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How to watch the Made by Google Pixel 4 event on October 15

The Pixel 4 is getting quite the party when it launches on October 15. Here's how you can tune in and watch the Made by Google October 2019 event live.

How to watch the Made by Google Pixel 4 event on October 15

The Pixel 4 is getting quite the party when it launches on October 15. Here's how you can tune in and watch the Made by Google October 2019 event live.

Google’s new privacy update lets you delete Assistant’s voice command history

Google announced new privacy updates that include the ability to delete Google Assistant history and the addition of incognito mode in Google Maps. Google said the updates would help keep security and privacy expectations clear as technology evolves.

The Alcatel Go Flip 3 is a lightweight, cheap KaiOS phone with Google Assistant

Alcatel announced a new flip phone called the Go Flip 3, or the Smartflip, depending on the carrier it's on. The device offers the lightweight KaiOS operating system as well as Google Assistant built into it.

Alcatel intros a 4G flip phone with Google Assistant

TCL has been busy over the last few years as it becomes a bigger player in the Android market with the Alcatel brand and a partnership with BlackBerry. In fact, it’s now the fourth largest phone maker in North America. Now, the company has turned to KaiOS to bring the first “dumb” phones with Google services to the United States.Essentially, Alcatel offers the same device as two variants: The GO FLIP 3 and the SMARTFLIP. The GO FLIP 3 will be destined for store shelves at T-Mobile and Metro while the SMARTFLIP will be sold by ATT and Cricket Wireless.Go Hands-Free with Google Assistant: With Google Assistant, you can dictate text messages, make phone calls, and open and navigate apps like YouTube, Google Maps and Google Search, all using your voice.Accessibility and speed for all: The GO FLIP 3/SMARTFLIP is powered by a quad-core processor and 4G LTE speeds on an easy-to-read 2.8-inch internal display. Both devices also include a host of accessibility features such as oversized buttons, Real-Time-Text (RTT) for conversational texting, Text Telephone (TTY) mode for the hearing impaired, and a Readout feature for the visually impaired.Reliable performance: Users can enjoy up to 6.8 hours of continuous talk time on a single charge with 8GB of built-in storage and a microSD expandable memory slot supporting up to 32GB.The GO FLIP 3 will be on sale sometime in October with a firm release date to come later. The SMARTFLIP will be available to purchase on September 27.Joy TabIn addition to the KaiOS announcement, TCL is also launching a new Android tablet under the Alcatel name. The JOY TAB is an 8-inch tablet that will be available from T-Mobile and Metro on October 4th. The features on this one are nothing special but will make for a nice offering for those looking for a simple tablet solution with LTE capabilities.Search for what you see: The JOY TAB’s camera is equipped with Google Lens to run a Google search of the world around you by taking photos of what you see. You can also take advantage of Android 9 Pie’s Google Assistant integration to manage hundreds of tasks and services hands-free with the power of your voice.Closer to your entertainment: The JOY TAB is powered by a 4,080mAh battery to bring you uninterrupted streaming, reading, and gaming for up to 8.5 hours over Wi-Fi or 8 hours over LTE. The tablet also features CloserTV, which gathers all of your favorite streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, cable and satellite TV in one spot.Easy on the eyes: The JOY TAB’s Night Light filter helps to relieve visual fatigue by reducing blue light and optimizing the screen’s brightness and tonality in even the most extreme lighting conditions, day and night. 

What are Routines in the Google Home app, and how do you use them?

Have you ever wished you could make your smart home do multiple actions at once with a single command? Maybe turning off all the lights and adjusting your thermostat in your home when you leave for the office in the morning. Another example would be starting your morning by hearing the weather, latest headlines, your favorite music, and turning on your lights.Well, the good news is, that’s exactly what Routines were created for. With a few simple steps, you can set up your Google Home to automate several actions with one simple voice command.How do you set up a routine?One of the easiest ways to learn about Routines is by setting one up. The Google Home app even comes with several Routines already set up for you. All you have to do is enable it and edit the Routine to your liking. To access routines follow these steps.1. Open the Google Home app.2. Tap on Routines.3. Choose Manage routines.From here, you have access to edit the pre-made Routines and the ability to create your own by pressing on the blue plus (+) symbol in the bottom right corner. Editing a Routine is one of the easiest ways to set one up, and also shows you many of the possibilities that a Routine offers.In this tutorial we’re going to set one up from scratch; this way you understand how to create your own. But make sure to explore the premade Routines, because it might have everything you’re already looking for, or work with only a few minor tweaks.Create a RoutineTo begin creating your own Routine, follow these steps.Tap on the blue plus symbol in the bottom right corner.Under the “When” section, choose either a voice command or time of day to initiate your Routine.If choosing a voice command, it will allow you to add several to choose from. Have fun and add a few different phrases using the blue plus icon in the bottom right corner.Next, you’re going to want to add an action. This can be any voice command your Google Assistant speaker is capable of. The easiest way to add one, is by choosing from the list of popular actions.If there is a settings cog next to the action, make sure to click on it and adjust the settings to your liking. For example, under “Adjust lights, plugs, and more” I made sure to turn off all the connected lights in my house.After you’ve added all of your actions, don’t forget to check the order and change it if necessary.In the Add media section, is where you can choose to play music, audiobooks, podcasts, sleep sounds, or even hear the news. In this example, I will be adding a sleep sound.The final step will be to tap on the check mark at the top to save your new Routine.That’s all there is to it. I would suggest trying it out to test and make sure everything happens exactly as you wanted. If not, no worries, as you can go back in and edit your Routine at any time.Routines will vary widely depending on your smart home setup. For example, if I were allowed to install a connected thermostat or smart locks in my current residence, I could have also adjusted the temperature and locked the doors. However, since I own the Logitech Harmony Companion remote, which I highly recommend, I was able to control my TV using Google Assistant.  It all comes down to what connected devices you have in your home.Even without any connected devices, you can still set up Routines that only make use of your smart speaker, such as reading off your calendar, your reminders, listening to the headlines, the traffic report, or playing a certain playlist.

