The week in smart home: HomePod gets security smarts and more

A look back at the last seven days in the world of the connected abode

Week in smart home: HomePod security smarts

In a week where the security credentials of the smart home have once again come under question, we dug a bit deeper to find out just how safe your connected tech is. The short answer - it's all a bit up in the air.

However, it's not all doom and gloom on the smart security front. Apple has this week opened up its impenetrable door, just a little bit...

HomePod's opening doors

When the HomePod went live last month a lot of people were quick to bemoan that security-based smart tech - think locks and alarms - were missing from the smart speaker's range of controls, despite Siri being able to activate these using an iPhone.

However, this week August announced that August Smart Lock Pro (3rd generation) and August Smart Lock (2nd generation) owners can now control their locks using a HomePod (no unlocking, for obvious reasons).


Nexus Player's days are numbered

Google's native Nexus Player launched way back in 2014, and Google has been treating it to the various Android updates since then. But it's the end of the road for the original Android TV box - with the search giant officially killing support for it.

Google told Android Police that the Nexus Player will not receive Android P and is also not getting any more security fixes.

The week in smart home: HomePod gets security smarts and more

If you've still got a Nexus Player hooked up to your TV, maybe check out our pick of the top streaming sticks and boxes to see what you should buy instead.


Virgin Media speeds ahead

In the UK, Virgin Media is now the quickest broadband by far - the telecoms giant this week revealed its fastest plan yet... a whopping 350Mb.

Anthony Vollmer, executive director for Connectivity at Virgin Media, said: "We've always been proud of our network's speed and for good reason. Our lines bring blazingly fast download speeds which are leagues ahead of those our customers could find elsewhere. We have been the speed leader since 2007: We intend to remain at the front of the pack."

The UK ranks 31st in the world for broadband speeds, according to a study by Cable last year - with an average speed of 16.51Mb.


Deal of the week

There's some great Nest deals to be had this week over on Amazon - both sides of the pond....

Nest Learning Thermostat - usually $249.99, now $224.

Nest Cam Outdoor - usually $199.99, now $176.91.


TAGGED   smart home

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