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You've heard of smart speakers like Amazon's Echo, Apple's HomePod, and Google Home. Chances are you even have one. That's because around 20 percent of the adult U.S. population actually owns a smart speaker, according to a recent study. That’s up 78 percent compared to 2017.
These numbers are only expected to grow in the next few years as more people figure out what they can do with smart speakers and their affiliated voice assistants. Playing music and asking Alexa to tell you a joke once in a while is certainly entertaining. But actually putting your smart speaker (and voice assistant) to work pays off in the long run. You’re more likely to actually use it regularly, making it worth having in the first place!
iDevices smart switches, outlets and thermostat are friendly with Alexa, the Google Assistant, and Siri. Turn your lights and electronics on and off, dim and brighten lights, and control your home’s temperature – all by chatting with the voice assistant of your choice. Here’s a rundown of what you can do with iDevices and that little voice inside your smart speaker:
Once you connect your iDevices products with Alexa, you can immediately control individual products with voice commands. Just wake Alexa up by saying her name, then tell her what you want to happen.
Need a little more light while cooking? “Alexa, turn on the kitchen light.”
Curled up on the couch and feeling a little chilly? “Alexa, increase thermostat to 78 degrees.”
With the grouping feature in the Alexa app, you can combine iDevices products with other smart home products compatible with Alexa. This way, you can use your voice to control everything at once. Group products by room or floor to make your voice even more powerful. “Alexa, turn on game room.”
Create Alexa Routines to automate how your smart speaker and smart products work together. Routines can set the mood for movie time, improve your bed time habits, or even help you get up in the morning. You can incorporate music, podcasts, and radio into a routine. Take your routines on the go by triggering them through the Alexa app on your smart phone.
Just like Alexa, the Google Assistant gives you the power to control individual iDevices products with your voice. Once you’re connected, just say “OK Google” or “Hey Google” and ask away.
Need to brighten your reading light? “Hey Google, brighten my reading light by 50 percent.”
Not sure what the temperature is upstairs? “Hey Google, what’s the upstairs thermostat set to.”
Products can be grouped by room to make things even easier. This is a great feature for parents with kids who often forget shut things off. “Ok Google, turn off Jane’s room.”
Set up your Google Assistant to help with your daily routine. A single command, like “Hey Google, bedtime,” can play tranquil music, dim the lights, and adjust the thermostat. Or, if you’re on the go, you can set up a “heading home” routine to give you a traffic update, play a podcast, and turn the lights on at home so it’s already bright when you arrive.
First, get her attention by saying “Hey Siri,” then tell her what you want to accomplish. You can turn products on and off. “Hey Siri, turn on the space heater.”
Go hands-free when you adjust the lights. “Hey Siri, dim the chandelier 30 percent."
Just like Alexa and the Google Assistant, you can group products by room or zone. “Hey Siri, turn off the basement lights” is so much easier than actually going down into the creepiness yourself. With HomePod, you can also control all HomeKit products in the room it’s in with one command, like “Hey Siri, turn off the lights.”
Set scenes with your voice to automate several products, similar to a routine. You can do this at home with your HomePod, or on the road with your iPhone. To use Siri remotely, you do need an Apple Home Hub. Luckily, your HomePod is just that. An iPad or Apple TV works too.
With remote access to Siri, you can make changes at home from anywhere. If you're driving home from work and expecting a package to arrive, you can say “Hey Siri, turn on the front porch lights at my house.” That way, you can see if the package is waiting at the front door when you arrive home.