Category Archives: Gadgets

'Don’t tell me to oil my wood': users angry at marks left by Apple HomePod

White rings formed due to oils and polish in the wood reacting negatively with the silicone foot on the bottom of £319 speaker

Early adopters of Apple’s new £319 HomePod smart speaker have started complaining that the “new sound of home” is leaving white ring marks on wooden surfaces that are difficult to remove.

One user tweeted Apple that the new speaker left “etched circles” on their wooden furniture within 20 minutes of use, while others found the speaker left deeper and more obvious marks in several places and on several different types of wooden surface.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Sonos One review: the best smart speaker for audiophiles

The company’s first foray into smart tech adds Amazon’s Alexa to a great wireless speaker to create a formidable combo

Having practically invented the multi-room wireless speaker category in 2005, Sonos has lagged behind in the race to become smart. Now the Sonos One is here, packing Alexa in the top and premium audio in the bottom.

The Sonos One is very deliberately designed to look, feel and sound like the company’s successful Play: 1 – a compact wireless speaker launched in 2013 at about £150 that was arguably the best for the money for years. Side-by-side they look identical apart from the top of the speaker, which is flat on the One, perforated by holes for the microphones that enable the voice assistant to hear you.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Apple HomePod review: Siri lets down best sounding smart speaker

It’s the wifi speaker to beat in terms of audio but being locked in to Apple services is frustrating and its voice assistant is lacking

After much anticipation, and speculation that Apple has missed the boat and handed victory to Amazon’s champion Echo, the HomePod smart speaker is finally here. But is it actually any good? And why exactly does it cost four times as much as an Echo?

The HomePod is a voice-controlled speaker that listens out for its wakeword “Hey, Siri” and then starts streaming what you say to Apple to interpret your commands and play whatever it is you wish. The fabric-covered cylinder stands an iPhone X-and-a-bit tall (172mm) with a diameter of an iPhone X (142mm), weighing 2.5kg (14.4 times the iPhone X).

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Amazon Echo Spot review: cute smart speaker with a screen

The firm’s latest Alexa-powered addition to its Echo range adds a clock and touchscreen interface to the mix

Amazon’s new Echo Spot is one of the most novel takes on a smart speaker yet, and while it is certainly more than just a smart clock, that’s what it’s best at – an attractive voice-assisted smart desk or bedside-table accessory.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

Ring Video Doorbell 2 review: deal with doorsteppers from your sofa

This smart doorbell connects to your phone – but you might want to disable notifications when at work

The Ring Video Doorbell 2 adds the convenience of a front-door intercom to pretty much any home, and with minimal DIY skills required, meaning it’s never been easier to get rid of doorsteppers.

There have long been wifi-connected doorbells, for those envious of flat-dwelling friends with video intercoms adding that extra barrier between them and the outside world, but most of them require some sort of wiring to install.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Apple HomePod finally available to buy, three years after the Echo

Company’s delayed, £319 smart speaker pitched as music-first wireless speaker that can be voice-controlled via Siri

Apple’s delayed £319 HomePod smart speaker will finally be available to buy on Friday in the UK, US and Australia.

The 17.8cm tall HomePod is pitched as a music-first wireless speaker that can be controlled by voice using Apple’s Siri assistant, which can also set timers, reminders, check the weather and control smart home devices.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Eve V review: upstart Windows tablet for power users has great potential

This crowdfunded and croudsourced machine could offer something special if its niggles are ironed out

On paper the Eve V reads like it should be the king of Windows tablets – a Surface Pro but with more ports, longer battery life and more features.

What makes the V more surprising is that it actually exists. It is not only a crowdfunded machine but also crowdsourced, meaning that, in Eve Tech’s own words, it was created by “over 1,000 minds working together as one”.

Continue reading…
Source: gadt

Echo Spot: ‘smart clock’ launched as Amazon seeks to lock rivals out of home

Firm hopes to extend its market dominance further as Alexa-powered, 2.5in-screened smart speaker comes to UK

Amazon is launching its small clock-like Echo Spot in the UK, as it continues to cement its market dominance.

The Echo Spot is small sphere with a 2.5in circular screen, camera and clock face that’s capable of showing the time as well as other at-a-glance information, similar to the larger Echo Show that launched earlier in the year.

Continue reading…
Source: gad

CES 2018: voice-controlled showers, non-compliant robots and smart toilets

Voice assistants were in everything at the trade show, suggesting the future is smart – but does anyone actually want to talk to their toilet?

The annual trend-setting tech extravaganza that is CES International in Las Vegas is drawing to a close, having suffered through torrential rain, blackouts and a few uncooperative robots. And it’s clear that your voice is more important than ever.

CES 2018 rammed home that big technology thinks voice is the next major evolution in computing. First we had the computer, then the smartphone and now voice assistants.

Continue reading…
Source: gad2

How smart speakers stole the show from smartphones

Amazon and Google believe they’ve struck gold with their voice-controlled speakers while Apple and Microsoft struggle to catch up

Move over smartphones. The battle now raging between the big technology companies for consumer cash is focused on the voice-controlled smart speaker.

Having already conquered the pocket with the ubiquitous smartphone, big tech has been struggling to come up with the next must-have gadget that will open up a potentially lucrative new market – the home.

Continue reading…
Source: gad