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Google’s New Family Broadcast Feature Sends Messages From Speakers to Smartphones

The Google Nest Hub on a white deskCameron Summerson

Today, Google is announcing a bunch of new tools on Google Assistant smart speakers, displays, and even smartphones. The hook is that these are great tools for moms on Mother’s Day, but between you and me, they seem pretty legit for everyone, all year round. 😉

To start, the Broadcast feature is getting a supercharged feature that it’s needed for a long time: integration with smartphones. You could always broadcast from your smartphone to smart speakers and displays, but now you’ll also be able to broadcast from your smart speakers or displays to smartphones in your Google Family Group. The best part? It will work with both Android phones and iPhones. Dope.


When you broadcast to your family group, the message will hit all the smart speakers and displays in your Google Home, plus send a notification to all the phones in your Family Group. Phone users can then respond to the notification with voice or text. This is a fantastic update to a great feature. Love it.

Beyond Broadcast, Assistant speakers and displays are also getting new stories from partners like Pottermore Publishing and Penguin Random House. For example, you’ll be able to ask Assistant to “tell a Quiddich story” or “talk to Who Was” for stories from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or stories from PRH’s Who Was series, respectively.

New games are also on deck here, too. Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader will be available on Nest Hub, which should help you keep your pride in check. Apparently, you can even win fake money, which is…something, I guess?

"Who Was" integration in Google Assistant on a Nest HubGoogle

Finally, Family Bell is getting a few new reminder options for things like watering plants and cleaning up. There are even new songs to help—just say “Hey Google, sing the clean up song” to get a little jingle similar to the handwashing song. More songs will also be available, like the “brush your teeth song” and “go to sleep song.”

These features should begin rolling out today, though there’s no word on when they’ll be available to everyone.


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The Article Was Written/Published By: Cameron Summerson

The Best Tech to Upgrade Your Bedroom With

Top-down view of person sleeping in bed next to light on nightstandaslysun/

When you think about bringing technology into your home or building out your own smart home, the bedroom is one of the rooms that tends to get overlooked. However, with smart gadgets like speakers, displays, bulbs, and mattresses, there are plenty of ways to make your bedroom a more comfortable and functional room.

There isn’t a wrong or right combination of tech you can choose here. Whether you grab just one thing from our list or spring for all of them, how you tech-ify your bedroom is based solely on your personal preferences (and budget). We tried to combine a variety of functional options along with some just-for-fun picks, too, to help make your bedroom a more relaxing space.

A Sleep-Tracking Display: Google Nest Hub

Person sleeping next to Google Nest Hub with sleep metrics on displayGoogle

While Google’s small and admittedly adorable Nest Hub offers much more functionality—like playing YouTube videos, controlling your connected smart home devices, making video calls, and more— its real strength in the bedroom is its new Sleep Tracking feature. It senses both motion and sound, and tracks metrics like how long you slept and when you woke up. It can also make note of light and temperature changes along with various sleep disturbances, like snoring or coughing. It’s an easy way to track your sleep without wearing a fitness band all night or relying on sleep tracking apps.

A Sleep-Tracking Display

Google Nest Hub

Track your sleep quality, including metrics like coughing and snoring, with the Google Nest Hub available now in Google’s Store.

A Clock and a Night Light: Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

Smart Clock EssentialLenovo

For those that tend to wake up in the middle of the night, having a way to see what time it is without your scorching your eyes with your smartphone’s bright display is a must. Fortunately, Lenovo’s Smart Clock Essential does just that. Its small footprint won’t take up much space on your nightstand, and its USB port gives you a way to charge your smartphone overnight. It also has a night light at its rear, which offers the perfect amount of light for gathering your bearings if it’s still dark out. Additionally, the Essential doubles as a smart speaker and is the perfect middle-of-the-road option for those wanting more than a smart speaker but not a full Nest Hub.

A Clock and a Night Light

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

This gentle display shows you the time and has a night light that’s not too bright.