Google’s Ambient Mode turns phone screens into Assistant-powered smart displays

Google's Ambient Mode turns select phones and tablets into Assistant-powered smart displays, with an interface resembling the one on the Nest Hub.

Gmail to get dark theme support on Android later this month

Google has finally released Android 10 to the public, and it comes with it a system-wide dark mode — but some apps have yet to adopt the new feature. Apps like Gmail, Google Assistant, and Google Maps may be getting a dark mode soon though, according to the Android 10 website.

JBL Link Bar review: The smartest speaker in its class

The Link Bar turns your dumb TV into a smart one.

Google Assistant Will Soon Let You Assign Reminders for Friends and Family

Google Assistant is about to gain a new reminder feature that allows you to get someone else to do your

How to set up your personal Voice Match for Google Assistant

Google is amazing with data; it’s kinda its thing. One of those things it does almost better than everyone else in mobile is voice data. This is due to a few things, but one of those is your Voice Match data.Google has been collecting data from voices for years. If you’ve used voice dictation, search, or voice-to-text, yours has been collected, too. With this data, it has built a profile of how you speak and the patterns you use. Voice Match sets all those patterns to the physical sound of your voice to a profile that will allow Google AI to recognize only your voice.Once this is set up, Google can almost immediately recognize it’s you on all of your Google devices. This will allow you to shout commands for anything from Google Searches to playing your favorite tunes on Spotify or Pandora.How to make it workThis is a pretty quick set up that requires digging into Google Home settings a bit.Open your app drawer and find the Google Home app and select itTap the Account button with the “person” in a circle to the bottom rightVerify which account you want to useChoose the Settings then More SettingsSelect the Assistant tab at the topClick Voice MatchFollow the steps on the screenTo hear sensitive information like calendar appointments or text you must turn on and agree to Personal results. 1 of 11 Hello, Jarvis!You have successfully created your Voice Match profile. You should now have your own personal connection to you Google Home devices as well as your smartphone. This includes the Google Home speakers, Android TV devices, and all the great Hub devices from Nest.What are you waiting for? Start shouting at all the things in your home!

AKASO P30 Pet Camera review

It wasn’t all that long ago that the idea of adding a security camera to your home was semi-rare and reserved for those who are “well off”. Not everyone had, or has, hundreds of dollars to put a camera up over their garage or back yard.Today it’s much more common to see people installing a camera or two in the home. It doesn’t take anything special to put them in place; you don’t need to be an electrical engineer to wire things. Many of today’s solutions are as simple as plugging into the wall and placing the camera where you need it.While it is entirely possible to dump thousands of dollars into outfitting your house with security cameras, motion detectors, and the like, you can also do it on the cheap. Such is the case with the AKASO P30 Pet Camera, an unobtrusive unit that costs about $50.AKASO P30 Pet CameraA pint-sized camera that takes up about as much space as a can of soda, the Akaso camera plugs in via USB and pairs to your phone. It’s an egg-shaped affair that does much more than let you spy on your dog.What’s Included?For your money you’ll receive the camera, its cable, a mounting plate, adhesive tape, and their respective accessories. It’s designed to sit on a counter, shelf, night stand, table, or anywhere else out of the way.Simple to set up both physically and in connecting to your phone, it took us all of five minutes to get it out of the box and installed. Make sure to connect to 2.4Ghz instead of 5GHz and have a microSD card ready if you plan to store video and images for long term.We initially placed our AKASO P30 on a table in the office as we didn’t quite know what sort of viewing angle or image quality we’d get from the camera. Suffice it to say, we were ready to move it into other rooms before long.ImpressionsWith a 1080 resolution image, it’s sufficient for keeping an eye on things while away. It’s not just to patch yourself through to make sure the dogs are eating, but it can also be used to monitor a child’s room or quick glances in the garage.The P30 feeds a near real-time image to your phone so you can see what’s going on, even in darker environments. What’s more, it can start recording if motion is detected or manually at the press of a button. Someone getting into your trash at night or knocking things off the counter? This is what you’ll want.Although it won’t automatically track subjects in frame you can still manually adjust what it sees both vertically and horizontally. We found it responds pretty quickly if you need to make an adjustment. The 100-degree viewing angle gives you a fairly wide look at a room so it’s easy to find an out-of-the-way location that sees all the important stuff.Smart StuffOne of the features were most interested in checking out was the integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. We were curious as to whether we might be able to throw a few of these in different rooms throughout the house and periodically check them from a Google Nest Hub or Lenovo Smart Display.Setting this particular part up was not as intuitive as we thought it would be but it was easy enough. Rather than adding an “AKASO” device to your Google Home setup you’ll look for “Smart Life” and log in with your account credentials.As to being able to ask Google to watch a room, it’s workable but not something you’ll want to use for real-time monitoring. You can pull it up and see what’s going on, but you’re a good thirteen seconds behind. Don’t bother putting this by the front window to see who is knocking at your door if you can physically walk there inside of a few seconds.We would have liked to use this in the basement office so we can see why dogs might be barking upstairs but that just isn’t feasible. You might get a glimpse of the delivery driver walking back to the truck or a car pulling away but that’s about it.Other DetailsPulling up the AKASO P30 on our phone was much quicker and had less delay. We’re talking maybe one second. It’s here where we remember that it works well for making sure the dogs haven’t chewed up the furniture and not for figuring out what that thump was in the bedroom.Likewise, the two-way audio is good for using the camera as a baby monitor or to chat with another room. There’s peace of mind in being able to pull up your infant’s room from the couch and both see and hear what’s going on.We were able to capture pictures and videos manually with them storing locally on our phones, but it wasn’t always without issue. Sometimes we’d tap the video record button and let it run for a good 10-15 seconds before ending. Once done, we’d check our phone and see it was simply a picture. It’s not clear why this happened and we hope maybe a firmware update or software patch might fix this.In addition to the smart home connectivity you can also pair the AKASO camera to an IFTTT account. This potentially opens the door to all sorts of things such as triggering recording when someone connects to WiFi.ConclusionThere’s enough here to make us wish we had a couple of them located around the home. At the same time, we’re not in a hurry to ask too much of them just yet.For $50 we were content with the camera but did find some quibbles along the way. We’re reluctant to completely endorse the AKASO P30 and say it’s the solution to your problems. But, at the price, we can say it’s a great step toward connecting your home in new and exciting ways. Find it at Amazon for $45.99.

