Unlock Your Home’s Potential With Amazon Alexa-Compatible Smart Devices

Unlock Your Home’s Potential With Amazon Alexa-Compatible Smart Devices

In recent years, the smart home revolution has taken the world by storm. From thermostats to security systems to lights, there are countless ways to make your home smarter and more efficient. One of the most popular methods is using devices that are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant.

What Is Amazon Alexa?

Amazon Alexa is a digital assistant developed by Amazon for use on compatible devices. With Alexa, you can control many aspects of your home through voice commands. This includes adjusting the thermostat, managing the lights, playing music from streaming services, and more. It even has integration with popular third-party services like Uber and Dominos Pizza. All you have to do is say “Alexa,” followed by your command or question, and she’ll respond accordingly.

Best Smart Home Devices for Amazon Alexa

1. Philips Hue Lighting

Philips Hue lighting is an excellent way to bring some automation into your home lighting system. The bulbs connect directly to your Wi-Fi network and can be controlled via voice commands with Alexa or through the accompanying app. You can even set up routines so that your lights will turn on at a certain time each day or when you come home from work.

Why I Love Philips Hue Smart Lighting? I have had a smart home setup for a few years now and my favorite addition to it has been the Philips Hue smart lighting system. With custom timers, color-changing LEDs, remote access, away-from-home dimming and so much more, smart lighting makes my house feel luxurious and modern every time I switch it on. What I love most about this smart lighting system is how easily programmable it is. Whether I want the lights to turn off after a certain time or if I’m feeling creative with my lighting moods, I can customize all that quickly and easily through the app.

2. Ecobee Thermostat

The Ecobee thermostat is one of the best available smart thermostats on the market today. It connects directly to your Wi-Fi network and allows you to adjust temperatures in your home via voice commands with Alexa or through the accompanying app. It also features motion sensors that detect when someone is in a room and adjusts temperatures accordingly for maximum energy efficiency. 

I love the smart thermostats are the perfect way to smarten up your home! If you program it right, you’ll never have to come home to a cold house again, since you can operate and manage it right from your smart device. And with its sophisticated smart sensors, Ecobee can automatically adjust the temperature so you always stay comfortable without wasting energy. What’s more, is adding an Ecobee smart thermostat is easier than ever before!

3. Wyze Security System

The Wyze security system is an affordable yet powerful way to protect your home from intruders or other threats. The system comes equipped with motion detectors, window/door sensors, and much more which can all be monitored remotely via voice commands with Alexa or through the app on your smartphone device. You can also receive notifications whenever motion is detected in any part of your home for added peace of mind. 

If you are looking for a reliable, economic, and easy-to-install home security system, then Wyze fits all of these needs. Not only is Wyze dependable, but it has a wide range of features that make it stand out from others in its category. It gives users the peace of mind that their homes and family are protected. Wyze also provides excellent customer service, responding quickly to any inquiries. With Wyze Security System, you can now sleep without as much worry knowing your home is safer and more secure.

4. Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat is another great option if you’re looking for a smart thermostat that works with Alexa-compatible devices. This thermostat learns from your behaviors over time so it can automatically adjust temperatures based on when people are in different parts of the house or away from home altogether. Plus, it offers remote access so you can adjust temperatures even when you’re away from home using just your phone or tablet device. 

Nest Learning Thermostat has been a game changer for the heating and cooling industry. Not only has it made life so much easier (and smarter), but we don’t have to worry about manual adjustments to heating and cooling. Don’t like the family messing with the temperature? You can lock the thermostat! What I love most about Nest (and smart thermostats in general) is that Nest makes it incredibly effortless to save energy and save money. Nest also brings extra style to my home, with its sleek tech design taking center stage against our living room wall. In short, the Nest Thermostat is an absolute must-have for anyone looking to add some tech convenience and style to their living space!