Listen to Relaxing Music or White Noise: Google Nest Mini

Google Nest Mini smart speaker in Sky BlueGoogle

If you like to listen to something to help you fall asleep each night, the tiny Google Nest Mini is the perfect speaker. It can play your favorite songs, playlists, and podcasts, and you can even ask it to play white noise and other soothing sounds. The Nest Mini also doubles as an alarm clock and can interface with your personal calendar, so you can ask it what time your first appointment of the day is without getting out of bed. Plus, it allows you to connect with your smart home devices, so you can turn off the lights and lower the temperature for the night with a simple voice command or routine. It’s worth noting that the Google Nest Hub, which we mentioned above, can do all of these things as well. However, the Nest Mini is a better pick for folks who don’t want to spend Nest Hub money.

Listen to Relaxing Music or White Noise

Google Nest Mini

The small Nest Mini speaker is perfect for playing your favorite audio while you doze off. Get it now in Google’s Store.

Watch Some TV Before Bed: Chromecast with Google TV

Chromecast with Google TV device and remote control on light wooden surfaceGoogle

Falling asleep with the TV on is a time-honored tradition. Putting a Chromecast with Google TV on your bedroom TV will make it easy to find your favorite shows and movies from any streaming video service you use, along with live TV, as it centralizes all of your options into a single space. You can even set up a recurring timer through your smart home ecosystem (like Google) to automatically turn off your TV at a certain time, ensuring it’s not running all night long.

Watch Some TV Before Bed

Chromecast with Google TV

Connect the Chromecast with Google TV stick to your bedroom TV and find something good to watch while dozing off, now at the Google Store.

Voice-Command Lighting: Wyze Smart Bulbs

Four Wyze Bulbs tunable whiteWyze

Smart bulbs are one of our favorite pieces of smart home tech here at Review Geek, as they offer tons of valuable functionality you won’t get with “dumb” bulbs. We recommend the 800-Lumen Wyze Bulb for bedrooms, as it doesn’t require a separate hub. You can use either voice commands or an app (iOS or Android) to control it, and even set it up to run on a set schedule that’ll continue to work even if you’re away on vacation. They’re perfect in lamps or in overhead lighting fixtures . You can also opt for Wyze’s color bulbs, which offer tunable whites and 16 million colors at up to 1100 lumens.

Voice-Command Lighting

Wyze Smart Bulbs

Enjoy 800 lumens of tunable white lights with this easy-to-use smart bulb from Wyze.

Illuminate and Charge: TaoTronics LED Wireless Charging Lamp

TaoTronics LED Wireless Charging LampTaoTronics

If you’re in need of a bedside lamp and prefer function over form, the TaoTronics LED Wireless Charging Lamp is a wonderful choice. Its streamlined modern design doesn’t take up much space, but still allows you to maneuver it in any direction for extra light if you like to read in bed. It also has a built-in wireless Qi charger in its base, for fast charging compatible devices at rates up to 10W, and a USB port for devices that don’t support wireless charging.

Illuminate and Charge

TaoTronics LED Wireless Charging Lamp

This modern, functional table lamp can be moved to any angle for bedtime reading, and it has a wireless Qi charger in its base for your smartphone.

A Vibrant, Responsive Lamp: Govee Aura Smart Table Lamp

Govee Aura Smart Table Lamp showing off white and color lighting optionsGovee

Likewise, for those who need a little style along with their functionality, we heartily recommend the Govee Aura Smart Table Lamp. It has a simple design and can put out color lighting in addition to plain white light. The lamp has a few buttons at the top that allow you to turn it on and off, and select a specific brightness and color mode. You can also control things from the companion iOS and Android apps. It’s more of an atmospheric light than a lamp you’d use for some nighttime reading, however, so keep that in mind.

A Vibrant, Responsive Lamp

Govee Aura Smart Table Lamp

Enjoy atmospheric lighting for a more relaxed or playful bedroom setting.

Charge All the Devices: Anker Wireless Charging Station

Anker Wireless Universal Charging StationAnker

Nighttime is the perfect time to recharge both you and your devices. While you sleep, let all of your compatible devices—like your smartphone, smartwatch, and earbuds—wirelessly recharge their batteries as well with the Anker Wireless Charging Station. The all-in-one charging stand supports compatible Qi-charging devices, like the Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Buds, Pixel Buds, and the Apple iPhone. That way everything you need to get through a day is ready to go in the morning whenever you are.

Charge All the Devices

Anker Wireless Charging Station

This wireless universal charging station from Anker lets you charge compatible devices, like smartphones, smartwatches, earbuds, and more.

