How to control TP-Link Smart Plugs with Alexa

A TP-Link Smart Plug turns a regular AC outlet into something you can control from anywhere using mobile device, or by using your voice (if you also have an Amazon Echo). It’s more than just fun to say “Alexa, turn on the living room lights.” This is a useful utility that you won’t want to give up. Clearly written instructions for how to get it running are provided below. Continue reading How to control TP-Link Smart Plugs with Alexa

Hands-on review of the Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa

The Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa is a brand new, inexpensive battery-powered shopping and information device for the home. It’s similar, in a way, to the popular Amazon Echo smart speakers, but it’s different in lots of ways, too.

Amazon Echo devices are primarily used to listen to music, but, the new Dash Wand isn’t capable of playing music. It runs on two AAA batteries, and would quickly burn through them if it were tasked with playing Adele all day. Continue reading Hands-on review of the Amazon Dash Wand with Alexa

Apple re-enters the cheap computer market with the March 2017 iPad

For the past ten years, Apple has been a company that exclusively sold premium products. In the somewhat distant past, Apple shipped things like the 50lb (22.7 kg) eMac, an intentionally no-frills computer that was designed for educational institutions, but later sold to the public as a budget-friendly Macintosh.

It had been so long since Apple sold low-priced products that it seemed like they had permanently abandoned them. However, it appears that the new, ambiguously named “iPad” marks Apple’s return to bargain-bin computing. Continue reading Apple re-enters the cheap computer market with the March 2017 iPad

Review of the Apple TV (2nd generation), 7 years later

I’ve been actively using my Apple TV (2nd generation) for almost seven years, and I figured March of 2017 was the perfect time to finally share my thoughts on it. Why? I’m getting closer to unplugging this thing from my TV, but I haven’t done so yet.

You see, my TV is eight years old. It hails from a time when two HDMI ports was considered sufficient. The gadgets that I plug into it need to truly prove their worth, and my Apple TV 2 has been skating on thin ice lately. It recently went through a weeks-long phase where it couldn’t play Netflix without crashing. I managed to fix the problem, but I haven’t forgiven it. Continue reading Review of the Apple TV (2nd generation), 7 years later

How to use Google Home with Sonos

If you’re wondering if it’s possible to control Sonos speakers and components with just your voice and a Google Home, it is! This article points out all of the Sonos products that are compatible, shows you exactly what you need to get it working, and clearly explains how to do everything. Continue reading How to use Google Home with Sonos

Why people still choose Garmin over the Apple Watch

I just finished listening to the latest episode of John Gruber’s podcast, which is entitled Now Banned in China, and toward the end he wonders why anyone would choose a Garmin over an Apple Watch. There are many reasons: Continue reading Why people still choose Garmin over the Apple Watch

The best music streaming service in 2017

There’s a variety of music streaming services to choose from in 2017, and each one has its ups and downs. This article takes a close look at the best available options, and picks a winner.

Of course, the actual best choice for you is subjective. Your personal needs may be different than mine. But, this is my blog, not yours. My opinion is the only thing that matters around here. :)

Before we jump into it, let’s take a moment to appreciate how amazing music streaming services are. It’s incredible to have over 30 million songs in your pocket. It would be far better if the artists got paid more (and I mean substantially more). But still, never forget how amazing these services are. Continue reading The best music streaming service in 2017

5 important tips for using the Amazon Echo Dot with Sonos

I own the first generation Amazon Echo Dot, and I’ve been using it since May 2016, and almost the entire time it’s been plugged into my Sonos PLAY:5 speaker. With some trial and error, I’ve cobbled together five solid tips for getting the most out of using it with Sonos. Continue reading 5 important tips for using the Amazon Echo Dot with Sonos

How to control Sonos with the Spotify app

Spotify and Sonos just made it possible to control Sonos speakers directly from the Spotify mobile app. This new integration was released today, and this blog post clearly explains how to get it all running. Continue reading How to control Sonos with the Spotify app

How to cancel the Amazon Music Unlimited Echo plan

If you recently decided to try out the Amazon Music Unlimited plan for the Amazon Echo and your 30-day free trial is coming to an end, or if you’ve already started a paid subscription, clearly written instructions for how to cancel are provided below. Continue reading How to cancel the Amazon Music Unlimited Echo plan