Apple’s new Seattle campus may mean big things for Siri, artificial intelligence

Apple plans to hire 2,000 more employees for a new Seattle campus, the company announced Monday, with a significant number of those jobs focused on Siri and artificial intelligence.

A new survey by Adobe shows an evolving market for voice applications

A new consumer survey conducted by Adobe Analytics has uncovered a growing desire for more diversity in voice-controlled applications and devices as well as growing engagement with voice ads.

Polk MagniFi MAX SR review

If you’re like us, you grew up in a house with one, maybe two, televisions. They were big, clunky, and heavy as hell. Today’s modern homes have TVs or screens in nearly every room. What’s more, they’re lighter, cheaper, and smarter than ever.If you’re like us, you maybe knew one or two people with surround sound stereos and killer systems in the family room. Maybe it was your uncle who had the cabinet setup with an equalizer, dual tape decks, and a CD player. Maybe it was your bachelor buddy who filled out a room with speakers in every corner. Movies and video games are so much better when played loud and clear.While today’s TVs are better than ever, we could always get better sound. Sometimes the situation calls for a center channel, sub-woofer, and speakers in each corner. For most of us, though, a soundbar setup is a fantastic way to go. Then there’s stuff like the Polk MagniFi MAX SR, which is somewhat of a hybrid experience.Priced about $600 at the time of this writing, the home theater solution features a sub-woofer, soundbar, and two surround-sound speakers. In addition to the standard fare of audio connectivity, it also supports Bluetooth and features baked-in Chromecast and Google Assistant. We recently had the chance to spend a few weeks with the MagniFi MAX SR and are happy to share our thoughts.PriceLet’s get it out of the way. The $600 price tag is enough to scare a lot of people away. We get it. Really, we’ve been content with the sound from our televisions for decades and have occasionally dabbled in starter kits and basic surround sound. We’ve really only spent about half of this on our setups over the years. Then again, we’re not audiophiles.There’s something to be said about “once you try it, you can’t go back” in tech. We see it in phones, particularly around the camera experience and stock Android. We’ve since found that’s the case with watching movies and playing video games, too.Looking at the selection of home theaters, soundbars, and other kits like this, we find that the Polk solution is right in line with other brands. You can easily get into $1,000 or more for a full-on setup.If you’ve ever purchased a home theater sound system, you probably won’t bat an eye at the cost. If you’ve not, you’ll need a little bit of convincing. We get that.In the BoxThe MagniFi MAX SR comes with a soundbar, sub-woofer, two surround-sound speakers, remote control, and a handful of audio and power cables. You also get some mounting brackets and templates to help assist should you opt to place yours on the wall.SetupIt’s really simple to get your Polk system up and running. It takes just a few minutes to unpack and plug in your speakers. The soundbar is the only component that needs to be plugged into the television.Each speaker needs its own power cable but other than that you don’t have any other wires to worry about. It’s 2019 and that means it’s all about wireless. We really appreciate this aspect as it lets us move the speakers about in the first day or two.PerformanceWe were incredibly pleased with the sound and features of the MagniFi MAX SR. Volume levels can get quite loud and there’s a notable boom to the bass. The remote control has a number of settings which let us adjust the surround speakers, bass and voice, and switch inputs.There are also some quick settings for movies, music, and sports which work like preset equalizers. Night mode is dials down the bass and punches up the voice for watching movies at night.The Polk remote control can be a tad awkward at times as some of the buttons are concave while others are raised. Along those lines, we would have liked it if we could use the Google Assistant to make the adjustments from one mode to another.As much as we liked the other Polk system we recently reviewed we would have rather used Google Assistant instead of Amazon Alexa. Our current setup is all Google everywhere so we were glad to add this to the home. Not only can we add this to a party group or cast our music, but we can use it for tasks and other Google Assistant roles. What’s more, you can use the Google Home app to manage volume levels.It’s worth noting that the soundbar is incredibly wide at 43-inches. If you’re placing it on a TV stand you might find it extends beyond the edges. The sub-woofer also eats up a fair amount of space. The surround sound speakers, for their part, are compact enough that you can put them on end tables orConclusionThe Polk MagniFi MAX SR is a great home theater option for those looking for a well-rounded audio experience. Movies, sports, video games, and Bluetooth audio all sound excellent; there’s plenty of customization at each mode to fine tune each.We really appreciate having another Google Assistant-based device in the home. As much as we like a Google Home Mini in every room, there’s nothing like a full-on speaker system. Casting is more convenient than pairing via Bluetooth at times, especially when multiple people are in the room, taking turns with the music.There’s a lot to like about the MagniFi MAX SR, even at its $600 price. Considering you’d put three hundred into a solid standalone Bluetooth/Google Assistant speaker like the Google Home Max, it make sense to go all-in with a system that rounds out an entire room.AvailabilityYou can learn more about the MagniFi MAX SR at Polk’s website where you can also order it. It’s also available for purchase at Amazon where it’s currently listed at $600.