Make Your Dumb Gadgets More Useful: Wyze Smart Home Plugs

Two Wyze Plugs stacked on one anotherWyze

If you’ve already got some older or “dumb” gadgets in your room, you can make them a little more useful with the help of a Wyze Smart Home Plug. You can plug in standard devices like lights, fans, air purifiers, humidifiers, and more, then control it with voice commands just like you would with a dedicated smart home device. While smart plugs aren’t necessarily the most exciting bit of tech, they do offer an extraordinary convenience you’ll be fond of immediately. Smart plugs do require the device or appliance to have a mechanical on/off switch, however, and not all devices have one.

Make Your Dumb Gadgets More Useful

Wyze Smart Home Plug

Connect older, non-smart gadgets (like humidifiers or lamps) into a smart plug and control them with voice commands.

Everyone’s a Fan of a Smart Fan: BOND Hub

BOND Hub to make remote-control fans smartBOND

What smart plugs can do for lamps and air purifiers, the Bond Hub can do for remote-controlled ceiling fans. You can use the companion app (on iOS and Android) or your preferred smart voice assistant (like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) to turn your fan on, control its speed, and even turn on its light if it has one. It doesn’t even require any installation—all you need to do is plug in the BOND device, download the app , and point your fan’s remote at the BOND.

Everyone’s a Fan of a Smart Fan


Make any remote-controlled fan in your house smart, and control it with the BOND app, by attaching this hub.

Stay Healthy: TaoTronics 6L Humidifier

TaoTronics 6L HumidifierTaoTronics

A humidifier is an easy way to help keep yourself healthy. It can stop cold symptoms as well as scratchy throats, nosebleeds, and cracked skin caused by dry air. The TaoTronics 6L Humidifier is a quality, affordable humidifier that’s perfect for large master bedrooms as well as smaller kids’ bedrooms and even nurseries. It automatically monitors the humidity in your room, keeping it between 55-65%, and includes a remote control for easy use even when you’re across the room. Its low-noise operation, waterless shut off function, sleep mode-dimming LED won’t disturb you as you’re trying to rest, either.

Stay Healthy

TaoTronics 6L Humidifier

Humidify the air in your bedroom to avoid colds, scratchy throats, and dry skin.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Reverie Customizable Mattress and Power Base

The R650 Adjustable Power Base (left) and the Dream Supreme II Hybrid Mattress (right)Reverie

You can buy everything on our list and put it in your bedroom, but if you don’t have a quality mattress and frame, it’s probably not going to do much to improve your sleep each night. If you’re looking to upgrade your current bed setup, we recommend opting for the R650 Adjustable Power Base along with the Dream Supreme II Hybrid Mattress. Both offer lots of customization options and premium comfort. The frame has both a tilting and Zero Gravity option and a massage mode for when you’ve had a super tough day. Likewise, the mattress keeps you from overheating at night and is comfortable for all types of sleepers and mattress firmness enthusiasts thanks to its unique “foam spring” system.

R650 Adjustable Power Base

Get a supportive and adjustable powered base for your mattress, that’ll let you tilt it so it’s perfectly comfortable.

Dream Supreme II Hybrid Mattress

This customizable mattress lets you adjust the firmness and support to your personal liking. Plus it stops you from overheating.

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Suzanne Humphries

Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell review: Posh design, privacy, and no subscription fees


The Netatmo Smart Video Doorbell is the latest from one of Europe’s biggest smart home security product makers. It was first shown at CES 2019, so it’s been a long time coming. The product is now available in the U.S. for $300. That makes it much more expensive up front than many of its competitors, but it could easily work out cheaper over time because you don’t need to pay any subscription charges for cloud-based video storage or other services.

Netatmo’s device is larger than some competitors, but it has a smart design with the facia split evenly into three sections: the top is the camera, the center is the speaker, and the lower third is the doorbell button.

