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Google expands Broadcast and adds more family-friendly Assistant features

Engadget

If you're a parent or often find yourself needing to wrangle a group of people in your household, Google's latest Assistant update might be helpful. It's expanding the Broadcast tool that was previously limited to its smart speakers and displays to iPhones and Android devices. The company also announced a set of new features for the Assistant, including stories, games, songs and a Mother's Day surprise. Broadcast lets you send a message to all compatible devices at once, and you can create groups to specify who you want to reach. Google allows you to set up a Family group for up to six of your relatives, and the expansion being announced today will let you reach these members on their phones too. Just as they already could from a Nest speaker or display, your contact can now reply to your message from their Android or iPhone.


Google Assistant's Broadcast feature can now reach you from your phone

PCWorld

Looking to summon the entire family even when some loved ones are out and about? Google Assistant's Broadcast feature can now do just that, thanks to a recent update. Google is also rolling out a long-awaited improvement to the Assistant's Family Bell feature. Set to go live today, Google Assistant's enhanced Broadcast feature can now reach members of your family group on their phones as well as on Google smart speakers and displays. For example, you could say "Hey Google, tell my family, dinner will be ready in an hour" from the Google Nest Hub Max in the kitchen, and Google Assistant will broadcast the message to all the other Google speakers and displays in your home, as well as on the iPhones and Android phones of any on-the-go family members.


Best streaming device in 2021: Top media players compared

ZDNet

Streaming our favorite shows and movies has become not only popular but during the pandemic, they became a necessity to keep ourselves entertained. Whether it's reruns of The Office or watching the hottest new series on Netflix, streaming devices and sticks bring hours of entertainment into our living rooms and bedrooms with the push of a button or two. And because of that, the devices you use to stream are one of the most important -- but often overlooked -- gadgets we all have in our living rooms. Apple just updated the Apple TV 4K, with sales starting on April 30. It's the first major update to Apple's streaming device since 2017, and it was long overdue.


This week's best deals: 40 percent off Amazon's Echo Dot and more

Engadget

As the month comes to a close, we saw a bunch of solid tech deals across the web. Amazon's latest Echo Dot is down to just $30 and you can still save up to $200 on Samsung's Galaxy S21 smartphones. Fitbit's Mother's Day sale is in full swing, bringing record-low prices to many of its wearables, and May the 4th sales began early this year with discounted Star Wars Instant Pots. Here are the best tech deals we found this week that you can still get today. The latest Echo Dot and Echo Dot with Clock remain on sale for $30 and $40, respectively, which is very close to their all-time lows.


Change Siri's voice, Apple Maps upgrades: What's new in iOS 14.5 update

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If you follow Apple, you're aware its latest update delivers significant privacy changes. But what else can you do in iOS 14.5? On Monday, Apple launched the latest version of the operating software that powers iPhones and iPads. The biggest change requires apps to ask your permission to track your online activity. For example, if you open up an app like Facebook, you'll see a prompt seeking permission from you to track your activity across other apps and websites.


iOS 14.5 arrives with controversial privacy feature, Face ID improvements and new voices for Siri

ZDNet

Apple first released iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 in February through its developer and public beta programs. Since then, the operating system has seen several updates as Apple worked on refining features and removing bugs. On Monday, Apple officially released the update for all iPhone and iPad users. It's a good idea to back up your Apple device before installing the update just in case there's an issue you have a current backup to restore your phone or tablet with. The most notable and controversial feature included in the update is App Tracking Transparency (ATT).


Save $20 when you pre-order the new Echo Buds with Amazon's custom ANC

Mashable

SAVE $20 WHEN YOU PRE-ORDER: Amazon will give you $20 off its new second-gen Echo Buds until May 12 (the day before their official release) -- get a pair with a USB-C charging case for just $99.99, or upgrade to the wireless charging version for just $119.99. Need some new earbuds, but not willing to wait for the new AirPods (which may or may not be coming later this year)? Amazon will basically pay you to take a chance on its freshly redesigned Echo Buds. Now until May 12 -- the day before they officially hit the market -- you'll get $20 off when you pre-order a pair of the second-gen Buds in either Black or the new Glacier White colorway. According to math, that brings the price of the version with a USB-C charging case down to just $99.99 and makes the wireless charging model only $119.99.


How to change Siri's voice in iOS 14.5

Mashable

With iOS and iPadOS 14.5, you have a couple more options to choose from on both your iPhone and iPad. With the new update, which will be available starting the week of April 30, you'll have four voices to pick from rather than the standard two. Sure, it's not an abundance of options, but at least it adds a little more customization. So, if you've been wanting to switch it up, here's how to change Siri's voice with iOS 14.5. To check that you're running iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5, go to Settings General About -- the current version you're on is listed under Software Version.


15 tech tips you won't find in a user manual

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Most gadgets don't come with a user manual that spells out every single feature. We learn them by doing, when someone spills the beans, or asking, "How'd you do that?" For example, no one thinks to dive into a new router's settings.


Logitech Circle View Doorbell review: The doorbell to beat for the HomeKit set

PCWorld

The $200 Logitech Circle View Doorbell is aimed at a very specific audience: Homeowners with wired doorbells who've embraced Apple's rapidly growing HomeKit smart home ecosystem. This is not a cross-platform product: Android users need not apply; nor is there any support for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. The upside of this approach is that it allowed Logitech to take full advantage of what HomeKit has to offer, including HomeKit Secure Video, which uses the Apple hardware in your home to process captured video locally, versus uploading it to a server in the cloud that you have no real control over (you can upload encrypted video to your iCloud account, but you will be the only person with access--Apple won't be able to decrypt the files). I fashioned my own mounting block to compensate for the clapboard siding on my home. The downside, of course, is that you'll need to have that hardware in the first place: A HomePod, HomePod mini, Apple TV, or an iPad (provided it never leaves your house).