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Alexa Routines 2022: Create Your Personal, Helpful Voice Assistant

Alexa Routines 2022: Alexa detecting Crying babies, barking dogs, coughing, snoring, appliance beeping and water sounds

There’s this one area where Alexa continuously and rapidly learns new tricks: Alexa Routines. Years ago, we found only a handful of actions in our Alexa app and could initially not even automate our music. Nowadays, we can find 8 activations – with many variations – and 25(!) different actions in the Alexa app.  With … Read more

Healthy Humidity with Venta Airwashers and Alexa, Siri and Google

We are mainly composed of water. The air we exhale is completely saturated with water. But, do you know the humidity of the 2,641 gallons (10,000 liters) of indoor air that you inhale, per day? It starts with a dry nose and throat. We notice scaly skin, itchy eyes or cracked lips. It can cause respiratory … Read more

iOS 14 – A Siri, HomeKit, Home App and Shortcuts Overview

iOS 14 is here, and over 30% of us have already updated. Time to update our Siri, HomeKit, Home app, and Shortcuts overview with the new iOS 14 features. In this post, we will start with a brief overview of the Shortcuts and the Home app and where they intersect. We’ll then look into HomeKit … Read more

Work from Home with Siri, Alexa and Google: The Silent Listeners

Was it your partner, whispering “I love you” into your – what turns out – active meeting headset? Or your three year old, opening the door to your bedroom/office only to tell you that she pooped in her underwear? Maybe it was your cat, scrolling through your screen to find the hidden bug? Or maybe … Read more

Google Routines: Immersive Storytelling with Ambient Scenes and Sounds

Google is an amazing storyteller! We will look into the many ways to listen to his stories, but this post is actually about quality time with your kids, your partner, or yourself. We will create Google Routines, where he will magically set the perfect ambience to put us in the middle of the story we … Read more

Siri’s HomeKit Scenes and Shortcuts: Immersive Storytelling

We need to ask her many times, and if we are lucky, Siri will tell us the one and only story she knows: her own story. Just in case you’re not so lucky, you can find it – captured in a tweet – towards the end of this post. So, Siri seems not to be our … Read more

Alexa Routines: Immersive Storytelling with Ambient Scenes and Sounds

There are many ways to turn Alexa into a storyteller. We’ll look into some of them, but this post is actually about quality time with your kids, your partner, or yourself. We will create an Alexa Routine, where Alexa magically, on cue, sets the perfect ambience to put us in the middle of the story … Read more

Google Routines: How to Automate your Life with Google Assistant

It started years ago with shortcuts, then came Google’s ready-made routines. Nowadays, we can create custom routines just by entering any Google Assistant command or by choosing from 20 popular actions. Google Routines are one of the helpful features of our voice assistant, which allow us to automate many aspects of our smart home and … Read more

“Hey Siri, Start my Music Quiz” – Create your own Music Game with Shortcuts!

So, we were preparing a lengthy, and – compared to this post – a bit boring, but still quite helpful overview of Siri’s Shortcuts and the Home app (it’s already here: iOS 14 – A Siri, HomeKit, Home App and Shortcuts Overview). And while we were playing around with the Shortcuts app, trying to find … Read more

Alexa Alarms, the Smarter Alarm Clock!

Illustration of Alexa waking up

But, did you know, that an Alexa alarm has a built-in alarm fallback, which can replace our music and radio alarms with regular Alexa alarms? And those regular alarms work even when there’s no connection to our WiFi or the internet? And did you know that we can activate our still amazing Alexa morning routines simply by dismissing these reliable regular alarms?

How to create your own Easter Eggs with Siri, Alexa and Google

Illustration of Create your own Easter Eggs with Siri Alexa and Google

Last year we successfully ducked compiling the endless list of Easter eggs, which are hidden inside Siri, Alexa, and Google. Rather than spoiling the Easter egg fun – which basically every other website sadly does – we tried to keep it fun and just helped a bit with your Easter egg hunt. This year, we are … Read more

Logitech Harmony and Google: New Setup and Voice Commands

Illustration Google Home surfing with Logitech Harmony

Ok, we were a bit disappointed. There were quite some bugs in the initial integration of Logitech Harmony and Google Home. Guess what? It took some time and now the bugs are fixed. Time to update this post to reflect the recent improvements in setup and voice commands. And, we’ve also tested the integration with … Read more

How to teach your Logitech Harmony: Alexa, Hey Google turn on Roomba!

iRobot Roomba and Google Home

It must have been a strange moment for Mr. Colin M. Angle, CEO of iRobot, when he presumably announced summer 2017 his plans to sell the mapping data share maps for free with customer consent of his newest robotic vacuum cleaner (Roomba) models to one of the big three (Amazon, Apple, Google). Facing a broad push-back due to … Read more

Logitech Harmony and Alexa: Setup, Voice Commands and a Candlelight Dinner

Logitech Harmony Alexa

This Valentine’s post is a story of appreciation, harmony and ultimately … love. In this post we are going to connect Alexa with our Logitech Harmony Hub, only to find one of the loveliest integrations of voice control. Promise. On top we will create a “candlelight dinner” routine for Alexa, to dim your lights, start your … Read more

Workaround: Philips Hue Scenes in Google Assistant through IFTTT

Drawing of Google Assistant using IFTTT to talk to Philips Hue

Finally our Google Home supports Philips Hue scenes natively! Still, if this feature does not work for you, here’s a workaround. Before we start, let me warn you that with this workaround you will need to configure every scene manually. It is a terrible workaround, but if you are new to IFTTT, you might find … Read more

Control Smart Lighting with Presence, Geo-fencing and Motion Sensors

controlling smart lighting presence geo-fencing motion sensors

We can control smart lighting in different ways, through our presence, or even during our recreational absence. Motion sensor activated lighting is definitely not a novelty. Samuel Bagno invented the first motion sensor already back in the early 1950s, but today’s options go way beyond switching our lights simply on or off. For a general … Read more