Lenovo Smart Clock review

One of the things we loved most about the Google Nest Hub (formerly Google Home Hub) and the Lenovo Smart Display is the wide door that opens by being able to see and not just hear. As helpful as a Google Home or Google Home Mini might be, we love having screens in different places. Even tiny smart displays have their use cases. Such is the case with the Lenovo Smart Clock, now available for $80.Lenovo Smart ClockFirst unveiled at CES 2019, the Lenovo Smart Clock doesn’t sound all that interesting on the surface. That is, unless you’ve had a chance to use a Nest Hub or Smart Display. For those who have used one, you know the versatility that comes with the package.Too often hardware makers try to create a product experience that doesn’t make sense. That is they get too niche or use-specific and ask too much for the device. The Lenovo Smart Clock is none of those things.We’ve had a Lenovo Smart Clock for about a week now and it’s immediately become one of our favorite connected devices. To us, it’s the right product designed for the right places. And it’s priced right, too.When it comes to the first one or two in a home, we struggle with trying to figure out where to place our smart displays. A kitchen counter seems to be the best spot until you think of the office. Then, there’s also the night stand.The last thing we tend to do at night is ensure our alarm clock is set for the morning; it has been this way forever. We also want to make sure we’ve turned off all the lights and locked the doors. In 2019 we can do all of those things without leaving the bed.This is one of those “it just makes sense” sort of products that does a handful of things really well. More importantly, it doesn’t try to do more or provide a semi-poor experience in other areas.FeaturesWith ten different clock faces to choose from, you can also customize each with colors. Moreover, you can also tell it to adapt to the environment switching to a darker view to match the ambience. A nice red and white clock is cool in the middle of the day, but it would be jarring at night. The clock, in this example, automatically switches to a black-based one with red accents in evening.We can sometimes go multiple days between using a Nest Hub in the kitchen. Then there are days where we might use it three or four times in an evening. Music, recipes, timers, and reminders are part and parcel to a smart speaker or display experience.We like the ability to quickly toggle our Google Home devices, controlling lights and other things. It’s nice to have the option either by voice or manually – should your spouse or partner be sleeping at the time.The Google alarm clock experience on a Pixel phone can automatically start playing your favorite playlist or news upon waking. That’s extended here and it makes sense, especially since the speaker sounds more full and accurate.As we go about our morning routines we start to mentally, and sometimes physically, look ahead to our day. That could be in the form of viewing a calendar, checking Google Maps, or browsing reminders. The Lenovo Smart Clock can help you understand your day before your feet hit the ground. Simply ask “Hey, Google, what does my day look like?” and you’re set.The design of the clock, its colors, and fabric call to mind Google’s smart speakers. It’s modern and minimalist and fits with any environment. It’s right at home in all places of the house, regardless of room decor or color palette.One of the downsides to placing one of these on a night stand is that it might take away the wall outlet that you use for charging your phone. To counter that Lenovo places a USB 2.0 port on the back of the clock so you can piggyback charge through it. There is also a dedicated switch on the back of the clock which lets you mute the microphone.We found the sound to be in line with expectations and more than enough for a bedside. Podcasts, news, playlists, audiobooks, and other media sound just fine here. The same goes for alarms and timers. If you value music above all other features, you might want to just get a nice Bluetooth speaker.No Video, No ProblemThat there is no Google Photos support or ability to cast or watch video isn’t as bad as it sounds. This is smart clock. It’s all of the Google Assistant stuff you’ve come to appreciate, plus a versatile clock.The ambient display isn’t about your friends and family or some random wallpapers. It’s a clock first. Besides, it’s too small to enjoy Netflix or YouTube; your phone works better if that’s what you’re wanting to do in bed.There’s no camera present on the Smart Clock is not an issue. You don’t want one on there, really, and it would make a lot of people feel awkward and uncomfortable. This is not just for the bedroom, but anywhere.To its credit, the Lenovo Smart Clock does integrate tightly with Nest Cameras. Ask it to show you a particular room and it will give you a live feed. Parents will enjoy being able to monitor a baby’s room.ConclusionWe can’t say for certain how well the Smart Clock would fare in a bathroom but we’re curious. It’s hard to say how well it would stand up over time to moisture from showers so we won’t be trying it. With that said, it would be a great addition to bathrooms and other dressing areas.If you’re considering a Google Home Mini ($50) for a particular room, ask yourself whether it might be more practical to have a display with it. Then, figure out whether you’d like to watch video on it. If yes, go for the Google Nest Hub ($100) or the Lenovo Smart Display. If no, grab the Lenovo Smart Clock.Priced just $70, the Smart Clock is a great addition to an existing smart home setup. It’s also a great way to start out or learn how an enhanced Google Assistant experience can changes things around the house.We’re fans of this approach to the smart home and look forward to seeing what Lenovo does next. A traditional wall clock seems like a logical progression from here and we’d be interested that checking it out.AvailabilityYou can learn more about the Lenovo Smart Clock at the Lenovo website where it’s also available to purchase. Find it for $80 there and at other retailers such as Walmart and B&H Photo Video.

