Google Wifi makes way for Google Home: Google is killing off its dedicated Google Wifi app for managing its routers, rolling that functionality over to the Google Home app. The company’s aim is for customers to control and manage all their connected products in one place and enable routines across them. The switchover to the Google Home app will come in two phases: first, Google will disable most of the functionality of the Google Wifi app on May 25th. Starting then, users will only be able to view the current status of their networks — but any changes, including adding new routers or access points — will have to be done in the Google Home app.
Spotify launches voice assistant: Spotify users on iOS and Android have another way to quickly play something. The audio streaming service has an in-app voice assistant that can be operated hands free, building on the existing voice search function. After saying the „Hey, Spotify“ wake word, users can ask the app to fire up a song or playlist or play music from a certain artist. Of course, this isn’t a system-wide voice assistant like Siri or Google Assistant. It’ll only work when you have the Spotify app open. Spotify has been testing the feature for a few weeks and the company appears to be rolling it out more broadly. Spotify chose not to officially announce the new addition, despite numerous reports indicating the voice option was showing up for many people in their Spotify app, leading to some user confusion about availability.
Casio launches first G-Shock Wear OS smartwatch: Casio has launched its first G-Shock smartwatch with Wear OS – the G-Squad Pro GSW-H1000 – aimed at sports and outdoors fanatics. The GSW-H1000 is shock resistant and can withstand water up to 200 meters in depth. It also runs all the typical apps one would find on a contemporary smartwatch including sports activity monitoring, weather, maps and notifications. As with Casio’s Wear OS-powered Pro Trek smartwatch series, the new G-Shock model features a dual-layer display. The top layer is an always-on 1.2-inch LCD monochrome display that shows the time, date and other classic G-Shock functions while the bottom layer is a 1.2-inch LCD panel.
Apple HomePod no longer available: Apple’s HomePod smart speaker will be discontinued according to a statement the company provided to TechCrunch. Existing users will receive software updates and support through Apple Care according to the company. On the US website, the space gray color is listed as “Sold Out” but there are still models available in white. However, this move will not signal the end of the HomePod product line.
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Ikea: Smart LED strip Myrvarv now available gearxnews.com
Advice: Smart bike helmets with bluetooth, indicators, lights and music techstage.de
Neo Smart Kids Watch: Photo monitoring and permanent contact – this is what the smart watch can do for children welt.de
OK Google: The best voice commands for Google Assistant mixed.de
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
According to a 2019 Bitkom study, 37 percent of all consumers used smart home applications that year.
Munich startup wants to optimize production processes with smartwatches: The German startup Workerbase wants to improve production processes in the Industry 4.0 by connecting people to networked devices via smartwatches. Machines and people could be integrated in real time via a specially developed platform.
VW will switch to mass-producing electric vehicles with bidirectional charging next year: Volkswagen has confirmed that it will switch all of its MEB-based electric vehicles to support bidirectional charging starting next year. Several automakers have discussed bidirectional charging—which allows cars to discharge power from their battery packs—for several years, usually in the context of vehicle-to-grid systems that integrate electric vehicles with the power grid, or as backup power sources for homes during power outages. However, commercialization of the technology has been slow. But the pace could soon accelerate. Volkswagen sees bidirectional charging as a business opportunity—one that effectively aggregates the power available at any given time from electric vehicles and functions as a broker of energy, or a utility on its own.
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„Smart meters are unstoppable.“
Peter Heuell, Managing Director of EMH metering, doesn’t believe that the smart meter rollout will slow down anytime soon.
NOT SO SMART…
LG says goodbye to the smartphone market: South Korean tech giant LG has announced that it will close down its mobile phone unit after years of losses, marking the end of an era for a trailblazer in the Android world. The division is expected to be wound down by July 31, although the company may continue to sell some of its existing models after that, according to LG Electronics. LG was once one of the world’s top smartphone makers, even making the top three back in 2013, according to research firm Strategy Analytics.