Your Smart Home With Alexa Awaits

Smart technology has completely revolutionized how we interact with our homes today and Amazon’s Alexa digital assistant is no exception! By connecting compatible devices like Philips Hue lighting or Nest learning thermostats directly to your Wi-Fi network, you can use voice commands to control various aspects of your living space from anywhere in the world! Regardless of what type of smart device you choose for use with Amazon’s digital assistant platform, there are endless possibilities waiting for you just around the corner!

Your Guide To Google Casting and Chromecast

Your Guide To Google Casting and Chromecast

Nowadays, streaming content on the go has become a standard norm, and because of this, TVs and speakers that allow users to do this are rapidly growing in popularity. One of the similarities among devices that support on-the-go content consumption is that they allow casting with Chromecast. I’ll admit, one of the things I find myself doing regularly is sharing video or content with family and friends via my phone. Having that ability to cast it to my TV is an awesome feature.

Using Google’s Chromecast, you can stream music and videos to compatible devices. In addition to this, you can use many mobile apps for accessing your favorite TV shows and playlists without any additional login requirements. 

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What Is Chromecast Built-in?

To keep it simple, Chromecast uses Wifi to allow you to cast media from your smartphone, tablet, or computer to other compatible devices. The Google casting technology is a built-in feature for certain selected television sets and allows you to cast your favorite seasons, sports, games, and much more onto a big screen. Additionally, you can use Chromecast to stream podcasts, music, and even the radio to compatible speakers. 

One thing that stands out about Chromecast is that it allows you to cast content without any disruption. Using its multi-task features, you can send texts and accept calls without interrupting what’s being streamed to the big screen. 

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How Does Chromecast Work? (H2)

Chromecast uses Wi-Fi to connect to compatible devices and allows you to stream content from anywhere in your house. You can also connect a Chromecast dongle to your TV’s HDMI port and stream your favorite content. It allows you to use your smartphone or tablet as the cast controller for browsing, queueing, and controlling the content.

Chromecast works by using over 1000 Chromecast-enabled apps and allows you to stream over 200,000 tv shows and more than 30 million songs. Simply open a supported app, find something to watch or listen to, and simply tap on the cast button.

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In addition to this, you can also use a Google Assistant device or app to control the cast with voice commands. It works wonders with Chromecast built-in devices, but some older models may not function as you’d expect them to. 

Devices For Chromecast Built-in

Although many television sets support built-in Chromecast, Google’s own Chromecast dongle is a great entry point for those looking to start with Google’s smart home tech.

Other options, in addition to the Chromecast dongle, are also available. Casting with Chromecast is a built-in feature that comes with the Google Nest Hub Max and the Google Nest Hub. These smart display devices will appear as Chromecasts on your network and allow you to cast video and audio content to them from anywhere in the house. Although many video apps recognize Nest Hubs as a display option, it’s possible that some of the apps may not be compatible. In this regard, it’s an app-by-app basis on compatibility. 

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As for audio, Google Home speakers are a reliable option because they seamlessly integrate with Chromecast and allow you to enjoy the audio content without any interruptions. You can have your friends and family connect to these speakers as well. 

Best Chromecast Built-in Speakers

Google’s own kit is the best go-to option for Chromecast built-in speakers, but other more premium options are also available. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind spending some money, consider the Naim Audio Mu-so Qb. It has the great audio quality and gives control over style and substance. 

However, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice can also be a great option if you’re on a budget. It’s compatible with wireless streaming and allows you to cast audio from your smartphone or tablet. Along with these, there’s a wide array of Chromecast built-in speakers, each one with unique functionalities, that you can choose from.  

Best Chromecast Built-in TVs

Generally, any television set that comes with Android TV supports Chromecast standard built-in, and you don’t need to buy any additional devices to cast your content.