How to set up Digital Wellbeing on your Google Assistant speakers and displays

Google’s Digital Wellbeing initiative is meant to help you and your family create healthy habits when it comes to technology. It started out on phones with features such as usage statistics, because the first step to building healthy habits is being aware of the habits you need to change.Read More: Digital Wellbeing, Google Call Screening come to select Motorola phonesIt has since made the jump to Google Assistant devices in your home. This will help ensure your family strikes a balance between technology and their well being, even when not on their phones.With Digital Wellbeing enabled on your Google Assistant devices, you can filter out explicit music and videos, block them altogether, restrict calls, get answers to questions, and more.It can also be used to schedule downtime, preventing Google Assistant from responding to queries or from playing music, while still allowing for timers and alarms to function.Read More: How to set a music alarm with Google Home or a Google Assistant speakerAll of these things are perfect for that Google Home Mini you keep in your children’s room. This way you can make sure they don’t stay up all night playing games or listening to music.In order to get started, first open up the Google Home app on your phone and then follow the steps below.1. Select the Google Assistant device you want to adjust from the list.2. Tap on the settings cog in the upper right-hand corner3. Choose Digital wellbeing4. Begin setting up your filtersThis is where you can choose whether to filter out explicit music or videos and for what users the filters should apply to. Whether it is for the entire household, or just supervised users and guests.Read More: ActionDash review: A ‘Digital wellbeing’ for all Android phonesThat way, you can still enjoy uncensored music and videos, but your kids will not be able to do so. However, it does point out no filter is 100% accurate and this should not be used to create a fully trusted experience appropriate for children.Next up, is your Downtime settings. This is much easier because all you have to do is choose which devices you want included, the days you want it active, and which hours to enable it.After you’ve completed all of these steps, your Google Assistant devices will abide by the filters and downtime hours have you scheduled. Now, you and your family are on your way to living in harmony with your tech.Check out this list of Google Assistant speakers and displays 

