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Smart Tech Today 9: Decorate Your Smart Home for the Holidays 🎙

On episode 9 of Smart Tech Today, Mikah and I talked about:

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Smart Tech Today 8: Goodnight, Sonos: Voice-Controlled Computing 🎙

On episode 8 of Smart Tech Today, Mikah and I talked about:

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STT 7: Make Your Smart Home Work for You 🎙

On episode 7 of Smart Tech Today, Mikah and I talked about the following:

We’ll be live each Monday at 4pm PST / 7PM EST – thanks for listening!

Links for the show:

Shortcuts for the show:

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STT 5 – Hearables: AirPods Pro & Echo Buds 🎙

On this episode of Smart Tech Today, Mikah and I talk about:

  • Smart home news: the Ember Mug 2, LIFX’s new candelabra bulb, Cortana reads emails now, the Tile tracker works with the Google Assistant and Alexa, and Samsung’s SmartThing’s platform gets offline automation support and a new Rules API.
  • Google news: Google (Alphabet) has officially acquired FitBit, the Google Home app gets a visual overhaul, and the Google Assistant gets Sirius XM support.
  • Security & privacy: Researchers used lasers to “speak” to Amazon Echo and Google Home devices from a distance.
  • Hearables: Matthew and Mikah review Amazon’s new Echo Buds and Apple’s new AirPods Pro.
  • Multi-voice recognition: Developers can now leverage Alexa Voice Profiles when developing Skills for Alexa-enabled devices. Matthew troubleshoots and explains HomePod’s new Handoff, Ambient Noise, and automation features.
  • Projects: Matthew dives deep into Shortcuts on HomePod and AirPods 2; Mikah waxes ecstatic about using motion sensors as part of his smart home setup.
  • Matthew’s pick: Mr. Christmas 7′ Alexa Compatible RGB LED Christmas Tree
  • Mikah’s pick: Beddr SleepTuner Sleep Monitor

Plus, here’s a set of Siri Shortcuts I created last week for subscribing and listening to the show:

We’ll be live next Monday at our usual 4pm PST – thanks for listening along so far!

Links for the show:

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Shortcuts in 3 minutes: How to make GIFs 🎥

Last fall, I made a simple video for YouTube but never posted it here on my website – it’s a quick tutorial on making GIFs using Shortcuts, where I start from scratch and finish with a usable shortcut:

I’d make some improvements to the shortcut now like adding a Quick Look at the end so users can view it when running from the My Shortcuts view and maybe adjusting the speed slightly.

Plus since then I’ve moved my desk, improved my audio editing skills, and don’t feel nearly as awkward.

Question for any readers: do you like this style of video? I haven’t done other top-down shots like this and want to know what people think – tweet me or send me an email with your thoughts and any other helpful feedback.

Watch the full video on YouTube or in the embed above.

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What to know about the Siri Shortcuts beta 🔗

Yours truly, writing for iMore:

For this update, Apple reworked some the fundamentals of Siri Shortcuts, taking the Shortcuts app’s powerful actions and offering those capabilities to other apps on the App Store. Plus, they all work fully in Siri, marking another step forward in Apple’s voice strategy.

The Shortcuts app has been redesigned, making it easier to understand and get started with, there’s powerful new Automation capabilities that let you run your Siri Shortcuts based on a series of triggers, and the Gallery now has new automatic recommendations based on your personal usage.

With about 2,500 words and 24 screenshots, I covered everything that’s new in the betas so far. I’ll be revisiting each topic over time, but this is the best way to get all the news in one place.

Check out the full post.