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Sony has been committed to launching Android TVs that support Chromecast capabilities. Some of these TV sets include the Bravia XR Z9K, Bravia XR A95K, and the Bravia XR A90K. In addition to Sony, other manufacturers that provide Chromecast built-in TVs and displays include Philips, Skyworth, and Vizio. You can also connect the Nvidia TV Shield or the Nvidia TV Shield Pro to your existing TV’s HDMI port to enable Chromecast capabilities. 

Setting Up Google Chromecast

You’ll have to set up Chromecast with your TV or speakers to cast your media. You must plug a Chromecast device into your TV and download the Google Home App. 

Then simply search and select the devices you want to connect, and enjoy casting your favorite movies, shows, or music to any TV or speaker in your house. 

Chromecast: A Solid Casting Option For Families

Google Chromecast is the best option for those who want to consume content on the go. Numerous devices support Chromecast built-in, and additional devices can be connected to an existing TV’s HDMI port for casting as well. Once connected, casting with Chromecast will allow you to cast your favorite movies or tv seasons to the big screen or listen to music or podcasts from anywhere in the house.

How to Add Devices to Google Assistant

How to Add Devices to Google Assistant

Google Assistant is a powerful tool that can help you with everything from setting alarms to checking the score of your favorite team. But what if you want Google Assistant to help you out with more than just regular tasks? Google Assistant can do a lot of incredible things when it comes to smart home automation. We wanted to show you how to add devices like smart lights, thermostats, and even microwaves to Google Assistant so that you can control them with your voice and really leverage the power of smart home automation. Google Assistant is useful in our daily tasks, and it really can make your life easier. Adding devices to Google Assistant is actually quite easy. Getting your devices connected with your assistant will allow you to control your own home from basically anywhere.

Why Add a Device to Google Assistant

If you haven’t already, you should definitely add any and all compatible smart devices to your Google Assistant. Here are a few reasons why. First of all, it’s really about convenience. You can use your voice to do things like set timers, add items to your shopping list, or play music. And since Google Assistant is always getting smarter, new features and capabilities are always added. There are a TON of cool things you can do with your Google Assistant. Secondly, it’s a great way to stay connected with your family and friends. With Google Assistant, you can make hands-free calls or send messages without ever having to pick up your phone. 

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Another reason, it’s just plain fun! With Google Assistant, you can ask it anything you want and get a response. Finally, adding a device to your Google Assistant making it part of your smart home ecosystem will unlock your smart device’s true potential. I love being able to tell my smart home to shut down at night. This triggers smart locks to lock, Wifi to shut down on my kids’ devices, shut my garage door, and a list of other clever smart home features. Whether you’re curious about the weather forecast or just want to hear a joke, Google Assistant is a great assistant for your smart devices.

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How To Add Devices To Your Google Assistant

One thing you need to know before buying a smart device (if you want to connect it through Google Assistant) is to make sure it is compatible with Google Assistant. Most newer smart devices are compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so it shouldn’t be an issue for more. But you’re going to want to double-check. Adding a device to your Google Assistant is rather easy. 

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Getting The Google Home App Situated

First, download the Google Home App and sign up for a new Google Account or Sign In to a preexisting account. And then, “Get Started”. To get started, you’ll need a Google assistant-enabled speaker (Google Nest Speaker, for example) and a secure Wi-Fi network. If you’re using an iPhone, turn your Bluetooth on. Now, open the app and tap setup. If you don’t see the setup, tap the device icon in the right corner of the app’s home screen to add your new device, and also you can choose multiple devices. 

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After the app connects to your Google Home, you will hear a chime. Then select “Yes”. If will not hear any chime then tap “Try Again”. It really is too easy to mess up. I love Google’s installation and device integration processes. Your Google Home is now ready to use. Just follow the steps on your screen and you’ll be ready to go. Now, you’ll be able to control the added devices to Google Assistant with your voice commands. If you want to connect multiple devices then go to device settings and tap “Multipoint” and now you’ll be able to connect more devices.