DEEBOT OZMO 930 review

“Hey, Google, start the DEEBOT.”There’s something really cool about having a virtual assistant paired with a physical one. Home life is fun and interesting when you can use your voice to have a vacuum cleaner get started on sweeping and mopping rooms.That’s exactly the scenario we’ve come to appreciate about the ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO 930. We use it daily and we love it.DesignThe OZMO 930 doesn’t look much different from the other robotic vacuum cleaners and could largely be described as a black puck. It has a run-of-the-mill charging dock and comes with accessories for both vacuum and mopping. You’ve seen this design plenty of times.At a casual glance you wouldn’t see the OZMO 930 as being all that different from other models on the market. Factor in the high price tag and you might assume it to be just like everything else. That’s definitely not the case.SetupUpon taking the OZMO 930 out of the box and setting it up, you’ll find the process very simple. Everything is handled by the app and it takes just but a few minutes – at least in theory.On the physical side you’ll need to charge up the vacuum before the first run. This can take a few hours, depending on how much charge is in the battery. You’ll also want to ensure there’s 1-2 feet of space around the dock in each direction.We found it prefers being on a hard surface as opposed to (thicker) carpet. The vacuum doesn’t care so much once it’s running but that initial bump off of the dock works better on tile or hard wood than carpet.As for the app and network configuration, we ran in to some hiccups. At first we thought it was because we were using a mesh network (Amplifi Instant).We followed the steps, pressing the reset button, holding it down, and just doing what we thought would work. All of this, of course, after doing what the app told us to do in the first place. After about ten minutes of trial and error we were able to connect it.A quick note if you have your network set up so that you have to manually approve new connections, you might want to disable that temporarily. Also, try quick pressing the rest button on the unit.Our home is a Google Home which means we have speakers and automation throughout. As such, it was very easy to add the ECOVACS device to our network. Doing so gave us the ability to use our voice to start, pause, and end the vacuum process.UsageThe DEEBOT OZMO 930 is a chatty little robot that provides status updates. You’ll get an audible alert upon starting, pausing, and completion and she’ll even tell you when she’s suspended, relocating, and charging.The first few times that the vacuum runs it will be actively feeling out the environment, reading the room, so to speak. You’ll see it slow as it approaches walls and obstacles and you can monitor its progress in the app.After a few times of running the OZMO 930 will give you a great top-down perspective of the floor. You get one immediately, of course, but the more it runs, the more precise the lines get.You’ll not only see the shape and layout of your home, but also the difference in floor types. It’s easy to discern the difference between carpet and hard floors and the map can pinpoint rugs.The OZMO 930 is quiet as it goes about its business; there are slightly different hums and noise based on floor type. Our setup is one that splits the floor about 50/50 with carpet and tile. The robot has no problems adapting and going from essentially flat to medium-pile carpet.There are two sets of side brushes to help fluff the carpet and/or sweep items into the center of the vacuum. We’re not sure how long each pair will last but in the six weeks we’ve used ours they do not show any signs of wear. For what it’s worth, we run it about six days out of the week.As nice as the brushes are, they don’t pull things in from corners. Because of its circular shape it’s unable to reach the hard edges where walls and obstacles meet. It’s not the fault of this model, but just one that plagues all devices of this type.Our house has its share of vacuum cleaners, including Dyson and Shark. Over the years we’ve learned a thing or two about them and what works best with the carpet we have. Moreover, we also understand that using some models might not be good enough to safeguard your warranty.Having gone through, and continuing to go through, different models we’ve learned which have stronger suction. As a house with two dogs and a cat, there’s a fair amount of dander and hair that can be found. And, when they can come and go a few times each day, they track in grass clippings, dirt, and debris.We pride ourselves on keep the house clean and running the sweeper manually each day. When we were first introduced to robotic vacuum cleaners we approached them with skepticism. “There’s no way it can be strong enough to use this as a replacement.”The first couple of times we used the OZMO 930, or Rosie as we affectionately named her, we did so immediately after running the Shark. We were pleasantly and not-so-pleasantly, surprised by what it picked up. There was more hair, debris, and dander than we expected. Far more, really.We still use the standard upright vacuum when it comes to cleaning the house. Those Saturday mornings where mom is up nice and early with the music on, wiping things down and sprucing the place up? We default to the Shark. And then we let the OZMO 930 come in for a second pass.Where we love the OZMO 930 is that it runs on its own and can be scheduled. As long as we have things picked up, it moves about the house effortlessly and quietly. Dog toys, shoes, cables, and other items are subject to being sucked up and causing a problem.We don’t schedule our robot; ours is started by voice as walk around the house tidying up the floor. Picking up food and water bowls and anything else that might get in the way is often done just as the vacuum makes its second line through the room.We love that we can start the cleaning process via the app anytime we want. Out to dinner with friends and inviting them to come back for coffee and games? Have it run as you pay your bill and the house will look nice.The app gives users a fairly good level of control of rooms and the map. Have a couch where the vacuum tends to get stuck, or an area that you want to keep off limits? Draw a line or a box around the area and the OZMO 930 will avoid it.After the vacuum understands its layout it will create rooms and label them by letter. This is extremely handy if you want to focus on one area and not worry about the whole house. Simply pick it and the vacuum will head there, clean up, and finish up.Included in the box is a direct suction option which can be used in place of the main brush. This is good for those times where you might want to pick up spilled cereal, toddler snacks, loose pet food, and the like. These are easy to snap into place and can come in handy when you need to clean a small area instead of a whole floor.We’ve not spent enough time with other models to compare them in a head-to-head but we do notice a few things that the DEEBOT does that our $300 Samsung doesn’t.Key among the differences, and this may be standard at pricier models, is that the OZMO 930 will not go tumbling downstairs. Its sensors can detect when it nears the edge of steps and will stop to turn around. This was welcome in our house as we keep the doorway open to the basement.The OZMO 930 seems to move with more precision and focus than our Samsung unit. Whereas the Samsung moved about in seemingly random and haphazard fashion, the DEEBOT unit moves in straight lines, up and down a room, and side to side. This is evident both when you watch it in action and from nice lines in the carpet.MoppingThe OZMO 930 comes with a reservoir, cleaning cloth plate, and two washable microfiber cloths. These can be added to the robot for mopping tile and hard floors.While we do appreciate having this option, it’s not one we use that often. Similar to how the vacuum aspect isn’t a full-on replacement for your high quality upright units, this isn’t here to keep you from mopping.If there’s some surface scum, maybe a few drops of coffee or juice, or something that doesn’t require much elbow grease, it works fine. But, caked on or deeper things will prove to be a challenge.If you tend to keep a tidy house and want to stay on top of things, we think the mopping would be nice to schedule for regular cleans. But, in a house of pets and children, you will likely come away disappointed.ConclusionThere’s no way around it, the DEEBOT OZMO 930 is expensive. On a typical day it runs $700 at places like Target, Kohl’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond. That’s a lot of money no matter how you slice it. And, when feel it’s not designed to replace your current setup, it’s a tough sell.In the time we’ve had our review unit we have seen the device go for as low as $500 (currently at The Home Depot), or a much more reasonable price. It’s still rather costly here, but it starts to make sense.How much is automatic cleaning worth to you? What about scheduling? Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa? Mopping? App control? There’s a lot of peace of mind that can be had with a product like this.We looked around to compare other brands and models and it seems the OZMO 930 is right in line price-wise. It’s pricey, yes, but not in an unreasonable manner.If you can find one on sale, and possibly where you can split payments up over six months or longer, it’s a no-brainer. These are the sort of products that can last years and save countless hours in the process.

How to change the default Assist option on Android

If you’ve been using Android for a while, you may have noticed that Search is slowing being overtaken by Assist in most of the operating system. It’s an integral part of the way Google wants you to use Android; search, AI, and home automation now all live in the Assistant.However, that doesn’t mean you are stuck using Google for simpler tasks like Search. You have the option to change this default — if you know where to look.What it doesThis tutorial will show you how to change your default Assist app to something other than Google. This could be many apps but is essentially a web-browser alternative. Firefox, DuckDuckGo, and Opera can all be set to handle Assist searches in place of Chrome.How to make it work?As with most things Android-related, you need to find your way to the Settings app to start this journey. From there you’ll use the following steps to fully change the Assist options.Open SettingsFind and choose Apps and notificationsClick Advanced at the bottom of the listSelect Default appsTap Assist and voice input at the top of the listRead and agree to the warning screen with OKCheck to make sure new option is toggled in Assist app 1 of 6 CongratsThere you go! You should now have your alternative app enabled for most Assist options. There are a few caveats to this change. First, many apps use custom Chrome tabs for internal web browser options. This will not change with the Assist app alteration.Another side-effect is that dedicated Chrome options may no longer work. For instance, on the Pixels with Active Edge the squeeze is specifically designed to be used with Google Chrome. There are no APIs for this feature and it will stop working if you change the Assist function to say Firefox. Otherwise, enjoy your new defaults!

