Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Redditor builds awesome RFID jukebox with Google Home →

This is just plain cool! Really great ingenuity and design all around. Sure, it’s pure novelty, but what a cool piece for people to play with when they come over. It reminds me a little bit of Hit Clips, a music toy from 1999, but you know, actually useful. You would insert a cartridge that looked like a mini CD case into a Hit Clips player, and it would play about a minute of the listed song. I loved mine and thought it was the coolest thing at the time.

Makes me wonder if there is a way to make this work with Apple Music/HomePod. Maybe through a combination of services like the Apple Music API and IFTTT? I might have to take a look.

More information in the reddit thread.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Google Home can now handle two commands at once →

Taylor Martin for CNET:

While Routines are still nowhere to be found, you can issue up to two commands to Google Home at once. You can say something like, “OK, Google, turn on the TV and what’s the weather?” Your TV with Chromecast ($35.00 at B&H Photo-Video) will power on and Google Home will tell you the weather for your location.

This worked with almost all the commands we tested. Traffic, however, only seemed to work sometimes. Other times Google Home just ignored the traffic request and responded to the second command. This feature is also limited to a string of two commands. Three or more commands will not work.

This is exactly what I asked for of smart speakers/assistants as a whole in this poorly-worded post.

Among the other examples given, for me, this would be extremely helpful to control two lights at once that aren’t exclusively part of a scene.

Previously, Google addressed my other request for adaptive volume with its Night Mode feature that lowers volume during preset times.

Too bad I don’t have a Google Home. Amazon needs to add this to their Echo line and Apple should take note for Siri/HomePod.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Google Home Night Mode will lower volume and lights during specified times →

Corbin Davenport for Android Police:

Google created a preview program for the Google Home back in August, allowing users to test upcoming features. A new option has appeared for Homes on the preview – Night Mode. With this, you can set a time span (and even specific days) for the Home to reduce its volume automatically and dim the speaker’s lights. In addition, you can also enable a new Do Not Disturb mode, which blocks sounds from reminders and other broadcasted messages. Alarms and timers will still be heard when DnD is turned on, just like on Android.

This is great, and the volume lowering addresses one of the feature requests I wrote about in a terribly-titled article a few months ago. Hopefully similar options come to Alexa and especially Siri, since HomePod is launching this December.