You can rename devices in the Google home app. Doing so gives a much clearer overview of your smart home as it’s easier to control devices by conversational voice commands rather than irritating names. You can proceed with setting up Google Assistant once you are connected to Wi-fi. The activation of voice match is the first option. If multiple people are using this Google Home and you want personalized results, this might be helpful. Additionally, you can set Google Home to only respond to your voice. So, with Google Assistant just utilize your favorite smart home devices and add devices to Google Home to create useful routines with how your daily life works.

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Adding Your Devices To Google Assistant

Adding devices to your Google Assistant is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps. Here’s how:

1. First, open the Google Assistant app on your mobile device.

2. Tap the menu icon in the top left corner of the screen.

3. Select “Add Devices.”

4. You’ll be prompted to choose what kind of device you’d like to add. Choose from options like “Smart Displays,” “Speakers,” and “Chromecast.”

5. Follow the instructions for each type of device to complete the process.

That’s it! As a side note, not every device will communicate as seamlessly as what is described above. If you run into that, one of the most helpful tricks (and I know this will sound cliche) is to perform a search in Google. Simply query, “connect (your device name) to Google Assistant”. I’ve had to do this with a few devices and every time I’ve found a forum thread through Google Support to help.

The Perfect Smart Lights Setup: Philips Hue Lights

The Perfect Smart Lights Setup: Philips Hue Lights

Smart lighting is one of the most important aspects of smart home and a definite favorite among smart home lovers. In fact, market forecasts show that global revenue for smart lighting is expected to surpass $22 billion by 2025 and nearly double by 2030. 

Smart lighting solutions allow homeowners to control their lights using an app remotely. In addition to just turning them on and off, you can also set timers and schedules for your lights. We’ve talked quite a bit about smart home automation and having smart lighting as one of the most vital components of basic automation. Among many others, Philip Hue offers some of the best smart lighting solutions currently available on the market, and you don’t have to break the bank to buy them. 

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What Is Philip Hue?

Philip Hue is a smart lighting provider with a wide range of options for smart home lovers and newbies. They work similarly to any other smart light setup and can connect using WiFi or other Zigbee signals. They allow you to use an app or a physical remote to control these lights’ brightness, color, and timings.

You can even integrate these lights with other smart techs in your house. Along with being controlled by an app, these lights can be with Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa, allowing you to control them with nothing other than your voice. 

LEARN MORE: Home Automation FAQs

Philips Hue Starter Kit

The Philip Hue Starter Kit is all you need to set up the smart lighting system for your house. It comes with a hue bridge, smart LED bulbs, and other smart accessories that are quite easy to install. You’ll need to consider factors such as which room you will get the kit for and how many lights you need to figure out to choose the best starter kit for you.

Currently, Philip Hue has 3 Starter kits that provide either a white ambiance or a white and color ambiance. The number of smart LED bulbs you get with each light varies, and prices start from just $69.99.

>>Get Your Philips Hue Starter Kit Here <<

Philip Hue Smart Lights

Philip Hue has a wide range of smart lights you can choose from depending on your needs and requirements. Your choice will depend on where you want to install the lights in your house. Let’s take a quick look at some of the Philip Hue lighting options:

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Smart Light Bulbs

These smart light bulbs come in different shapes and bases and can fit into almost any light socket. This makes adding smart lights to your house quite a simple and easy thing to do. 

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs Here <<

Smart LED Lightstrips

Philip Hue offers different colored and gradient smart LED strips for you to choose from. They are suitable for both indoors and outdoors and create a smooth ambiance where required. 

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart LED Lightstrips Here <<

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Table Lamps and Floor Lamps

These smart lamps are a great option for your house and can function as a reading light or just as decor. Although smart floor lamps provide gradient lighting, smart table lamps offer color and gradient lights.

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart Lamps Here << 

Smart Ceiling Lights

These ceiling lights offer warm to cool and colored lights and come in different sizes and styles. All the lights are Bluetooth enabled, and options are available for almost every room in the house. 