Food Ordering Features Now Available in Google’s Mobile Apps

Google has incorporated food ordering features into its mobile apps, allowing iOS and Android users to order food directly from

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Understanding commercial car insurance (and mistakes you need to avoid when buying it)

Commercial vehicles are cars that are not used for personal purposes. Company cars and trucks will need commercial car insurance. This also applies to any personal vehicle used for business purposes.  Remember, personal car insurance will not protect your car when used for business work.Commercial vehicle insurance covers more components included in the personal car insurance, including liability and comprehensive coverage.However, commercial auto insurance goes further to cover those who use their vehicles for work-related purposes. A good example is the non-owned vehicle coverage which includes employees who use their cars for work purposes.You’ll not need commercial car insurance if you’re driving your car to and from work. However, you’ll need a commercial auto policy if you’re driving clients or moving tools and supplies around.So, what is Commercial Auto Insurance?As opposed to personal car insurance, commercial car insurance is designed to cover vehicles used for work purposes against liability and property damage. And as earlier said, you might need to buy commercial auto insurance whether you are using a business vehicle or when using your car for work purposes.Your personal vehicle will not be covered under personal car insurance when you’re driving it for business.To that end, commercial auto insurance comprises these coverages:Collision CoverageAny damage to your vehicle due to accidents is covered under collision coverage regardless of who is at fault.Liability CoverageHave you ever asked yourself what will happen if you or your employee causes injury to another person or cause property damage when driving? That’s why you need liability coverage.Bodily liability insurance will pay claims that may arise when a person suffers bodily injury due to the action of your covered vehicle. On the other hand, property damage liability will cover you if you or your employee causes property damage when using a covered vehicle.Personal Injury CoveragePersonal injury or medical injury coverage will pay medical expenses if you, your driver, or passengers in your vehicle gets injured in an accident.Comprehensive CoverageApart from accidents, your vehicle is also at risk of theft, vandalism, or even damage from extreme weather conditions. As such, comprehensive coverage will pay for damages arising from such incidents.Pitfalls to Avoid When Buying Business Auto InsuranceRegardless of the number of vehicles you own for your business, you’ll need to buy commercial auto insurance. Even so, buying commercial auto insurance is not easy. As such, it is crucial to ensure that the insurance policy you buy aligns with your business needs.To make the process as smooth as possible, avoid these common mistakes:1. Buying Inadequate CoverageWhile it is advisable to shop around before buying commercial auto insurance, you should ensure to buy enough coverage for your business. Even so, some drivers decide to go for the cheapest option. While this may seem like the best option in the first instance, it may have far-reaching effects in the long run.To that end, you should ensure that the insurance policy you buy provides much-needed protection for your business. Yes, you need to shop around before getting motor insurance but don’t make your choice based on price only.2. Giving Inaccurate DetailsSome people hide some details to avoid paying a high premium. You should avoid this at all costs.Ensure to give correct details about your vehicle, including accessories, the driver’s age, as well as their driving history when buying vehicle insurance. Failure to do this will make your insurer dishonor your claim in your time of need.3. Not Reading the Policy DetailsBefore you settle on a policy, make sure you’re familiar with it. Yes, sometimes you may think that your business is fully covered, but in reality, it is not.4. Giving False Information on Prior ClaimsYour insurance company will ask you to disclose any prior claims before they give you a quote. Some drivers, however, decide not to reveal these claims to retain a low premium. Failure to disclose all your prior claims can make your insurance company bump up your premiums.5. Getting the Minimum Legal ProtectionLiability auto insurance is the minimum legal protection in most states. Auto liability insurance will cover you if you are found liable in an accident. As such, there is no collision or comprehensive protection, and so you’ll be required to pay them out of your pocket. It also means that your vehicle is not protected against theft or vandalism.Always ensure to get the right protection for your vehicle.EDITOR NOTE: This is a promoted post and should not be viewed as an editorial endorsement.

Three new Nokia phones available at Cricket

HMD Global, manufacturing under the Nokia brand, brought their phones to US carriers last year, forming a partnership with Cricket Wireless.Now, they are bringing 3 more phones to the Cricket roster, the Nokia C5 Endi, C2 Tava, and the C2 Tennen.Nokia C5 EndiThe C5 Endi, whose catchphrase is “Creativity at your command”, features:A 6.5″ HD+ display with a selfie notchA triple-camera rear module with a 13MP main sensor, a 5MP ultra-wide sensor, and a depth sensorAI Camera technology, such as scene detection, Recommended Shot, and Portrait modeA 4,000mAh battery with a 2-day battery lifeMediaTek Helio P22 processor backed by 3GB of RAM and 64GB of storageUnibody constructionThe Nokia C5 Endi will be available in Deep Midnight Blue at Cricket stores and the Cricket website for $169.99 starting June 5.Nokia C2 Tava and TennenThe C2 Tava and Tennen are more budget-minded, and both feature the following:A 5.45″ HD+ displayA dual-camera module  with an 8MP auto-focusing sensor and an additonal 2MP sensorMediaTek Helio A22 Processor backed by 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storageA 3000mAh battery backed by Adaptive Battery technology to bring 2-day battery lifeA removable back coverThe C2 Tava will be available in Tempered Blue starting May 29 in Cricket stores and online for $109.99, while the Tennen is available in Steel for $69.99 at select retail stores starting June 15. 

