Siri, Stringify, Space Lens, and Emergency Bypass don’t all begin with the letter ‘S’, but they have one thing in common: your two favorite geeks discuss them in this week’s episode of Mac Geek Gab. In addition, listen as John F. Braun and Dave Hamilton answer your questions, including some about migrating to a new Mac the right way. The best way. Press play and enjoy learning at least five new things!
Kelly Guimont and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the issues smart home technology poses in domestic abuse situations.
Home automation is, in principle, a worthy technical development. But its adoption is slow, and there are many reasons why. This is Apple’s challenge.
An Apple Watch app called Voice in a Can is seeking to satisfy the desires of those who love Apple hardware but rely on Amazon Alexa for its home automation capabilities. As a standalone app, Voice in a Can runs entirely on the Apple Watch without needing to pair with the iPhone. With just a Wi-Fi or LTE connection you ask Alexa to control your home lights, unlock the door, or set your thermostat. However, since Apple prevents third party apps from replacing Siri, you can’t use Voice in a Can to have Alexa make calls or control the audio playback on your watch. It’s by no means a perfect solution, but it’s the best Alexa users have thus far until Amazon and Apple work out an official solution. Grab it now on the App Store for $1.99.
HomeKit has some great features, but some of its problems are big enough to push me back to Amazon’s Alexa for my smart home control.
Apple released macOS 10.13.4 this week and, well, it changes some things. No worries, your two favorite geeks talk through it all. Then it’s on to managing duplicate contacts and properly migrating your data. There are other questions, too, as well as a few other Quick Tips and some Cool Stuff(s) Found. Press play and enjoy!
Dave Hamilton and Andrew Orr join Jeff Gamet to talk about getting started with smart lights now that Dave has some Philips Hue bulbs. They also share some smart home automation tips.
Josh Centers is the Managing Editor of Tidbits.com and has published several Take Control Books. His latest book is “Take Control of Apple Home Automation.” And so, I invited him to make a return appearance on Background Mode to chat about that very subject. The book is a complete guide and starts from the very beginning of the design and wiring process and the use of various hubs. Josh clearly explained how to use Apple’s HomeKit home automation platform to control smart devices in the home, such as lights, outlets, thermostats, and more. And he’s very frank about various myths surrounding home automation. We also chatted about beginner security concerns as well as the ability to maintain control and terminate any service if necessary. If you have an interest in home automation, this show is must listening.
In post-CES analysis, a theme has emerged. Is Apple losing consumer presence of mind in consumer electronics, or is it all just a mirage?
LAS VEGAS – Xfinity wants to be at the center of your smart home and is using its xFi platform to that—along with voice control—simple for home automation newbies.
Imagine having the experience of the lights automatically dimming when the movie begins, all in the comfort of your own home.
What exactly is “Apple?” The company is changing dramatically, and Bryan and Jeff explore where Apple might be going. They also talk about home automation, and how we are in the Wild West days of this future technology.
If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around HomeKit and why you might want smart home devices you can now try them out it Apple’s own stores.
Daptly launched a new product for the smart home called Daptly Display. It was built for a specific consumer in mind—people frustrated with voice-only assistants and want visual cues. Enter the Daptly Display, a smart mirror that acts as a gesture-controlled interface. Amazon Alexa is built in, and the interface is for people who aren’t ready (or don’t want) a voice-only future. As well as acting like a fog-resistant mirror, you can use it as a photo frame, by uploading photos from your phone or choosing among Daptly’s 50,000 photo collection. It’s an interesting take on user interfaces, one that borrows from science fiction while harnessing existing technologies. Check out the promotional video below, and decide if you want to reserve a Display. The device will sell at US$799, but you can get US$200 off if you reserve soon.