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart Ceiling Lights Here <<

Smart Outdoor Lights

Smart outdoor lights offer soft-warm lighting and colored lighting. Similar to all other lights, they are also Bluetooth enabled and are a suitable option for the front lawn and the backyard.  In addition to these smart lights, Philip Hue also provides a bathroom-specific range called the Philip Hue Adore, which comes with innovative smart lights and the Adore white-lighted mirror. Along with these smart lights, Philip Hue also offers a wide range of smart accessories, including the Hue Bridge, smart buttons, smart plugs, dimmers, and much more. 

>>Get Your Philips Hue Smart Outdoor Lights Here <<

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Setting Up Philip Hue Lights

Philip Hue lights come equipped with a Hue Bridge, which is the first thing you’ll have to set up. When setting up the Hue Bridge, you must plug it into the power socket and connect it to the internet. Then, open the Philip Hue app and add the new bridge. 

After installing the smart lights in your desired location, simply connect them to the bridge using the app. As opposed to using the bridge, you can also use Bluetooth to connect to the smart lights, limiting your control over them. 

Philip Hue Lights and Smart Assistants

In addition to using the Philip Hue App, you can also use Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit, and Amazon Alexa to control the smart lights as well. Along with allowing you to control the smart lights with voice commands, you’ll be able to take extra security measures such as having the lights turn on if motion is detected as well. 

Final Thoughts

Philip Hue offers smart lighting options for every room in the house and for the front yard and backyard as well. They provide many options, including smart LED bulbs, lighting strips, smart accessories, and more. I’m a huge fan of Philips’ smart lighting technology. Not only is it a brand I trust, but the technology also integrates seamlessly with most smart home assistants. In addition to being set up and controlled from the app, the Philip Hue lights can be connected to various smart assistants allowing you to control them using voice commands as well. 

Our Top Picks For Family-Safe Tech Gadgets For Kids

Our Top Picks For Family-Safe Tech Gadgets For Kids

Are you looking for a great gift that you can give to your tech-savvy friends and family members but are still safe when it comes to Internet access? There are so many options out there, it can be hard to choose. We’re here to help you find the best gift ideas for the tech lovers in your life. Here are my top picks for family-safe tech gadgets that anyone would love!

MM Guardian

As the world becomes increasingly digitized, it’s more important than ever to teach kids how to stay safe online. MM Guardian is the perfect tech gift for families who want to keep their children safe as they explore the internet. MM Guardian is a cutting-edge app that helps parents monitor and control their child’s internet usage. It also provides educational resources to help kids learn about responsible online behavior. What’s really cool is MM Guardian just released their own Samsung based smartphone with their app preinstalled!

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With MM Guardian, parents can rest assured that their kids are browsing the internet safely. And it’s not just the Internet either, it’s how they are interacting with their peers who have devices as well.

>> Learn More About MM Guardian Here <<

Gabb Watch 2

The Gabb Watch is the perfect tech gift for kids. It’s a smartwatch that has all the features kids want, without all the bells and whistles that parents don’t want their kids to have. The Gabb Watch is durable, has a long battery life, and is rugged enough to withstand drops and bumps. But what makes the Gabb Watch truly unique is its Gabb OS, which is designed specifically for kids. Gabb OS puts parents in control of what apps and features their kids have access to. And because Gabb watches are affordable, parents can get their kids the latest and greatest technology without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for the perfect tech gift for your kid, look no further than the Gabb Watch.

>> Learn More About The Gabb Watch Here <<

Gabb Phone

Just like the Gabb Watch, the Gabb Phone Plus is another solid tech gift for kids! Its sturdy design can withstand drops and bumps, making it perfect for little hands. And its small size is perfect for little pockets! The Gabb Phone Plus comes loaded with fun games and educational apps, keeping kids entertained but in a safe manner. But best of all, the Gabb Phone comes with a parent-approved filter that blocks out harmful content and protects kids from online predators. 