Best true wireless earbuds (Spring 2020)

We live in the age of wireless technology, where almost every item can be operated without a wire. With wireless technology on the rise, it comes as no surprise that truly wireless earbuds have become a staple.Such earphones are used by everyone across the globe, from fitness fanatics to call center employees, to gamers to businessmen, and people who want to watch different movies without disturbing each other.Benefits of Wireless EarbudsThere are many benefits to using wireless earbuds.Easy access to your earphonesConvenient to useEasy to pair up with your deviceStylish, classy, and sophisticatedBest True Wireless EarbudsIf you are like us, you’ve already considered a pair of wireless earphones. With so many options, it becomes challenging and frustrating to choose the best. To help, we have listed the best wireless earbuds you can get today.The market is filled with tons of options; here is a list of the best wireless earbuds available on the market.Jabra Elite 75tThe Jabra Elite 75t are great earbuds that are designed to fit and make all-day wear comfortable. These earbuds are perfect for listening to your favorite music and answer calls without any disturbances.The best thing about these earbuds is that they can last for 7.5 hours on a single charge. The earbuds have an IP55 rating, meaning that it offers protection from water and dust. It enables you to use them in any weather condition. And with just one touch, you can have access to the voice assistant.These are priced right in the middle of the pack here but come heavy with the features. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more well-rounded pair of true wireless earbuds on the market, especially at this price. $180 at JabraApple AirPods ProPerhaps the line most responsible for the onslaught of wireless earbuds we see today, the Apple AirPods Pro are a great example of design. Whether you’re looking to take calls or host remote meetings on your laptop or want to listen to a pumping playlist on a workout, these are a popular choice for many.The Active Noise Cancellation blocks out the ambient noises from your environments so you can focus on what matters most. And if that means getting a solid pump or working up a sweat, that’s cool, too. These are IPX4 rated against water and sweat so go ahead and do you.Battery life is rated at around 4.5 hours per charge with the carrying case adding 3-4 times the juice. When it comes time to charging up, plug them in or put them on a Qi wireless charger. $250 at AppleGoogle Pixel Buds 2The new and improved Google Pixel Buds 2 earbuds deliver immersive and clear sound. An excellent feature of the earbuds is that the audio automatically adapts the volume according to your surroundings. These earbuds are sweat and water-resistant, making them perfect for everyone.With the Google Pixel Buds 2, you can get 5 hours of use in a single charge. The best feature of Google Pixel Buds 2 is that you can easily find them when you lose it using the Find My Device. The earbuds are available in four colors including Orange, White, Mint, and Black. $180 at Google StoreMaster & Dynamic MW07 PlusAvailable in a wide range of colors, MW07 Plus is one of the best true wireless earbuds. The new earbuds are designed to deliver exceptional sound experience. The battery time of the earbuds is three times better than most other earbuds.It features Active Noise-Cancelling mode that will allow you to listen to music and lose yourself to the sound. And the Ambient Listening mode enhances your listening experience in a way that balances your environment without letting too much in. These lightweight and slim earbuds come with a durable and highly stylish finish. $300 at Master & DynamicSony WF-1000XM3One of the best earbuds on the list is WF-1000XM3 by Sony. These earbuds come with excellent noise cancellation feature. It is capable of limiting outside noise along with offering exceptional quality sound. Sony WF 1000XM3 has a sleek and classy look that will look outstanding. Equipped with powerful driver units, the earbuds deliver expansive and rich sound. These are truly wireless earbuds that come with an ergonomic fit, so you can wear them comfortably throughout the day.Whether you want to listen to songs, answer calls, or watch TV shows, these earbuds have a long-lasting battery. $230 at SonyLibratone Track Air PlusAnother great wireless earbuds available on the market is Libratone Track Air Plus. These earbuds are designed to deliver rich, clear, and expansive sound. Comes with an excellent noise-canceling feature, it is equipped with tons of innovative and intuitive features.The earbuds are water and sweat-resistant, making it suitable for workouts. These are truly wireless earbuds as they can easily sync with Bluetooth of your device. The sound will stop automatically when you are not wearing them. $200 at LibratoneJBL Reflect FlowJBL Reflect Flow earbuds have an ergonomic fit that will be comfortable for all-day wear. These earbuds have IPX7 waterproof rating, meaning you can go through the toughest workout without worrying about them. The JBL Reflect Flow comes in different colors like Teal, Green, Black, and Blue.Besides this, these earbuds have Ambient Aware and TalkThru modes enabling you to talk without taking out your earphones. The 5.8mm driver delivers high-quality sound for you to enjoy your favorite songs. $150 at JBL

Save on a refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1″

In the hunt for a tablet for reading, playing games, and consuming media? We don’t blame you; they are pretty damn cool. Big screen phones are nice and all, but things change when you get into 8-inch displays.We’ve got a fantastic deal in the AndroidGuys Deals Store today which finds a refurbished Galaxy Tab A 10.1″ going for just $250. Indeed, its wiped, cleaned up, and essentially the same as a brand new unit — just much cheaper. And it’s backed by a 30-day aftermarket warranty.This product is listed with a grade “A”. It may have very minimal to zero amounts of scuffing on the case.Size: 10.1″Resolution: 1920x1200p, 16:10 ratioOS: Android 9.0 (Pie), One UICPU: Octa-core (2×1.8 GHz Cortex-A73 & 6×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53)Memory: 2GBStorage: 32GBCamera: 8MP (rear), 5MP (front)Stereo speakersBluetooth: 5.06150 mAh batteryThis is a perfect summer companion device for reading on vacation, taking in some YouTube TV, or playing games. At this price you might as well buy two!AvailabilityYou can purchase the refurbished Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1″ for just $250 in the AndroidGuys Deals Store.Best SellersSave even more!For every $25 you spend in the AG Deals Store you get $1 credit added to your account. And, if you refer the deal via social media or an email that results in a purchase, you’ll earn $10 credit in your account.First Time Buying?If this is your first time buying, you are also eligible for 10% discount! Just be sure to subscribe for email updates.Free StuffNot looking to spend any money today? No worries. You can still visit the AndroidGuys section for freebies and pick something anyhow.