Review: Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

Review: Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

I’ve had a Rachio smart sprinkler controller since just before the first generation was released, and it’s changed the way that I use water on my lawn and garden. Rachio recently released its third-generation smart sprinkler controller, the Rachio 3 ($229) and with each successive model the product just gets better. Let’s take a look.

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Koogeek Smart Outlet brings HomeKit to a 3-outlet surge protector power strip

Koogeek Smart Outlet brings HomeKit to a 3-outlet surge protector power strip

One of the companies that has been introducing a lot of HomeKit-compatible accessories during 2017 is Koogeek. Not only have they been creating things like smart plugs and light bulbs, but health-related devices as well. Now the company has created a first: the first Smart Outlet (US$59.95, Amazon affiliate link) that provides Siri control of three separate power outlets on a power strip.

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Koogeek LB1 Smart Light Bulb: Colorful HomeKit Accessory

Koogeek LB1 Smart Light Bulb: Colorful HomeKit Accessory

Koogeek seems to be single-handedly taking over the home automation field by developing and marketing low-cost HomeKit accessories. The latest from the company is the LB1 Smart Light Bulb, a $54.99 (available on Amazon for $36.99 -- affiliate link) LED bulb that can display over 16 million colors and can be controlled by the Home app and Siri.

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ecobee3 lite smart thermostat: HomeKit-compatible, stylish and intelligent

ecobee3 lite smart thermostat: HomeKit-compatible, stylish and intelligent

As part of our continuing coverage of the so-called "Internet of Things" and Apple HomeKit, Apple World Today recently had the opportunity to do a hands-on review of the ecobee3 lite smart thermostat ($169, affiliate link). This thermostat is a lower-cost alternative to the new ecobee4 smart thermostat with Alexa that was just announced today, and for those who don't want a device "listening" to them all the time, it's perfect.

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Dumb refrigerator, meet Smarter FridgeCam

Dumb refrigerator, meet Smarter FridgeCam

I'm beginning to think that there are some real advantages to the "Internet of Things". Just last night I was getting ready to cook a pasta dish, took some garlic out of the crisper bin, and was disgusted to see that it was quite green and fuzzy. Spoilage is a bad thing, as is not knowing when you're running out of items in your refrigerator. A new smart device from Smarter called the FridgeCam (US$149, available for pre-order) wants to take your old fridge and turn it into much more than just a hiding place for fuzzy garlic.

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PureSwitch: A review of PureGear's HomeKit-compatible smart plug

PureSwitch: A review of PureGear's HomeKit-compatible smart plug

Compared to years past, 2017 is shaping up to be a good one for HomeKit-compatible gear. We heard a lot about new HomeKit products at CES 2017, and one of the new additions to the field was PureGear with the PureSwitch Wireless SmartPlug ($39.99). Let's see how this new product (available starting today) works with Apple's home automation framework.

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Simple automated Christmas lighting with BlissLights, HomeKit and Siri

Simple automated Christmas lighting with BlissLights, HomeKit and Siri

I usually put up my Christmas lights around Thanksgiving, and in the past that has meant putting LED light nets on some shrubs, running a string of lights along the gutter line of the house, and then changing out some security bulbs in the front yard with red and green lights. This year, my travels kept me from doing that so I had to figure out a way to get lighting done in minutes rather than hours. Fortunately, I was able to make the house look festive very quickly with BlissLights laser projectors ($139.00), HomeKit, and Siri.

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How to control your home with HomeKit and iOS 10 Control Center

How to control your home with HomeKit and iOS 10 Control Center

One of the big changes in iOS 10 was the addition of two tabs to Control Center -- one for controlling music playback and one for controlling your HomeKit accessories. While the HomeKit app is best for setting up HomeKit devices like light switches, thermostats, door locks and so on, once they're set up you can make controlling those devices just a few swipes and taps away by using Control Center.

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Koogeek's inexpensive Wi-Fi Smart Plug: HomeKit compatible and great-looking

Koogeek's inexpensive Wi-Fi Smart Plug: HomeKit compatible and great-looking

Today I'm taking a look at a serious product from a company with a lighthearted name: Koogeek. The product is the Koogeek Wi-Fi Smart Plug ($34.99 at Amazon, affiliate link), and it's a HomeKit-compatible smart plug that can be used to control lights or appliances up to 1800W from anywhere.

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Skylink's ATOMS Garage Door Opener boasts IFTTT compatibility

Skylink's ATOMS Garage Door Opener boasts IFTTT compatibility

You're putting together the ultimate smart home, but there's just one piece you haven't figured out yet -- the garage door. Skylink today announced a $299 garage door opener that's designed with compatibility with IFTTT in mind. While it's not Apple HomeKit-compatible, the huge number of channels available on IFTTT means that you can work up some amazing "recipes" that can operate the Skylink ATOMS Garage Door Opener

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Ecobee3 Lite: All the HomeKit compatibility at a lower price

Ecobee3 Lite: All the HomeKit compatibility at a lower price

For those interested in home automation, the Ecobee3 has been an attractive HomeKit-compatible smart thermostat alternative to the non-compatible Nest Thermostat. But there's been one barrier to entry -- the price. Today, Ecobee launched the Ecobee3 Lite for just $169, an $80 cut on the price of the "full-fledged" model.

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Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Apple's Home app

Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt now works with Apple's Home app

Here's a bit of good news for those who are trying to use iOS 10's new Home app to create a Siri-controlled home. Lock and hardware manufacturer Schlage today released an update to its Schlage Sense app that allows the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt lock to work with the Home app. iOS users get push notifications when their deadbolt is locked and unlocked, making it easier to keep an eye on home security. 

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HomeKit-enabled Philips Hue line gets new motion sensor, bulbs

HomeKit-enabled Philips Hue line gets new motion sensor, bulbs

One of the few products in the Internet of Things that has worked properly since Day One is the Philips Hue line of connected smart lightbulbs. Apple HomeKit was added to the line, so it's been possible to use Siri to turn on lights or "scenes". Now Philips has added the new Philips Hue Motion Sensor (US$39.95) to the line, allowing Hue owners to control lighting with movement rather than an app or switch.

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