To read this article in full, please click here

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Martyn Williams

Why Your Smart Home Needs a Wi-Fi 6 Router

If you have dozens of Wi-Fi devices in your smart home, you might have noticed the network getting slower and slower. You might have upgraded to a mesh system and still struggled to keep everything running. That’s because most smart devices now cause network congestion, and there’s only one good solution—a Wi-Fi 6 router.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Josh Hendrickson

Disconnect Your Smart TV from the Internet to Stop Tracking

Your smart TV is probably tracking what you watch. “Automated content recognition” (ACR) technology detects what you’re watching, uploading snippets of content to a reference library so marketers can keep track of your viewing habits.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Chris Hoffman

How to Play Music with Google Home

This wikiHow teaches you how to play music with a Google Home device by linking your preferred music service and then controlling the music using voice commands. You can link paid subscription accounts for Spotify, Google Play Music, and YouTube Red, or you can use the free versions of Spotify, Google Play Music, and Pandora with the Google Home.[1]


[Edit]Linking a Music Service

  1. Open the Google Home app. It’s the app with the icon that looks like a multicolored outline of a house. If you haven’t already, download it and connect your Google Home device.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 1 Version 2.jpg
  2. Tap . It’s the three-lined icon in the top-left corner of the screen. This opens the main menu on the left-side of the screen.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Before moving on, make sure you’re signed in to the correct Google Account, by looking at the top of this screen. You can change accounts by tapping the down arrow .
  3. Tap . This has a gray icon of a person to its left.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 3 Version 2.jpg
  4. Tap . This is the second selection from the top.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 4 Version 2.jpg
    • On iPhone or iPad, tap Manage connected accounts at the bottom instead.
  5. Tap the music service you want to add. Tap the name of the music service you want to link to your Google Home.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 5 Version 2.jpg
    • Music services that don’t already have an account linked will have a plus sign “+” on the right-side.
  6. Tap . It’s in the bottom-right corner of the confirmation pop-up window.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 6 Version 2.jpg
  7. Log in to your account. Enter your username and password associated with the music service you want to link to your Google Home device.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 7 Version 2.jpg
  8. Tap or . This option will differ depending on which music service you are linking. Once your account has been successfully logged in, the service is now linked to your Google Home. A blue circle with a checkmark will be displayed to the right of the music service to show that an account is currently linked. You can now play music from this service on Google Home.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 8 Version 2.jpg

[Edit]Using Voice Commands

  1. Ask Google to play any song, album, artist, genre, or mood. You can also specify which music service you would like to play music from. If you are using a free service, you likely won’t be able to play specific songs, but similar music or shuffled music by the requested artist will play.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 9.jpg
    • “OK Google, play Drake on Spotify.”
    • “OK Google, play 80s music on Pandora.”
    • “OK Google, play rap.”
    • “OK Google, play Dark Comedy by Open Mike Eagle.”
    • “OK Google, play happy music.”
  2. Ask Google Home to play your playlists. You can ask Google Home to play your playlists by name and by music service. For instance, if you have a playlist entitled “Dinner Party” on Spotify, you could say, “Hey Google, play my ‘Dinner Party’ playlist on Spotify,” to play it instantly.
    Play Music with Google Home Step 10.jpg
  3. Use voice commands to control the music playback. Use voice commands to control all the usual functions.[2]
    Play Music with Google Home Step 11.jpg
    • “OK Google, pause/resume.” Pause or resume playback.
    • “OK Google, next/skip.” Play the next song.
    • “OK Google, shuffle.” Shuffles the current album or playlist.
    • “OK Google, volume 8.” Adjusts the volume level from 1-10.
    • “OK Google, what’s playing?” Tells you the name of the current song/artist/album.


[Edit]Quick Summary

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The Best Rental-Friendly Smart Home Products

Smart home products can range from super fun to incredibly useful. The problem is, a lot of them require drilling holes or wiring cables to work—probably not something you can do if you’re renting your current home. But no need to fear, as there are plenty of ways to make your home smarter that won’t tick off your landlord.

Read This Article on Review Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Eric Schoon

How to Pause Family Bell Announcements From Google Assistant

Google Assistant speakers and displays can play scheduled announcements with a feature called “Family Bell.” But what happens if your routine is going to be different for a while? There’s an easy way to pause these announcements.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

Is My Smart Speaker Always Listening to Me?

Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Nest Mini can make life easier, but they also present some privacy concerns. Doesn’t a device that responds to voice commands need to be listening all the time? Let’s talk about that.

Read This Article on How-To Geek ›

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The Article Was Written/Published By: Joe Fedewa

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