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At the root of the phone’s technology is Samsung, so you know you’re getting a quality phone. What I really love about the Gabb Phone is parents can have a sense of peace that their kids are safe when using the Gabb Phone Plus. In my opinion, I wouldn’t get this phone until my child is 14 years old. But this device is a solid and safe tech gadget for kids

>> Learn More About The Gabb Phone Here <<

Amazon Echo Dot For Kids

The Amazon Echo Dot is one of the most popular home automation devices on the market. It has Alexa built-in, so you can ask her questions and control your smart home devices with just your voice. Plus, with its compact size, it fits nicely into any room of your house.

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I think Amazon’s Echo Dot is the perfect tech gift for kids for a number of reasons. First, the Echo Dot is an Amazon product, which means it integrates perfectly with Amazon’s many kid-friendly services, such as FreeTime and Amazon Kids+. Second, the Echo Dot is extremely affordable, making it a great option for parents who want to give their kids the gift of technology without breaking the bank. Third, the Echo Dot is very user-friendly, so even young children will be able to use it without any problems. And finally, the Echo Dot comes in a variety of fun and trendy colors, so kids can choose the one that best suits their personality.

Amazon Echo Glow

The Amazon Echo Glow is one of the most engaging tech gifts for kids. It’s a fun, interactive way for them to control their devices and play music. And a major bonus: it’s a great night light. The Amazon Echo Glow has millions of color options, so kids can choose their favorite color or mix and match to create their own custom light show. 

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The Amazon Echo Glow also features an LED timer, so kids can see how much time they have left to play before bedtime. And if they need a little help falling asleep, they can ask the Amazon Echo Glow to play soothing sounds or tell them a bedtime story. The Amazon Echo Glow is the perfect tech gift for kids because it’s both fun and functional. Based on the reviews, parents love this device mostly because of its brightness, ease of use, sleep modes, Alexa integration, and timers.

Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad

Crayola’s Light-Up Tracing Pad is a simple yet entertaining tech gift for kids! The built-in light makes it easy to see the paper and the included stencils help kids create their own masterpieces. The tracing pad is also great for drawing, sketching, and shading. With its compact design, the Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad is perfect for travel. When it’s time to clean up, the tracing pad easily erases with the push of a button. Crayola’s Light-Up Tracing Pad is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages! One reason I love this as a great gadget gift is its simplicity. Tech gifts don’t have to be complex with operating systems and impeccable displays. The Crayola Light-Up Tracing Pad is a gift you should definitely have on your radar.

Wonder Workshop Dash (Coding Robot for Kids 6+)

The Wonder Workshop Dash is a great tech gift for kids because it’s so much fun. It’s an interactive robot that responds to voice commands and can be programmed to do all sorts of tricks. The Dash can teach kids how to code, so there’s a massive upside in edutainment (education + entertainment). Kids will love watching it zip around the room and change direction when it hits an obstacle. And they’ll be fascinated by the different sounds it makes when it’s doing different things. 

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The Wonder Workshop Dash is a great way to get kids interested in technology and engineering. But most importantly, it’s just a lot of fun. The ability to create a toy that teaches you a STEM skill is awesome. That’s why it makes such a great gift.

Miko 3: AI-Powered Smart Robot For Kids

Miko is one of the world’s first smart robots designed just for kids. Miko speaks and understands English and can carry on a conversation using natural language processing. Miko also has a range of emotions, so it can react in different ways to different situations. Miko is powered by artificial intelligence (AI), which allows it to learn and grow over time. The Miko 3 is the latest version of Miko and comes with a number of impressive features:

  • A ramp-up of educational STEM content
  • Improvement in microphones and responses
  • Robust safety features. kidSAFE+ COPPA certified
  • Stronger rubberized wheels for better movement across multiple surfaces
  • An expansive touchscreen that makes it even easier to interact with the robot
  • High-performance speakers and wide-angle high-resolution IPS display

Miko 3 is also now sleeker and more stylish than ever before. It’s also more expressive with a wider range of facial expressions and body language. Miko 3 is also equipped with an updated processor and improved sensors making it even more responsive to its surroundings. With all these new features, Miko 3 will surely be a hit with kids of all ages. If you’re looking for a tech gift for kids that is both fun and educational, Miko 3 is a perfect choice.

