Google Home is invading every room in your house--here's how

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Google Home--the tech giant's answer to Amazon's Alexa--can do everything from bake cookies to control your lights. Now, in its efforts to topple Amazon, Google is unrolling some new functionality: Starting this month, Google Home will be compatible with a host of appliances from Whirlpool, LG, GE, and iRobot (including some of our favorites). If you've ever wanted to check on the status of your dishwasher from the living room, or tell your oven to preheat even when your hands are busy chopping onions, Google Home might be for you. Just think of it as a friendly Skynet that just wants to help you cook and clean. Less than a year after GE baked Alexa into its appliances using the Geneva Home skill, Google and GE announced that most new GE washers, dryers, ovens, and dishwashers will now also respond to Google Home.

All the ways to connect your kitchen and laundry room to Alexa

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A Samsung fridge with built-in cameras means you can check if you need milk while your at the grocery store. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives. More appliance manufacturers than ever before are advertising "smart" connectivity, promising convenience features like remote control, automatic supply replenishment, or intelligent energy consumption. Each company also has its own word-soup of apps, standards, modules, hubs, and brands that might make the appliance smarter, but can certainly make a layman feel dumb.

Whirlpool's smart appliances will be Amazon Alexa-compatible this year


It seems like every other day, a new device gains Amazon Alexa integration. Now Amazon's voice assistant can also control Whirlpool's new washer-dryer pair, and Alexa will come to the rest of Whirlpool's smart appliances later this year. The company is launching 21 new Wi-Fi-connected appliances that will respond to your voice with help from Alexa. For instance, if you're in the middle of mixing cookie dough and want to preheat the oven, you can just holler at Alexa to do it for you. Ask Alexa to set the refrigerator to party mode so you'll have tons of ice at the ready.

My appliance just died. Who should I call?

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Guests are on the way. All the meal prep dishes are in the dishwasher. "I thought this dishwasher was supposed to last for 10 years," I whine. But my dishwasher is down for the count. And my husband and I end up washing dishes by hand for days before we can schedule a repair person to work on it.

Will Sears' Kenmore brand still sell Whirlpool appliances?

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Although Sears stores will no longer sell Whirlpool appliances, the two companies have not completely severed ties. According to Sears, Whirlpool will continue to manufacture appliances for Sears' own Kenmore brand. That means customers can still buy a Whirlpool-made dishwasher, fridge, or washing machine at Sears--except it will wear a Kenmore badge. The longstanding relationship between Whirlpool and Kenmore "is not affected," wrote Sears spokesman Howard Riefs in response to an e-mailed inquiry from Appliances sold under the Kenmore brand are made by a variety of different manufacturers including LG, Frigidaire, and Whirlpool.