Does Google Home (And The Google Home App) Cost Money?

A Google Home Mini device placed on a wooden shelving unit

Google’s range of smart speakers – the Google Home range – are a rival to Amazon’s Echo range. Google Home devices (including the Google Mini and Nest Mini) give weather updates, play music, supports timers and gives reminders, and a whole lot more. But does this cost money? Also the devices can be controlled by … Read more

Echo Is ‘Account Locked’. Also Can Stolen Echos Be Tracked?

A new Echo Dot (sandstone color) in setup mode with an orange ring going around it.

During the setup process for a new Amazon Echo smart speaker, you’ll have to link it to your Amazon account via the Alexa app. However sometimes this fails for unclear reasons, and you need to speak to Amazon customer services. In rare cases, the failure will be caused by someone else having already registered your … Read more

Can Google Home Read Emails And Text Messages?

The Google Nest Mini (2nd generation) on a table, processing the command "Ok Google, play Skies and Shadows"

Google’s smart voice assistant – the ‘Home’ range – is great. It can play music, search (and read back) the internet, read your calendar entries, and a whole lot more. So logically, since Google also produce email (via Gmail) and mobile phones (via the Google Pixel range), Google Home can also read emails and text … Read more

Hue And Alexa Integration Problems (& How To Fix Them)

My Amazon Echo (with a blue ring, in listening mode) next to a Philips Hue E14 White Ambiance box.

I recently started to switch over to smart lighting in my house, and overall I really like the integration with Alexa. After all, being able to control your lights using voice commands to your Echo is much more convenient than pulling out your mobile device and launching the philips Hue lights app. However, I have … Read more

What Is The Difference Between Amazon’s Alexa and Echo?

Alexa app screenshot showing both 'Alexa' and 'Echo' listed.

When reading about smart homes, you’ll probably have seen ‘Amazon Alexa’ and ‘Amazon Echo’ used almost interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different. It’s almost like the difference between a guitar player and the guitar… one (the player) uses a tool (the guitar) to do something (play music). An Amazon Echo is a voice activated, internet … Read more

Can We Add Nest Protect To The Google Home App Yet?

The Nest app on the left, and the Google Home app on the right.

If you search for “Nest Protect” – the Nest Protect Smoke Alarm and CO alarm – you’ll be greeted with Google’s logo and the words “Google Nest”. It’s clearly a Google smart home product: So logic would dictate that you can manage Nest Protect in your Google Home app, right? Well, for over half a … Read more

The Complete List Of All Smart Home Devices (From 2008 Onwards)

A Google Home Mini device placed on a wooden shelving unit

Smart home tech has exploded in popularity over the past decade, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of every new product which is available – especially when ‘Google Home’ rebranded to ‘Nest’, or when Amazon Echo are up to their 4th generation of certain devices! So that’s where we come in! We have spent … Read more

Blocking Specific Songs On Amazon Echo/Alexa & Google Home

Block annoying songs on Amazon Alexa/Echo or Google Home

If you’re fed up of your child playing “Baby shark” or “I am a gummy bear” over and over, or someone else playing a song that upsets or annoys you, you might be wondering if there’s any way of blocking certain songs through your smart speaker. There are a number of ways to block songs … Read more

Is Google Nest Mini Dual Voltage? (And Why This Matters)

Official UK power adaptor for Google Nest Mini 2nd generation, showing: "AC adapter Model G1030 Input: 100-240V-0.4A 50-60Hz Output: 14V=1.1A LPS"

If you are travelling or you bought a cheap Google Mini from google store or abroad, you might be wondering whether you are safe to use your Google Home device in another country. Yes, the Google Mini is dual voltage – it supports input electricity from 100V/120V (depending on model) up to 240V. Therefore you … Read more

Does Google Home (& Mini) Need a Music Subscription?

Google Play Music logo

The Amazon Echo offers over two million songs as part of Amazon Prime, but Google doesn’t have a similar membership scheme. Also the ‘small print’ of the Google Mini and Google Nest Mini says that “subscriptions may be required for certain content”. But what exactly does this mean? If you bought a Mini and don’t … Read more