The internet (any web-based activity) has become an essential part of daily life for people of all ages and it provides a wealth of opportunities for connection and education. However, the internet can also be a dangerous place and we’ve outlined why that is exhaustively on DaleDumbsITDown. It is important for families to be aware of the risks. Internet safety is about more than just avoiding online predators. It also includes protecting personal information, maintaining healthy online habits, being a good digital citizen, and being thoughtful about the content that we consume and share. By teaching internet safety to our children and having devices that augment that experience, we can help them to stay safe online and to develop responsible digital citizenship. 

Furthermore, by modeling good internet safety habits ourselves and exposing our kids to age-appropriate devices and content, we can set a positive example for our kids. When it comes to internet safety, knowledge is power as well as having the right technology (both good and bad). By increasing our own understanding of the risks and the ways to avoid them, we can keep our families safe while still enjoying all the wonderful benefits that the internet has to offer.

The Best Fire TV Stick Tips And Tricks

The Best Fire TV Stick Tips And Tricks

The Amazon Fire TV Stick is a small streaming device manufactured by Amazon that plugs into an HDMI port on the back of your TV. It’s one of my most used devices in the home. It’s one my kids use a lot as well. This device allows you to connect to the internet and stream videos on demand on your tv through apps. Just about any streaming app you can think of can be found in the Amazon App store. 

When it comes to streaming content with apps, the Fire TV Stick works kinda like your smartphone. In most smart TVs, it’s often difficult or impossible to sideload other apps, so you are stuck with the apps that come from your smart TVs app store. Not the case with the Fire TV Stick. This device is much more flexible as you can install apps from a wide variety. But I’ll be honest, most people just use the device with its preset settings completely unaware that you can enhance the experience.

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The Best Tips And Tricks For Your Fire TV Stick

With roughly 40 million users of the Fire TV Stick, it’s a very popular device. But what really surprises me is the lack of leveraging features to give you a better viewing experience. Out of the box, the Fire TV Stick is great. No major complaints. But there are a bunch of little tips and tricks you can do that just make it so much better (and safer). 

1. Pin Your Most-Used Apps

If you have installed dozens of apps from the Amazon App store, finding the ones you want to use frequently may become difficult. I think it’s a pain to find apps I use in the app section of the interface. You can pin the most frequently used ones to the home screen so they’re easy to find. All you do is take your highlight cursor over the app you want to pin (don’t select it). Hit the Menu button on your remote (three little lines) and select “Pin To Front”. 

LEARN MORE: Did You Know Amazon Is Using Your Internet For Their Own Network?

2. Disable Automatic Audio And Video Playback On Fire TV

The Featured Content page on the Fire TV home screen plays the most recent movies and TV shows from partner apps by default, which can be REALLY annoying. I also notice my Fire TV Stick getting glitchy when they auto-play as well. You can easily disable autoplay for audio and video by just doing a simple adjustment from the Settings menu. Go to your Settings and select Preferences from the options. Scroll until you find “Featured Content” and turn off the Allow Video Autoplay and Allow Audio Autoplay features. You can thank me later.

3. Adjust Fire TV’s Privacy Settings

This is another no-brainer option everyone should do. There are concerns regarding privacy because Fire TV devices must be connected to the internet. The content you watch, the amount of time you spend using the device, your location, your most used apps, and other details can all be tracked when you use a device. If you are uncomfortable with constant tracking, disable the behavior from the Privacy menu.

