By now you’re either sick of hearing about HomePod, or you’re so curious about it you’re paying attention to this. I thought it might be fun to talk about what has surprised Steve and me about HomePod.
I’ve read the reviews, I’ve heard the hype, and I’ve heard the naysayers. I would suggest to you that you think about HomePod as a speaker. A really awesome speaker that has great sound. And it also comes with a frequently recalcitrant, always myopic, and slightly dimwitted assistant. How about we avoid the word “smart” altogether?
Allison interviews Lisa Auslen from August about some of their new smart locks. Lisa demonstrates how the August Smart Lock Pro can lock and unlock your door remotely, instantly track who’s coming and going, and inform you if your door is closed and locked. This intelligent lock automatically locks your door when you leave and unlocks when you arrive. It provides keyless entry for family and friends and it works with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Best of all, you can keep your existing deadbolt lock and keys. The setting is Pepcom at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Learn more at https://august.com/keyless-entry
As you probably know by now, this past week Steve and I went on a big adventure to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. It was a glorious trip that we’d been planning to do for literally decades with our friends Diane and Bill.
There was one thing for which I was unprepared, and that’s that we would have nearly zero Internet on the trip. We traveled 750 miles in 7 days, and for about 80% of that we had no cell service at all on AT&T. Diane and Bill have Verizon and it was much better, but still around 50% of the time they had nothing. Oddly sometimes we’d see four or five dots of cell service, but they’d be hollow instead of filled, and the signal would say 4G. What do empty dots mean anyway? I can tell you they don’t mean you can post to Facebook, that’s for sure.
Mikah Sargent, senior editor at Mobile Nations and podcaster at RelayFM joins us to compare and contrast how Siri from Apple and Alexa from Amazon help with home automation and other tasks around the house. He has a vast array of Home Automation devices from Hue lights to Eve sensors to an Ecobee thermostat to an August smart lock so he’s got the experience. I found Mikah’s intelligent commentary combined with his light humor to be a delightful combination.
Every once in a while there’s a device comes out that everyone loves, and urges you to get, even if they can’t articulate to you why it’s so awesome. I remember a hundred years ago when my friend Eric told me to get a Palm Pilot. He explained to me that it was a small handheld device that would hold my contacts and calendar. I pointed to my 3 pound full-sized Franklin Planner notebook and said, “My planner already does that, why do I need this?” He was relentless. I took his advice and of course I was hooked.
This same kind of enthusiasm and zeal is happening around the Amazon Echo. People love their Echos. They don’t just like them, they loooooove them. You may remember when I had Mike Elgan on the show, he said one of the few things worthy of being carried around the world in his nomadic life is an Amazon Echo. He said all the usual things I’d heard before, play music, ask the weather, set a timer or listen to podcasts. I pressed him that I could do all of those things with Siri. He said it was different but hard to articulate, so I should just get one. Continue reading “Echo Dot 2nd Gen is Clumsy on Initial Setup”