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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 phone and launching the Hue app. However I have had some integration … Read more

Using Amazon Echo As A Baby Monitor (But Is It Worth It?)

Two Echo devices (a full size Echo and an Echo Dot), along with a 'Love You' baby bear.

So you’ve just found out that you’re expecting a little one? Congratulations, that’s awesome! Speaking as a fairly new dad myself, I’m sure that clearly the first question you’ll be asking yourself is “How can I hook-up two Echos to function as a DIY baby monitor“? Since this is obviously an important topic, I thought … 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

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 The Google 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 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 should be fine … Read more

Why does my Amazon Echo make random noises?

Phone screenshot showing all activity on registered Amazon Echo/Alexa devices.

Having a smart voice assistant like the Amazon Echo is great due to all the smart home features it offers, but sometimes it seems to ‘wake up’ by itself and play a random noise or sound. Sometimes this sounds like a genuine notification (even though there’s no reason for the notification), whilst other times the … Read more