Like Venture

Amazon launched its Day 1 Editions program in 2020 to test the sell-ability of strange new products like the Echo Frames and Echo Loop. Now, the company is expanding its Day 1 program with a new Build It initiative, where customers crowdsource new products into existence. And the first of Amazon’s Build It products—a smart cuckoo clock, nutrition scale, and sticky note printer, are very weird, to say the least.

Alexa Guard Plus Listens for Intruders (And Barks At Them)

By default, all Echo smart speakers include a feature called Alexa Guard, which can alert you to the sound of broken glass or smoke alarms. But the free Alexa Guard feels quite small now that Amazon is rolling out Alexa Guard Plus, a premium security service that gives you intruder alerts, hands-free access to emergency services, and barking sounds to scare off burglars.

Look, Don’t Touch: Debuts the First Touchless Video Doorbell

Delivery drivers touch our doorbells every day, but we rarely (if ever) take the time to clean the buggers. And while CDC guidelines state that COVID-19 spread through contaminated surfaces is “uncommon,” picking up the virus from a doorbell is within the realm of possibility. aims to remedy the problem with its Touchless Video Doorbell, which chimes when a visitor enters its piercing gaze.

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.
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