4. Make Use Of Your Phone’s Virtual Fire TV Remote

You can easily control your Fire TV using the Fire TV remote app on your iPhone or Android phone. There have been times (lots of times) when the Fire TV Stick remote gets lost or it runs out of batteries. That’s when this trick really comes in handy. The app offers the same buttons and functions as the remote.

5. Create Multi-User Profiles

On your Fire TV, you can create separate profiles for you, your spouse, and your kids. With recommendations for movies, TV shows, and pinned apps, users get a personalized Fire TV experience. This is one of my favorite and most underutilized features of the Fire TV Stick. You can create Kids profiles doing this which will give you more control over what your kids are watching.

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Another quick tip on profiles. To easily switch in between profiles, press and hold the Home button on the remote and a pop-up will appear prompting you to switch profiles. You can also use this little Home button trick to open other Apps and put your device to sleep. 

6. Access Diagnostics Information

This is for advanced users. There is a hidden diagnostics panel on the Amazon Firestick. You are granted access to a ton of information, many of which is essential for advanced settings. Frame rate, CPU load, video codecs, display resolution, memory usage, current internet streaming speed, and other diagnostic data are just a few examples. You’ll want to press and hold Select (Center button) for one second and while still holding it, press the hold the Down direction button for three seconds. Then release both and press the Menu button. From there a pop-up will appear and you’ll want to turn On the Advanced Options and System X-Ray. 

7. Restart Your Device Using The Remote

You don’t have to turn off your television if your Fire TV Stick freezes. Using the remote, you can just restart it. It’s really easy to do. Hold down the Select and Play/Pause buttons at the same time for five seconds. Even if the screen is frozen (which doesn’t happen on the later generations as it did on earlier versions), this quick restarting tip will work. As a side note, you can also restart your device from the menu screen or by simply unplugging it as well. 

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8. Send Video Footage From Security Camera To The Fire TV

This is a pretty cool trick you can do with your Fire TV Stick: live video feeds from home security cameras can be directly displayed on Amazon Fire TV. You’ll only be able to use this feature with Alexa-enabled devices. If you utilize an IFTTT applet, you can actually have this feature automated.

9. Disable Interest-Based Ads On Your Fire TV Stick

Going to be honest, I wish there was a way to kill advertisements altogether, but I realize corporations have to make money. You may not know that your Fire TV is tracking your behavior for a lot of purposes, and advertising is one of them. However, Amazon does allow you to turn this feature off. Please note that you will still get ads, they just won’t be lasered in on what you were just talking about with your family at the dinner table. Go to Settings, then Preferences, then Privacy Settings, then Advertising ID and turn Interest-based Ads to off. Once enabled, the apps on your device won’t be able to use your advertising ID to build a persona profile to serve you personalized ads.  

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There is an argument to be made about the benefits and advantages of using interest-based ads. But I think the Cons far out-weight the Pros. One reason I enabled this is that if they are collecting that data and utilizing it, it’s going to take some amount of memory and bandwidth to transfer that data. That’s more input and output for your device. Without running any formal data test on if disabling this cuts down on bandwidth usage from your Fire TV, my gut tells me it does. The other issue is privacy. Less personal data on our behaviors being sent to the cloud is a positive.

Features Vs Privacy Vs Experience: How Do You Prioritize?

You’ll notice that a handful of these tips are putting data restrictions on what Amazon collects about you. Some would argue that turning these features off will dampen your user experience. It’s the “but we’re collecting data on you to give you a better experience” argument. There’s a little bit of credence to that as well. Amazon continues to develop features that enhance the user experience for its customers. I’m all for that. However, I have found that enabling these tips and tricks hasn’t interfered one bit with how I interact with my Fire TV Stick device. Personally, I think it helps the device run smoother. You don’t have to do all of these, but I highly recommend you adopt at least one. And if you’re serious about your personal data being stored in the cloud, I’d act on all those tips. Quite frankly, you can make your watching experience more enjoyable and safer by utilizing these Fire TV tips and tricks.

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